Being a Tule Elk Docent not only requires you to be knowledgeable about the tule elk, but it involves the ability to tell their story, to help the visitors answer the question, "So what?" or "Why should I care?" Although visitors will arrive at their own answers in their own way, you as a docent can help the visitors arrive there by giving them the opportunity to view the elk, explain what they are seeing, and talking about the elk within the context of interpretive themes. Interpretive themes are the stories that you can tell to help visitors find meanings and make connections to the elk, to help them answer, "So what?" Although there are many themes that may be conveyed, we have identified three specific ones that we would like you to emphasize to visitors. Please see the Interpretive Themes file for more information.
Being a tule elk docent also means that you are a representative of the National Park Service and Point Reyes National Seashore. While in uniform, visitors do not distinguish between volunteers and paid staff. Visitors expect everyone in uniform to be professional and knowledgeable within the scope of their duties. We at Point Reyes expect and will treat you as colleagues. To help you understand our expectations, please see the Professionalism Guidelines.
As a tule elk docent, you will need to pay attention to details. Please see the Details and Logistics to understand the daily schedule and learn how to count visitor contacts. You will also be working with expensive optical equipment. Please see Scope Use to learn how to safely and properly use binoculars and spotting scopes.
We hope your experience as a tule elk docent this year is an inspiring and rewarding one!