Trekkers 8th Grade Students Return from 14-day Expedition
Thirteen 8th graders, along with four student leaders and four adult leaders recently participated in a two-week expedition with Trekkers, a youth-mentoring organization that connects young people and caring adults through expeditionary learning. Team North Face was the second group of 8th grade students to travel with Trekkers this summer. Team North Face departed for their expedition just as another Advanced Trekkers’ group, Team Patagonia, returned from their 14-day journey. Although both teams had similar goals, their expeditions followed unique paths.
As part of the Trekkers’ educational process, each team develops their own itineraries over the course of a ten month period. Because the expeditions require five different educational components, the students are able to structure their expeditions based on decisions they make as a group. The educational components for each expedition include wilderness exploration, community service, environmental stewardship, adventure-based education and cultural awareness.
After a school year of planning and one final equipment check, Team North Face boarded Lucy, the Trekkers’ bus, on July 7 to travel through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They stayed two nights at Mt. Osceola Campground, hiking 6.4 miles along the Mt. Osceola Trail via Tripoli Road at 4,340 feet in elevation for their wilderness exploration. Their next stop was New York State, where they stayed at Lewey Lake. Whitewater rafting with Adirondack River Outfitters on the Hudson River was a fun adventure for their second night in New York.
Continuing on with their well-thought-out plan, Team North Face stopped for a four day stay in Pennsylvania where they explored Little Grand Canyon, a 47-mile gorge carved by Pine Creek and visited Amish Country with a tour by the Mennonite Center. They headed to New Jersey on the next part of the expedition, staying the First United Methodist Church in Moorestown, where their community service component was volunteering at the New Visions Homeless Day Shelter, a day service center that provides shelter and warmth to Camden, New Jersey’s homeless community. They also went bowling with a few members of Urban Trekkers. During their two-night stay at Cheesequake State Park, they met with the American Littoral Society in Sandy Hook Bay to learn about natural barriers and environmental restoration, as well as visiting Hurricane Sandy restoration projects along the Jersey Shore. On their third day in New Jersey, the group “Rebuilding Together” showed them their housing rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Sandy, as well as taught them about housing elevation challenges and the processes of obtaining flood insurance. On the way back to Maine, a stop was made in Ipswich, Massachusetts for two nights, with a surprise stop for the day at Crane’s Beach in Ipswich. Then, they cleaned the bus and had an ice cream sundae party at night during journaling.
According to Alaina Ennamorati, Trekkers’ Program Manager for Team North Face, “Team North Face worked as a group to accomplish their expedition goals and expand their horizons through exploring their five trip components. More so, they came together as a team, pushed through challenges by supporting one another, and created everlasting memories in just 14 days. I cannot thank the leadership team enough for creating a wonderful space for these students to express themselves fully, learn from one another and become a cohesive family.” As one student stated, “If I’m comfortable with someone or everyone, then I can step out of my comfort zone and be open to new experiences.”
To see more pictures or read the trip log from the expedition, please visit www.trekkers.org and following the links to the Advanced Trekkers page. You can also view more photos by visiting Trekkers’ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/trekkersonline. If you’d like to learn more about Trekkers, please call (207) 594-5095.