Trekkers’ 9th grade Team Penobscot and 10th grade Team Patagonia completed Short Trek expeditions in November. The focus of these local, short-term expeditions is to provide an outdoor-based teambuilding experience for students and mentors. Both of the November Short Treks incorporated a community service project and the chance for the students to practice their consensus based decision-making skills.
Led by Program Manager Hannah Tannebring, the Team Penobscot group of 13 students and three leaders headed to Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, which served as home base for their Veterans Day overnight expedition. Upon arrival, they worked on a service project at Camp Kieve, which entailed clearing leaves on the grounds and around the cabins. The team’s evening hours were filled with games, meaningful discussion around community service and Veterans Day, as well as consensus decision making. The following morning, students and leaders headed to Portland to volunteer at Preble Street, where they worked in the kitchen serving clients, as well as sorting large quantities of donated food. The experience was very illuminating for the group, leading to further awareness around the challenges people can face in their lives.
On November 4, eleven Team Patagonia students and two leaders participated in a half-day outing, also led by Program Manager Tannebring. The group’s community service endeavor involved three hours of volunteer work at a Habitat for Humanity project in Rockland. The group shingled two sheds, insulated the walls inside the house, and learned about electrical work. After this experience, they headed to Pendleton Field at Oceanside West to cheer on the girls’ soccer team in their final game of the play-offs. After the game, Team Patagonia stopped at The Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston to play games, make consensus decisions, and eat pizza.
Having completed this first series of Short Trek expeditions of the year, Trekkers’ Teams Penobscot and Patagonia will be better prepared for their respective educational expeditions, which will take place next year. Team Penobscot will participate in a 10-day “Ride Through History” expedition in February that focuses on the historical events that helped form our nation. Team Patagonia will venture on a 12-day “Cross-America” expedition next summer, exploring the environmental and cultural uniqueness of a region they select. 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 200 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.