One of our duties working at English Camp is regularly walking the hiking trails around the camp. This Roving Interpretation is part of our job, encouraging us to go out and talk to people, not just stand in the Visitor Center.
Almost every day, Tom takes the Young Hill Trail. Young Hill is one of the most scenic viewpoints on the island. The trail gains 650 feet over a mile distance, then opens to a bald that looks west and south over the entire island. You can see Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains. It is a huge reward for just a little work. Tom always meets 10 to 15 visitors on the trail: definitely our most popular hike.
I walk the Bell Point Trail. This is a 2 mile loop that goes along Garrison Bay adjoining English Camp. The trail is mostly flat and very popular with dog walkers and young families. Because I usually walk the trail in the morning, I don’t encounter as many people as Tom. But I get to walk past the dinghy dock where all the boaters come in. I also walk the Westcott Bay Trail once a week to make sure there are park brochures in the kiosk at the trailhead.
Walking the trails is a wonderful way to connect to park visitors and see the beauty of the park. We pick up trash, give directions, and talk to people about the history of the area.
We also do Roving Interpretation when we stand by one of the buildings or work in the Formal Garden. Just by being outside we get a chance to answer questions and help people see the park in a more intimate way. We point out bald eagles, sea otters, or harbor seals or talk about the protected archaeological sites in English Camp. We stand by the spotting telescope and tell people what we have seen over the weeks we have been watching.
I really like getting out on the trails and outside the Visitors Center to talk to folks. I never know what will come up when I set out but I know it will be fun and interesting.