Photo Treks 2013 will be examining Social Justice through a lens this year. More specifically, we will be getting up close and personal with different cultures found within Maine to really find out who they are and what they are all about. This program as a whole aims to cultivate a new appreciation for photography, as well as broadened knowledge and a deeper respect for life outside of their own community.
Keri Wehrs, our professional photographer from Maine Media Workshop, will be teaching students photography techniques throughout our expedition, in addition to photo editing tips and tricks back at the lab. Students will select their best photos to edit and print which will be displayed at local art gallery this winter open to the public!
Stay tuned for our trip log, photos and more information regarding the gallery opening!!!
Thursday, Oct. 10th
Team Panther loaded up our bus, Lucy, after school and set off to Camp Kieve! For the first night we camped out on their ocean front property in platform tents and got to soak in the amazing views while the sun set. While dinner was being prepared by our wonderful cook crew, we started up an awesome game of King Frog!
We had delicous DIY pizza tortillas (don’t forget the sriracha sauce!) for dinner before resuming King Frog.The whale, koala and flying squirrel always had everyone laughing the rest of the night.
We wrapped up the evening with a quiet journal activity and some delicious hot cocoa before heading off to bed.
Friday, Oct. 11th
We had an early start the next morning as we headed out to Lewiston to spend the day at Tree Street Youth learning about the history of the city as well as the cultures that lie within. Julia, the executive director of Tree Street Youth kicked off the day with a short tour around downtown pointing out similarities and differences between our two communities. We walked past one of the local elementary schools and by several locations where buildings used to stand before the big fires that happened in Lewiston several years ago.
After our walk, we headed back to the youth center to meet the Street Leaders there where we played several icebreakers, including “Eat the Toast” and the line game. Later on we broke out into small group discussions for a bit before eating lunch. One of the street leaders was so generous and made everyone delicious sambusas – a traditional Somali dish!
Once lunch wrapped up, we split off into a girls group and boys group to take another brief tour of the town led by the street leaders to really see more of what life was like through their eyes.
Our Trekkers gave one last big thank you to Julia and everyone at Tree Street Youth before heading back to Kieve for the evening. Lucky for us the staff at Kieve are so awesome and arranged for us to stay in one of their beautiful cabins the rest of the weekend so we settled in a bit before heading down to the kitchen for supper – spaghetti and garlic bread!
Saturday, Oct. 12th
With a long day of driving ahead of us (and lots of silent football!), we all got rolling pretty early to head up to Augusta for our first stop at the Bread of Life Ministries Soup Kitchen. Joe and Arlene, the founders, sat us down and shared the history of their kitchen and why they do what they do. Joe gave us a tour of the dining area and food storage area in the basement.
Running a bit low on food, we made a pit stop at the Hannafords in Augusta. This happened to be one of the newer stores who has put into practice a ton of new, innovative “green” practices throughout. The store manager took us on a tour and pointed out many of the changes that have been made such as incorporating more natural light and energy efficient refrigeration areas.
Next we continued north to Corinna to visit Paul and Mary who are a lovely Amish-Mennonite couple who were gracious enough to show us their home, Paul’s wood shop and their place of worship. They explained to us about their faith and way of life which was all very interesting. Paul’s current project in shop happened to be a coffin and proved to be a great conversational piece!
After a long day, we made our way back to camp where we indulged in one of the all time favorite Trekkers dinners – homemade mac n’ cheese! Everyone was pretty tired so we all took a quick shower then it was off to bed.
Sunday, Oct. 13th
For our last full day together we took off to Portland where we first visited the Nagaloka Buddhist Center located downtown. Dharmasuri, the Chairperson for the center, had everyone sit in the area where they hold their meditations and gave us a brief history of the center and of Buddhism in general. She answered all of our questions and even led us in a short meditation session!
Finally after long awaited anticipation, our mystery activity was revealed… ROLLER SKATING!!! There were a few bumps and bruises, but we all came out in one piece.
DJ Lindsey started up a dance partay on the bus ride back to Kieve, pumping everyone up to go jump in the lake (Kari’s action photos are still to come!). We saw lots of giant, decorated pumpkins on the ride back in Damariscotta and even another Trekkers bus out on Trektoberfest.
Everyone needed to be warmed up a little after a chilly dip in the lake, so we feasted on grilled cheeeeeese and tomato soup for dinner! We did a journal pass activity to commemorate the last night of the expedition, but the night didn’t end there. Ghost stories, face masks, and Haley giving Shane a scare seemed to be highlights of the last evening together..
Monday, Oct. 14th
After cleaning up the cabins at Kieve, we all loaded Lucy up again and set off for Maine Media Center to edit the photos we had been taking throughout the long weekend. The bus ride was filled with lots of laughs, memories, and a few last rounds of Mafia!
At Maine Media, Kari took us all through the process of uploading and touching up our pictures on Lightroom. Each student selected their top four or five photos and had the chance to share them with the rest of the group and get some positive feedback. It was so great everyone’s final work! This year’s exhibit is going to be incredible, you don’t want to miss it!
All around this years’ Photo Treks was an amazing experience – a huge thanks to Kieve Leadership School, Tree Street Youth, Bread of Life Ministries, Paul & Mary Nols, Nagaloka Buddhist Center and of course to all of our wonderful trip leaders: Shane, Kari, Sarah, Lindsey, and as always Team Panther leader Captain Carver!