Fri. May 9, 2014
First Day in Acadia
Neal here, reporting from the Green Bean Crew.
Today our newest group of Trekkers began a 6 year odyssey with the program that could take them from the wilds of the Berkshires, to the shores of the Pacific and glimmering cities throughout the East Coast. Their first adventure would take place in Acadia National Park and consist of three days camping while taking on hikes, climbs, canoeing and reflection while surrounded by a strong group of adults from our community.
Students traded a day of traditional learning for the experiential model as we loaded up on Ole’ Bessy with our sites on Blackwoods Campground and the nearby summit of Cadillac Mountain. Don said “a vroom, a-chick-a vroom” and we were off.The ride up was filled with games and punctuated by group songs led by Don as he transported us to our destination. Catchphrase caught fire the moment it was discovered and looked to dominate the ride before the mafia came to town. Aidan and Jack met early demises as the mafia assassins carried out their dirty deeds on their way to a victory over the “towns folk” during this first of many group games.
After camp was set, we made our way to the trail head with Baxter (our fury team mascot) leading the pack. We started throwing out team names when Cameron put out “Green Beans”. Shortly after, Ryan (our tour guide) told us the story of a soccer team in Columbus, OH named “the crew” after a sole voter submitted a ballot to name the team. This was quickly added to our name thus The Green Bean Crew was born. Our group struggled through the rugged terrain while triumphantly marking each step forward with the calls of seals (Annie) and “signature laughs” (Jacob & Cameron). We braved the wind at the summit to take in the view and then started the second half of our 7 miles hike back to camp.
Preparations for a spaghetti dinner started upon arrival back at Blackwoods and before long we were settling in for our first Chow Circle. During Chow Circle we think of something we are each grateful for from that day before “passing the pulse” around the circle and digging into whatever delicious meal has been prepared. A long day and full bellies led to a quick “lights out” after we circled one more time to process the day.
Sat. May 10, 2014
Day 2: Rocks, Canoeing & the power of Wah
I went around bright and early to wake up the boys (Jacob, Cameron & Dylan) and Karly (a.k.a. Mac-Daddy) went around to woke up our girls (Laura & Annie). Jacob practically leapt out of the tent to escape the relentless pillow-thrashing madness that had erupted. The rest of the group quickly followed suit as you could already smell the makings of Paul’s famous Huevos Rancheros. The sky’s held up for breakfast, but we could all see a storm was brewing.
We arrived at our canoe site decked out in our rain gear and muck boots. Don joined us for this leg of the trip and took up the caboose with Dylan while Sheryl & Laura powered ahead to set the pace. I was in a boat with Jacob and, after some practice, we managed to keep up with the powerhouse of Sheryl & Laura. Cameron took up a boat with Paul and was privy to much sought after bird knowledge and interesting facts about our surroundings. Annie & Karly were never far behind & could always be heard as Annie jubilantly let loose her signing voice whenever an opportunity arose. Mike was blessed with additional maneuverability in his kayak and thus better able to view the weird white rock that would eventually prove to be a floating pig carcass…
Throughout our time canoeing the rain came down in sheets. This all of us, especially Laura, pretty well drenched. The group rallied incredibly well after lunch and a game of “WAHHH!”. We chopped and slashed the air as we sent the “WAHH” and received the “WOOOH”. The weather was improving and our spirits were high as we left for the rocks to see some incredible views.
As the day continued to bloom we ventured into the picturesque village of Bar Harbor where, to the surprise and excitement of all, Paul treated all of us to ice cream. While letting our stomachs settle we made our way to the gazebo and took a few minutes to write about our experience so far. With a renewed burst of energy we left the gazebo and headed to the ball field for an epic game of kick ball. Jacob took things up a notch when he slid into second and their was intense completion form their on out. Dylan proved to be a terror at the plate as he launched the kick ball deep into the outfield time and again.
Dylan, Annie, Jacob, Mike and Sheryl were off to a quick lead and were up 12-7 going into the last two innings. Don and a local kid joined our team late and we began to rally with great plays in the field by Cameron, Karly and Laura. It was the bottom of the final inning all members got in big kicks. Even Karly, who was effectively down to only one working ankle at this point. In an exciting end to a great game the score was tied 12-12 as Mike caught the final kick for an out.
Red Team: While the Green Bean Crew was still eating breakfast, Red-der is Better took advantage of a brake in the weather to journal amongst the rocks of the Thunder Hole. Students were able to watch a geyser of water shoot up out from between the rocks while taking a moment to reflect. They then made a quick transition to more light hearted activities as they “sag” walked through Bar Harbor. Stu was so impressed that he awarded all of them with ice cream!
Blue Team: Both Red & Blue struggled against the elements throughout Day 2. The Blue Squirrels, however, found sunshine everywhere they went. The Blue Squirrels used this good fortune to play a game that left them making their best bacon impressions before heading to town for their own cold treat.
Sun. May 11, 2014
Our Final Day
Green Bean Crew took a little more assistance getting up this morning. Their is little motivation to start tearing down camp and packing up after an experience like ours. To get us moving, we played a group favorite: Ninja! Laura gave an impressive “HEEE-YAAH” at the start and used her skill to get nearly to the end. Jacob, always a perennially contender, swung with reckless abandon but would eventually be felled by Sheryl. Annie, our reigning Champion, fared well early on but would also succumb to the ninja skills of Cameron. Only one could survive.
It was a beautiful, warm day and we made our way down to a landing in Bar Harbor to take in the views while reflecting in our journals one last time. With the serious stuff out of the way, the Green Bean Crew stood at attention – Captain’s Coming! Students grabbed partners to carry out commands yelled by Captain. These included seasick, torpedo, walk the blank, land ho! and crow’s nest. Mike & Paul’s good natured style of play would only take them so far in this cut throat game and they soon found themselves on the sidelines as Annie, Laura & I yelled out commands. Karly proved to be a dead ringer for a Mermaid & Dylan proved his seaworthiness with an impressive demonstration of rowing technique while carrying out Landing Party.
After playing similar games, all three teams met up at Sand Beach to bask in the sun and display their athletic prowess during Ultimate Frisbee. Blue Squirrel recruit Ed Collins connected with Amos of Red Team for a Dragon score. Bea & Steve would continue to argue that Red-der is better by connecting for several throws in a row for the Dragons. Luckily, Kane was able and played some great shutout defense in between laying out for some Hail Mary plays alongside teammate Aidan and the Grumbles were able to make up some ground. Alex joined the game just in time and helped make up the difference as the Grumbles fought to a tie with the Red Dragons
During this madness, others decided to take in the beautiful cliffs and ocean views while basking in the sun. By the end of the game some of us were thinking that Kyla, Misty, Laura and others could have had the right idea.
To close out this incredible weekend, all teams made their way to the amphitheater to show off a skit & chant that they had created earlier in the day. The performances for each team are described below:
Blue Team: The Blue Squirrels marched into the staging area before storming the stage to act out their weekend with incredible realism. We saw their experiences hiking, bringing great weather and their discovery of the “Man-Bear-Big” floating in the river. Blue team finished by fleeing off stage, demonstrating grace, athleticism and creativity in doing do. Phil did, however worry the audience with a daring jump up & over the railing. They finished with a yell of “Squirrel” and everyone quickly removed their feet from the ground.
Red Team: To show that “Red-der is better”, the Red Team acted out ways it had helped the other teams. Sydney, who played a member of the Blue Team, had all the items returned to her that she lost during the trip. Steve, my twin brother, acted as my stand in while begging for firewood & coffee. After clearing off, “Farkle” came back around to demonstrate “Tarkle’s” creepy smile &, a characteristic previously unknown to the author, a love of jazz hands.
Green Team: The Green Beans let their love of Ninjas & Pirates carry them as the group ran out to face each other in their best ninja pose before acting out the weekend to the tune of “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas. We demonstrated our keen Pirate abilities with a quick go of Captain’s Coming exiting at the command of “Walk the Plank”.
THANK YOU FOR AN AMAZING TRIP! HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT THE REUNION!