Trekkers’ 8th grade Team Penobscot recently completed a three-day “Trektoberfest” expedition during Columbus Day weekend, to kick off their Advanced Trekkers program. The focus of this local, short-term expedition was to provide an outdoor-based experience for the students and mentors. Their Trektoberfest experience incorporated community service projects, teambuilding, traveling as a group on the Trekkers bus, and the chance to practice consensus based decision-making skills.
Leaving on Friday, the students excitedly boarded the Trekkers bus and went to explore the nine-acre corn maze at Beth’s Farm in Warren. Everyone got to sample fresh, crisp apples and apple cider, and almost all of the students made it through all eight check points of the maze. The group then headed to Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, which served as their home base for the two night expedition. During their stay, the group completed a service project at Kieve to give back to the staff and land. While lopping down trees, raking out the leaves on a hillside, the group worked efficiently and well as a team.
On Saturday, Team Penobscot started the day at the Hospitality House in Rockport, grouting the tiles in the entry way, putting the gardens to bed for the winter, planting garlic, cooking a delicious meal in the kitchen, and starting to install gutters for storm water catchment. Everyone was warmly welcomed by the Hospitality House staff, and the group got to share a Trekkers “chow circle” with youth tenants and staff there. It was a fulfilling, enriching, and fun experience for the students and mentors.
The Team spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and playing competitive games of water dodgeball at the Penobscot YMCA in Camden. On Sunday back at Camp Kieve, the students participated in team building activities and learned the consensus decision making process. The final activity of the weekend was a trip to Oakland Park Bowling Lanes in Rockport.
Having completed this local expedition, the Advanced Trekkers in Team Penobscot are now better prepared for their 10-day expedition, which will take place next summer. The consensus based decision-making process that the group practiced will be used throughout the school year in upcoming planning meetings, as the group collectively determines how to include five educational components in their summer expedition. Each Advanced Trekkers expedition incorporates the following educational components: community service, wilderness experience, cultural awareness, environmental stewardship and adventure-based education. Team Penobscot is one of two Advanced Trekkers groups for 8th graders. The second team of 8th grade students will also complete a similar weekend expedition during the month of October.
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. This year, Trekkers will serve more than 200 7th through 12th grade students from the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston.
For more information about Trekkers, visit www.trekkers.org or call (207) 594-5095.