23 students – 11 Maine Trekkers and 12 Urban Trekkers got together for three and a half days to take part in a cultural exchange at Blueberry Cove in Tenants Harbor, Maine.
Sun Aug 22, 2010 Day 1
Today was the first day of Hood to the Woods 2010, where students from our sister organization in Camden New Jersey make the 12 hour pilgrimage to Maine for a three day cultural exchange. The Maine Trekkers arrived at Blueberry Cove 4-H camp at 5 pm, ready to meet and greet all of our friends from Camden. However, there were a couple snags…
On their way, the Urban Trekkers had a little bus trouble, mainly a flat tire which Mr. C dealt with by saying, “alright, we’re going to pull this bus to the side of the road, and be we’re going to be happy.” Good advice Mr. C, and it didn’t even make them turn around! A little late, all the Urban Trekkers arrived safely in Maine, just in time to make some pizza tortillas (perhaps the most delicious pizza tortillas the Maine Trekkers have ever had…) before doing a little closing activity and heading off to bed.
Mon Aug 23, 2010 Day 2
On our first full day together, the Urban and Maine Trekkers split into three groups and headed off to try out three distinctly Maine adventures. Some people started off Sea Kayaking with Port Clyde Kayaks, some began at Attwoods quarry and some began in Camden, climbing through the beautiful Camden Hills. Everyone got to try it all, switching it up throughout the day and experiencing the fun and excitement of each activity. Everyone got to see a whole slew of sea life on the kayaking piece, most exciting examples being a whole pod of porpoises and a bunch of seals swimming next to our boats. Some people took the plunge off of Attwoods substantial cliffs, some preferring to cheer the rest on or to simply hang out and talk. And although it was a bit of a soggy day, everyone got a chance to climb for some great views in Camden.
After such a full day, everyone was excited to come back to camp to a HUGE FEAST, put on by Trekkers board and community members in honor of the Urban Trekkers. We ate freshly caught lobster, home made baked beans, fresh fruit and pounds and pounds of pie.
After a clean up and our nightly circle, everyone went to bed full, happy and ready for the coming day.
Tue Aug 24, 2010 Day 3
On our last full day together, the sun decided to make an appearance! But before we headed out for a day of adventures, we all sat together to get deep about the issues of race, stereotyping, fear and ignorance that permeate our lives and put up barriers to all of us. It was an amazing conversation, full of honesty, openness and a true desire to move out of cycles of intolerance and into the open light of true acceptance and friendship. Everyone left the circle feeling more at home, more comfortable and more aware of their fellow Trekkers, both Urban and Maine, setting us up for an amazing day together.
With a beautiful, crisp day at our fingertips, all the Trekkers, Urban and rural, loaded up on buses and headed over to Camden to take in the views from the top of Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park. After some group photos and some lunch, everyone loaded back onto the buses and headed into Rockland for a little art exposure at the Farnsworth Art museum. Once students had satisfied their cultural side, everyone took a little free time to wander around town, taking in the sites and sounds of Rockland before heading over to the Apprentice Shop.
Both Maine Trekkers and Urban Trekkers have traditional boat building programs, though the Urban Trekkers have been building more complex boats than the Maine Trekkers have yet attempted. But still, it was cool for everyone to get a tour around the boat shop by Trekkers friend and Apprentice Shop Executive Director Eric Stockinger, who explained the ins and outs of traditional boat building in Rockland.
After all that touring, it was time for some activity so everyone headed over to the basketball courts outside of the Samoset for some intense basketball playing and some less intense football. Some chose instead to take a nap, or to walk the beautiful breakwater until it was time to load up once more for a quick swim in lake Megunticook before heading over to Bricks Pizza for dinner.
Thanks to our good friends at Doormans Ice Cream, we all got treated to delicious dessert, which wound us all up nicely for a little closing activity before heading off to bed.
Wed Aug 25, 2010 Final Day
It was sad to see it, but our Urban Trekker friends had to load back up on their bus and head home. No one wanted to see them go, but all good things must come to an end, and there is always next year.
All Trekkers said their goodbyes at around 6am, watched as the Urban Trekkers loaded up and waved as they drove away.
Another amazing year, another amazing learning opportunity, another amazing set of memories to bridge the gap in culture, experience and space between Maine and Camden, New Jersey.
Can’t wait for next year.