Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Not Goodbye, It's See You Later!

Well my friends, the time has arrived. As summer programming comes to an end, I find myself on this last day reminiscing about the past 2 months,  and also wondering what lies ahead! This summer has been a great one, and being given the opportunity to spend every single day outside has been incredible. I think my favorite part about this summer has been watching the kids' faces when they discover something new and exciting, and sometimes unexpected!

Each day, I began my mornings by arriving at the Boston Children's Museum. The beautiful skyline greeted me across the Fort Point Channel, and overall sunny skies were present for the majority of this summer!

The entrance to the Boston Children's Museum

For the most part, we had different visitors stop by the touch tank everyday. I would say about half were locals, while the other half were visitors from overseas, which always made conversation fun and enjoyable! Hearing all of the different accents reminded me of what an attractive and desirable city we Bostonians get to call home, as families and individuals from all over the world come here to explore the city and surrounding areas. In addition, there were also a handful of returning faces that I loved to see -- kids with their parents, grandparents and babysitters who would stop by at least once a week!

This explorer visited 3 times in one week!

My afternoons were spent up at Community Boating Inc. along the beautiful Charles River. Despite providing a calm and relaxing environment, the Charles also carries with it this vibrant energy that easily draws one in. C.B.I. never got boring, as there was always something to do! We were fortunate enough to be placed with a sailing instructor from C.B.I., who helped us throughout the summer and had access to the kayaks and sailboats! The kayaks were a great mode of transportation to get us up and down the river, and allowed the kids to explore their surroundings and any creatures that lie above them in the trees, in the plants along the river bank, or even below them in the river itself! On some days, we let the kids bring a few fishing poles right out on the sailboats as well. The kids loved this, and especially loved the opportunity to show off their sailing knowledge and skills to all of us. However, fishing was the kids' favorite activity by far. Despite not catching a carp, the kids' patience was awarded with plenty of sunfish, a couple bass and even a perch! It was always interesting to discuss the concept of carp cookies to new faces. For the most part, the kids were crazy about getting their hands dirty with the flour, water and sugar combination! C.B.I. was a great way to end my day everyday, and I'll miss being there everyday for sure.

Memories from Week 1!
Fascinating eels!

Spending this summer with curious young people and a great high school team has made it an exciting one, and it's crazy to think that Labor Day is right around the corner. I want to say Thank You!!! to everyone at Save the Harbor for giving me this opportunity this summer, and especially to the junior assistants who I had the pleasure of working with everyday. It was really nice getting to know each of you, and I wish you all the best for the future! (Or for next month, whether it be school, a new job, or some other exciting adventure!). My only parting advice is this -- be ADVENTUROUS. Find the desire to explore; to see new places and meet new people from other communities/cultures. Boston may be wonderful (trust me, it is my favorite place to be and to call home!), but other new and different places are out there. Basically, what I'm really trying to say is don't be afraid. I like to view life as an adventure, but in particular one that always involves the sea!

-Ashley Wakefield, Senior Harbor Educator at Boston Children's Museum and Community Boating

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