Well, I have just completed my first week with SHSB's Summer Youth Program and not only was it unique and fun, but it was scorching hot. If I had ever had any doubts or debate about my summer employment opportunities, such second guesses were done away with once stepping out into that heat and knowing I would be beside the water all day. The kids seemed to all share in my relief. I spent my mornings at the Courageous Sailing Center at the Umass Boston site and my afternoons in South Boston on Castle Island. To think many of my peers were stuck in a cubicle all week!
While we had a week of orientation and training, in truth, I still did not know what to expect from my first days. I soon discovered that "working at or far Save the Harbor" is not the correct phrasing. In the words of all the kids, it is "Are you doing Save the Harbor Save the Bay?" It is always the direct object of an action verb with an inherent positive connotation. Always with the tone of excitement accompanied by an undertone of anxiety that they may not get a chance to participate. In essence, the arrival of SHSB youth program employees means the imminent approach of fun. Individual kids will pull us aside so as to ensure their chance at pulling up the crab traps, use their own fishing rod, picking up and investigating the crabs, and fetching muscles to break open to use as bait. Little do they know that providing said opportunities are precisely our intentions. I had no anticipation that the children would arrive with such an inherent hunger for all things nature and harbor related. I quickly became in touch with and was able to relive my youthful affinity for the water and its creatures. The conversations with the children are never dull and quite frankly, thought-provoking. "Does it scare you that there is a whole 'nother world down there?" "I heard that we know less about the bottom of the ocean than we do about space." Let's just say that I quickly learned that there was a whole lot more going on at the Umass Boston site than the worship of our late president's relic.
- Dan Ken