I have been off to Maine this past week with a group of students from my school. This was our fifth annual community service trip to Chewonki, a camp on the Maine coast in Wiscasset. We worked hard, lugging firewood, cleaning out the hay loft, painting a hallway, pulling thistle from the meadow, milking the cow, donning hip boots and wading into the frog pond to pull out the old docks, putting cedar shingles on an exterior wall, applying bottom paint to the sailboats and more.. it was an exhausting week, but collectively, these trips during the past five years have been the highlight of my career as a teacher.
For many of the students, the trip is their first to Maine. We do a lot more than simply work at the camp. We enjoy pizza on Ocean Point in East Boothbay, play mini golf, sample ice cream of often as possible, play games in the dining hall till lights out, visit small coastal towns ( this year we spent time in Bath and in Portsmouth NH). We had dinner at 5 Islands Lobster Company where a friendly fisherman from town gave me a tip on parking.. and, yesterday, we traveled to Monhegan Island. We had an absolutely glorious day.. not too hot.. clear as a bell.. we had to leave camp early to catch the 9 am boat out of New Harbor. The trip to the island is an hour in length. We saw a few porpoise on the way out.. Along with the students, this was my fist trip to the island.. it certainly will not be my last. I am including a few pics here, but there is so much to see. no cars.. just dirt roads and exciting trails along the perimeter and across the breadth of the island.. We spent the morning hiking, and we enjoyed visiting the shops in the village after lunch before catching the 3 pm boat back to the mainland. On the way in, we were fortunate to spot a seal sunning itself on the rocks…
I am already looking forward to making this a cruising destination next summer, once the boat is safe and sound in Maine.. all the more reason to get her in the water and her bow pointed north!
The kids had a great time all week, and it was so much fun to be with them. This is just the kind of experience that we older adults need to have in order to re-new our faith in the current generation!