Friday, January 15, 2016
Team Penobscot hopped on the Trekkers bus right after school to first head to Hannaford’s for a food shop, then went straight to the Root Cellar in Portland. The Root Cellar is a faith-based organization whose mission is to “unite the local community in the common cause of satisfying the physical and spiritual needs of inner-city youth and their families.” They opened up their doors for us to use their industrial kitchen, their classrooms as sleeping spaces, and their game room and cafeteria as common spaces for us to hang out, play games, and participate in group initiatives. Upon arrival, we all got right to making dinner, and playing games in their teen room. After dinner, we played a series of group games, dived into games and conversations around individual and group values, and all did a journaling activity. Right before bed, we all played a bunch of pool, ping pong, air hockey, and Sorry! in the teen room. It felt great to all be back together again, laughing and joking around, and getting back into the Trekkers groove.
Saturday, January 16th
We woke up to a sheet of ice covering the driveway, the streets, and the bus! This commenced a snow day spent inside the Root Cellar, which Team Penobscot proved to be very good at. We spent the day playing group games led by each leader, and some longer and more meaningful group initiatives. Everyone participated in a spotting sequence, learning how to properly spot each other when leaning, which led into a group “levitation!”, an activity where one person starts from the ground and is carefully lifted by about 7 other people, and when raised to hip-height, is swayed back and forth and slowly lowered back to the ground. Everyone was amazed by how high it actually felt they were going, and when they reached the ground, they felt they were still up in the air, or “levitating”. This led into the “Spiderweb” activity, which brought the group to work incredibly well together, setting goals and communicating strategies with one another to carefully and safely tran
sport each group member through a series of holes in the spiderweb.
On Saturday night, we all hung out with about 15 other teen agers who frequent the Root Cellar for their Teen Night. We played a game with each other that helped us get to know each other and to break the ice, since we were two pretty well-formed groups coming together. After a group game, we all hung out in the teen room playing games together. It was great to get to know this group, and to learn more about the programs that Root Cellar provides to families in the Portland community.
Sunday, January 17th
We started the day by going to Vajra Viday Tibetan Buddhist Center, where Kate Moon taught is all about their practice, how she found Buddhism, allowed us all to ask any questions we had, and led us in a couple of short meditations. Many of us were surprised by how easy it was to quiet our thoughts and be immersed in the meditation, while others of us found it difficult to fall into a peaceful meditation. It was a very meaningful experience, and we all took away some lessons of mindfulness, and some strategies of quieting our minds when there is so much going on around us and in our lives.
When we left the Buddhist Center, we went straight to the Family Ice Center, where we got to skate on the Twombly Ice Pond all together! We all had a blast learning to ice skate from the skilled Natasha (a leader on our trip!), showing off some of our mad skills, and some of us carefully held on to one another as we made our way around the pond. It was a great way to bring an end to the weekend, and we are all ready for our 10 day Ride Through History trip coming up in mid-February!