Since July 1st UrbanTrekkers and Urban BoatWorks have had an amazing first half to our FYE 12 calendar. Over 100 students from UrbanPromise Ministries, Sacred Heart School and the Camden Academy Charter High School are participating in the experiential learning programs created by UrbanTrekkers and Urban BoatWorks. We continue to see the integration of academic and extra-curricular programming as complementing and enhancing the learning experiences of our urban youth.
For instance both the UrbanPromise Academy (UPA) and the Camden Academy Charter High School (CACHS) have included boat building into their math and science curriculum. The freshman students from UPA and a group of seniors from CACHS find through boat building they discover application for lessons from the classroom. Ms. Perez the science teacher from the UrbanPromise Academy sees her classroom extended to the littoral zone along the Assateague Island beaches. Mr. Watkins our history teacher prepares for the annual Washington DC trip where students spend four days visiting Smithsonian’s, memorials, the Capitol, Mt Vernon and an assortment of places where history has been made.
And winter does not slow us down…I love winter! Getting outside into the woods on cold crisp days…now, I do need to be dressed properly of course; many warm layers of hi-tech fabric from REI or LL Bean can make the experience quite comfortable. Sharing this experience with the UrbanTrekkers next month in the Delaware Water Gap will be a first time experience for ten young men on a male leadership retreat. The Appalachian Mountain Club will loan the youth all the clothing and gear needed for our Winter Adventure at Camp Mohican; from investigating animal tracks and scat to snow shoeing along part of the Appalachian Trail. Outdoor adventures like this give us valuable time to speak into the lives of our students about deeper issues relating to character and faith.
Winter in the boat shop means that all eight boats being built this year have taken on the form of the canoe or kayak they will be finished in…there is always more excitement in the shop when the boats begin to look like boats but that is also when the most repetitive and challenging work begins. Most days resin and wood dust fills the air as students’ sand and epoxy the hulls and decks of their boats. The cedar-strip kayaks require hours and hours of hand planning the angled strips leaving only curly shavings of aromatic red cedar on the shop floor.
I want to thank you for your support to the young men and women of Camden that are impacted by your support and the encouragement it gives to all of us…Best Wishes for 2012!
Keep on Trekking,