As Trekkers celebrates its 21st year of serving local youth, the Thomaston-based mentoring organization completed two educational expeditions for its 9th grade classes during the week of February vacation. Trekkers’ Program Staff led Team North Face and Team Patagonia students and their adult mentors on 10-day “Ride Through History” journeys, with experiential education that focused on the historical events that helped form our nation. Their collective exploration took them through the cultures and history of Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
Through a combination of tours, interactive multi-media, group discussions and hours of bus riding, these two groups learned firsthand about the circumstances of our country’s founding. Accompanied by adult mentors and student leaders, they also had the opportunity to connect with caring role models from their community while discovering new aspects of themselves and their peers.
In Boston, Team Patagonia’s students and mentors completed a tour of the Freedom Trail, where they learned about the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. They also visited the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest American warship, and the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution.
In Camden, New Jersey, Team Patagonia met up with students from Trekkers’ sister organization, Urban Trekkers, for a one-day cultural exchange. The experience granted the Maine Trekkers the chance to build meaningful relationships and it encouraged cross-cultural understanding and dialogue with the urban youth.
Team North Face students participated in a community service project while in Philadelphia. They volunteered at Philabundance, a hunger relief community kitchen and adult culinary arts vocational training program that distributes 20 million pounds of food per year to agencies and area emergency kitchens serving people with food insecurity. The team filled food boxes with almost 5000 pounds of cereal, crackers and snacks!
Both teams toured the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, and the National Constitution Center and ran the infamous Rocky Steps while in Philadelphia. In Washington, D.C., students visited a variety of national landmarks, including the White House, National Museum of Natural History, Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol Building. The students also toured of some of the most famous monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
To learn more about Trekkers’ recent “Ride Through History” expeditions, including the trip logs and photographs, visit www.trekkers.org. If you would like more information about Trekkers or its expeditionary learning programs, please call (207) 594-5095.