I’m officially a guide for the city’s Wildlands Conservation program, and I couldn’t be happier about it. My first hike leading a group is Sunday at 2 pm. I am co-leading it with two people who are really good with plants, so I don’t have to feel too out of my depth.
My knowledge, I’ve discovered, is very generalized. I don’t know a lot of plants, birds, insects or even geological fact. But I’m enthusiastic, and hopefully that’ll convey and inspire. There’s a part of me that figures I won’t know what I’m comfortable with in terms of interpreting until I’ve completed a few hikes. And I’m sure I’ll have some embarrassing moments of either being upstaged by a member of the group who knows far more, or who just wants to be heard even if they don’t know much. I have something akin to nervous butterflies… stage-fright… and it’s only Tuesday.
I’m sure I’ll do well, and there are two other people there who can pick up where I trail off. That’s the way the program is designed… the onus for speaking, interpreting and safety isn’t all on one person.