Trekkers’ 9th grade Teams Atlas and Beacon, along with 10th grade Team Everest completed Short Trek expeditions in January. The focus of these weekend expeditions is to provide a quality teambuilding experience for students and mentors. All three Short Treks incorporated the chance for the students to practice their consensus based decision-making skills, preparing for their core expeditions coming up in February.
Led by Program Manager Hannah Tannebring, the Team Everest group of eight students and three leaders headed to Camp Kieve in Nobleboro on January 19, which served as home base for their overnight expedition. Earlier in the year, Team Everest worked together to make the decision to do a first-time Trekkers Expedition to Houston, Texas in February to focus on disaster relief from impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The team’s evening hours of their overnight were filled with games and meaningful discussion around trust and communication, tying those themes to their upcoming expedition. The team watched newscasts of footage from the hurricane, along with the extreme efforts made all over the world to help those heavily impacted from the storm. The group discussed the reasons behind heading to Houston and focused on planning the trip to suit everyone’s interests and needs. The following morning, students and leaders participated in rock climbing and a series of indoor high rope course initiatives, led by Camp Kieve staff. One of the students reflected, “Trekkers is a really good break from life, you are able to clear your mind and re-level with yourself.”
On January 13, eight Team Atlas students and three leaders participated in a three-day outing, led by Program Manager Lindsey Evans. Their destination for the weekend was The Root Cellar in Portland, Maine. Upon arrival, they spent the evening reconnecting as a group by playing a few games, journaling, and watching Remember the Titans. On Sunday, the group headed out for a day in Boston where they explored the USS Constitution Museum and went ice skating. Not even the freezing temperatures could keep Team Atlas students from having a blast, getting back into the Trekkers swing of things! One of the leaders remarked, “It is hard to explain, but being a leader always feels like it brings me closer to my truest self.”
Program Manager Brandon Caron led Team Beacon on a short trek on Saturday, January 13 with its sights set on Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a day of yoga, meditation, and laser tag. However, for the first time in Trekkers history, the itinerary did not go as planned! Team Beacon made it to Wiscasset, where they encountered some bus issues that required them to turn back towards home. They recovered with some quick improvising that led to bowling, hot chocolate on top of Mount Battie in Camden, and dinner as a team at Flatbread Pizza! Since then, Lucy was quickly and easily repaired and is ready to set out with Team Beacon in February for their 9th Grade Urban Expedition.
Having completed this first series of Short Trek expeditions of the year, Trekkers’ Teams Atlas, Beacon, and Everest are better prepared for their respective educational expeditions, which will take place later this coming February. Teams Atlas and Beacon will each participate in a 10-day “Urban Expedition” expedition learning first-hand about the environmental, economic and cultural similarities and differences that exist between Midcoast Maine and several major cities down the East Coast. Team Everest will venture on a 10-day “Cross-America Disaster Relief” expedition to Houston, Texas to help with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The consensus based decision-making process that the groups practiced this month will be used throughout the school year as part of their ongoing planning meetings. During those meetings, the groups will collectively decide how they will include five educational components in their expeditions: community service, wilderness exploration, cultural awareness, environmental stewardship and adventure-based education.
Trekkers is a non-profit outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. The organization serves the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston. This year, Trekkers will serve more than 240 students from grades 7 to 12 in Midcoast Maine.
For more information about Trekkers, please contact the office at (207) 594-5095 or visit www.trekkers.org.