Trekkers eighth-graders make expedition through New England

Sep 13, 2017
Trekkers’ Team Beacon at Brewster River Campground in Jeffersonville, Vt.

Thomaston — Sixteen 8th-grade advanced Trekkers, along with five student leaders, two AmeriCorps volunteers and two staff members, recently returned from a 10-day educational expedition. This group of eighth-graders, known as Team Beacon, was the second group of students to complete their Trekkers expedition this summer. They departed July 17 and returned to Maine July 26.

After a year of planning and an equipment check, Team Beacon set out for their 10-day expedition throughout the Northeast. Their first stop was in Wells, where they visited the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Preserve for the Environmental Stewardship component of the expedition. Team Beacon wanted to learn about endangered species in New England, so they hiked down to the beach to observe tern and plover populations that are endangered on the coast of Maine.

On the second day of their expedition, the students met with former Trekkers’ AmeriCorps member Neal Young, who is currently working with the Iraqi Youth Leadership Program to help Iraqi students with both awareness and advocacy for refugees and the Iraqi population as a whole. Team Beacon spent a couple of hours with the IYLP students for their Cultural Exchange component.

Heading into the third day of the expedition, the group joined up with Meredith Lynt and the trainees from Trekkers Training Institute for Youth Development.

The following day, the trainees joined Team Beacon for their Wilderness Component, hiking Camel’s Hump, the third-highest peak in Vermont. The strenuous climb up was rewarded with 360-degree views of the Green Mountains from the summit. The long hike down was rewarded with a trip to the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

The team also participated in their Community Service component by loading up canoes from Bert’s Boats to clean a five-mile stretch of the Lamoille River. Their cumulative haul included seven tires, two bicycles, a lawn mower, horseshoes, tarps and a stuffed dog that the students named Sparky and begged to keep as their own.

Their next day was a full day of driving to Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Connecticut, which would serve as their base camp for the next few days as the team visited Six Flags and ziplined at Berkshire East for their Adventure Component.

To learn more about Trekkers, call 594-5095.

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