Friday, July 31, 2015

Surviving the Heat

Hey friends of Save the Harbor!
This week was the hottest week yet, but we still had tons of fun at Blacks Creek. Word about Blacks Creek keeps spreading as new campers started coming, with some of them being related to kids that already attend our program. Their arrival brought about a new sense of enthusiasm among the kids, as their excitement to start coming to a new program infected the other campers.

The new week brought with it new activities. One of the new campers, Nate, introduced us to revenge taps, a game that went on for so long that nobody actually won. It has the same rules as regular taps, with the ability to reenter the game if the person that got you out is eliminated. It was fun, but nobody could stay in long enough to eliminate everyone else.

We also taught the kids the Save The Harbor song, but our initial singing didn't go too well. They much prefer Ride That Pony, though I'm not sure if it's because of the song or the dance.

More stories to come!
Dan O'Hara

Fun In The Water !

Today was a hot day. It was so hot that Ashley and Bret decided to dunk there hats in the water and pour it on their heads. As they were doing that Ashely said "ah, much better!" They kept doing it over and over and each time the smile on my face and the kids' faces got bigger and bigger. After it all they were so soaked, but that didn't even matter to them, they were having so much fun. I LOVE BLACKS CREEK!

Until we meet again

Having a Blast at Black's Creek

This week at Black's Creek we had to change up our plans due to the heatwave that hit Boston. Water breaks became a lot more frequent, and we spent a lot more time away from the beach and in the shade. The kids, though the heat took a lot out of them, offered no complaints. Even though they didn't like the heat, they still played games and ran around to their hearts' content.

While we spent a good deal of time in the shade, most of the kids were still drawn to the water, hoping to add to their ever-growing catch report. They used their hats and the plastic cups that we have to dump water on themselves to keep cool, and their silly antics brought a smile to all of our faces.

We also gained a few new members this week, and with their infectious smiles they quickly made friends.We've been lucky to have such a great group of kids that enjoy being there as much as we do. The heat did its best to keep us down, but Blacks Creek is too much fun to let something as little as heat get in the way.

Until next time!
Dan O'Hara 

Molly The Mermaid

Molly the mermaid and Sam
We had a special friend join us today on Blacks Creekm and her name is Molly the mermaid.
Our friend Sam took her time and built Molly on the sand. Molly the mermaid has seaweed for her hair, seaweed as her bracelet and chain. Molly also has rocks going down her stomach. Sam says that Molly has special powers and that she is the most beautiful mermaid in the whole wide world. Sam is one of are most creative kids that we have and all the other kids enjoy what she makes and I love see the creative things she comes up with every time we have her at Blacks Creek.

Molly says " Hi everyone."

Accessing All Access!

Hello again fellow adventurers!

This past week I had the opportunity to spend the week with the All Access Boston Harbor crew on Peddocks Island. Peddocks island is by far my favorite of the harbor islands. With a beach that surpasses that of any other island, a huge open field for intense kickball games, and a fishing area teaming with skates and crabs, this island has it all and then some!

Beating the heat!

Any day I get to spend in the water is a good one. Even though the water was ice cold, it was much better than cooking like an egg in the sweltering sun. Whenever you're on a beach with David Coffin, you always have to keep your head on a swivel. David's favorite thing to do on the beach is throw staff members into the water. Fortunately for me, I avoided his grasp last week, but in the future I'll have to keep my guard up. 

Before I could muster up the confidence to jump in the freezing water, I took part in one of the most intense kickball games of my life. The score was 4-2 in the last inning of the game, and my team was up. Never loosing sight of victory, we strode to the plate with our imaginary rally caps on. Everyone kicked the ball with confidence and pure power, and before I could blink, the winning run had crossed the plate and we won! We celebrated our timely victory with a celebratory jump in the water, and an amazing day at Peddocks came to an end. I'm looking forward to many more adventures to the many harbor islands we visit!

Until next time, keep on exploring

A Day Full of Selfies

It was a great day on all access! The sun was out, the water was cold, and the kids were happy. You couldn't ask for much more than that on a summer day. This week we took the kids to Peddock's Island; one of the two better islands along with Spectacle. Here, we played a enormous, and competitive game of kickball. But before we played, we had lunch. During lunch, I challenged all of the counselors to get a group selfie with all of their kids. There was no winner to this little competition, but it was funny watching all the counselors rally up their kids for a selfie.

After taking selfies and playing kickball, we headed down to the water to cool off. And before we went down to the water it was mandatory that I get a selfie with all of the staff too. They really didn't want to take one. But I told them put on their best happy face and pose for the picture. It was a hassle getting them together, but we finally did it. Tell me what you think of it.

Till later,


Fun Running in the Sun

As a Development Assistant at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, I took the opportunity to join All Access Boston Harbor on Wednesday to experience firsthand the impact our Youth Environmental Education Programs have on the youth and teens we take out to the Boston Harbor Islands. On this particular trip All Access took the kids to Spectacle Island. This island has an unusual history; in the early-to-mid 1900s the island was used as a landfill and was left derelict until renovations in the 1990s. Today, the island has been completely transformed into a beautiful recreational destination. This serves as a great example to the kids we bring on All Access how a previously heavily polluted area can be changed drastically, and the importance of protecting and valuing the natural resources in our own backyard.

Among the treasures you can find on the shores of Spectacle Island is beach glass!

On the boat ride to Spectacle Island I spoke to some of the kids and many of them had never been to Spectacle Island before, and for some this was their first time visiting the Boston Harbor Islands. It was exciting to think that today a whole new world would be opened up for them to explore and enjoy.

While on Spectacle Island I helped our Healthy Outdoor Activity Coordinator Lindsay Phenix and two other All Access staff lead a series of games for the kids. We played an intense game of football. Enough kids wanted to play that we started a kickball game as well. Some kids also played smaller games along the sidelines such as passing a volleyball. It was a joy to watch the kids laugh, run, and enjoy the sun and fresh air on such a beautiful day. 

Running around the bases while playing kickball.

After the games were wrapped up and the youth groups got ready to go back onto the boat, I had a chance to swim with the other staff. It is remarkable to think that only a few years ago none of this would have been possible. Now the kids who come to Spectacle Island as well as Peddocks and Georges through All Access will hopefully come to the Boston Harbor Islands again and again. After seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as they boarded the boat, I’m sure they will.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wrap up

Hey All,

It's been a really fun week at Children's Museum. We've been consistently catching fish. Plus, I caught my first fish there! First times are wonderful. I see that a lot with kids who go fishing for the first time. As soon as I say the word "fishing" their eyes light up, and they turn to their grown up and say " Oh _____, can I go fishing, can I?" Then, they sprint over to the rods, pick one up and either begin reeling or look up at me with a face full of questions. This is one of the best parts about being at the Children's Museum: I have the joy of seeing kids marvel, wonder, and have new experiences.

 I am satisfied with the week, and ready for it to come to a close. It's always a good feeling to have had a good, rigorous week that comes to a conclusion. Yes, it has been hot, but that's not important. What's important is that Mark, the JPA's, and myself are all ready and happy to be at our sites. So far, we have been.


Week in the Heat

Hey guys!!
This week the heat hit us hard. It makes the days feel longer, but maybe that's just me because it does not seem to slow down the kids. Nikita has been implementing new activities and projects to do at Piers Park so that we won't have to be in the sun as much and everyone seems to be enjoying it. I decided to do my hair for the first time this summer and then realized why I hadn't done it all summer. I go into work with it straightened to have it drenched in water within a hour into the beginning of the day. I didn't even make it to lunch. Carlos is fast to say the least. The kids also love dancing and showing us that they know all the new dance trends. Surprisingly, they know how to do it better than practically all the counselors. 

New week

Hey Everyone! It's Mauricio again and I am back with another blog on Piers Park Sailing Center! Here At Piers Park we get a new set of kids every week and they do various activities, from sailing, kayaking , catching fish, crabs, periwinkles , mussels, and plankton! I have the best time at Piers Park, the Harbor Explorers are great and always enthusiastic about playing games like fishy fishy cross my ocean , capture the flag, where the wind blows , and even ride that pony. The kids enjoy all the activities that we do, we even do project with them. Yesterday we made plankton nets with the Harbor Explorers. The plankton nets will help us catch a lot of plankton. The kids were so excited about making these and they were good at it for a first time thing. All together, Piers Park is great, the kids, the environment, and the staff! 

Till next blog! Sincerely Mauricio!  

Illustrious Harbor Illuminations

Hello again fellow explorers!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to work with some of my fellow Save the Harbor staff members at Hull's Harbor Illuminations ceremony. The late afternoon festivities included live music, free food, arts & crafts, and our Save the Harbor crew supplying fish painting and coloring. Although a dead skate can be disconcerting to some, once it is covered in multi-colored paint, just about everyone was interested in creating their very own fish print. With designs as simple as a single color, to superman and minion designs, I had my hands literally full of paint. At the end of the night we had over twenty different fish prints, and I had enough paint on me to create a print of my own! Thanks to our expert photographer, the picture below found its way to Save the Harbor's Facebook page, where my expert fish printing skills are on display for anyone who visits it!

Look Mom, I'm famous!

Around 8:00, the festivities came to an end, and everyone made their way to the edge of the Harbor, where hundreds of flares lined the shores waiting patiently to illuminate the water in a glorious red ring. After a signal flare was released from a fire boat in the center of the Harbor, the flares were lit in synchrony. The result was a magnificent display of lighting, as the entire harbor was illuminated from end to end. The pictures can't even do justice to how large-scale this ceremony was. Hundreds of people looked in awe at the beauty unfolding in front of them. 

Ring of Fire!
Harbor Illuminations a beautiful sight to see. The whole community coming together to produce such a spectacle was amazing. I was lucky to be a small part of what happened this past weekend, and hopefully I get to return next summer to see it all over again.

Until next time, keep on exploring!

Crabs > Skate

It surely has been an epic week for the crew over at Save the Harbor. The highlight of my week would probably have to be watching Little T, from St. Marks, catch a skate off the dock. This was the first big catch after many bites over the course of the summer. Despite the skate being the biggest Spectacle moment all summer, another particularly small part of my week was highly memorable. This would definitely have to be watching one of my campers catch a crab using one of our ugly sticks. This was legit.

Mini caught a crab!
Excitement all around for the squad!
For the first time in five years I led fishing this past Tuesday on All Access Boston Harbor. The bait used to catch this small green crab was a squid. Interestingly enough most of the squid was gone and the crab was latched onto a fairly minor part of our intended bait. Mini was part of one of the last groups to attend my fishing clinic, it feels awesome to say that, and achieve this great accomplishment. It was about 2 p.m and most would normally understand that the day is over at this point but Mini put up a a good bargain. Her words were simply "Can i fish for crabs?" That's all she had to say to win me over.

One cast...... BAM, a crab. God written or luck? The world may never know (No, this isn't a tootsie pop advertisement). This was very fun for all of us on AABH to see and a great end for our first day out on the island this week.

Until next time,

Ahmed Hassan

David the Goliath

Yesterday was my first time visiting Peddock's Island, one of the Boston Harbor islands in the rotation of the "All Access" team here at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. I had heard that All Access was fun, but I was unprepared for just how fun. After arriving on the island we immediately began a game of kickball, the holy grail of ll recess activities; my inner child was torn out of me, arriving with a hunger that could only be quenched by home-runs. Sadly my team and I were defeated 8-4 with the last four runs of the opponents runs coming in the last inning!

Only one thing could have washed away that heavy stench of defeat and that is the crashing of waves from the Atlantic Ocean; in other words, we went swimming. It was there on the beach that I encountered the infamous David Coffin, known for his expertise in the involuntary depositions of unsuspecting victims into the water. But today, he would no longer be considered a threat to the kind townspeople of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as on this day the mighty David was smitten, and at the hands of his own craft no less. After years of tormenting the poor village, the warriors were finally able to band together and cast the hardy beast into the ocean. And the village lived happy ever after..


Maxwilliams Iwuala

Sand sculpting

Sunday was a sandy day. Save the harbor staff went to Revere Beach to do a sand sculpting competition. One group decided to do the Save the Harbor logo while the team I was on was planning to do a touch tank. The touch tank came out as a bust. It was really bad. It honestly just looked like a mound of sand piled on top of each other with really bad pictures on them. We honestly gave up on that sculpture, like it was really just a failure.
Then, Ian came up with sculpting an alligator and we all pitched in and it came out amazingly. I was shocked how good it looked. Since the alligator ended up looking how amazing it was, we decided we were going to enter that in the competition. That "fish tank" ended up turning into a chair for us to sit down in when we needed to relax really quickly. It's a good thing that we entered that alligator sculpture because it won first place. The Save the Harbor logo did look good too .Until next time bye guys


Spending the summer in the sea and sand !

Hey guys !
I have had the best start to the week. It all started at the Rever Beach Sand Sculpting Competition, where we entered the amateur group competition and we won against some of our collegues with our marvelous alligator.
Next, I joined my All Access crew on Pedocks, where we relaxed in the sun and swam all day! On the boat ride to Pedocks, we played a ton of card games that I had never played before. I bonded with my fellow collegues in a way we never had before. 
This has to be the best start to the week I've ever had. I am so happy to have  had such an amazing few days. I can't wait for the rest of the week. Until next time !
P.S. If you were wondering this is our official looking medal for the competition. 


So far this week has been very different in terms of things that I've done so far.  On Monday I was at the children's museum doing fish prints, and I had so much fun that I didn't realize the skate had spikes so I had little scratches on my finger tips . It was so cool seeing all the kids pick different colors. While most siblings picked the same colors they were still all unique. Then on Tuesday I was at Carson and it was so hot even before I got there. When I got there the beach looked so pretty while the soccer camp was setting up . A couple minutes later the kids started arriving little by little. Then Santiago said "let's play a game", but it sort of looked more like a warm up . It was pretty cool to be honest. The game involved numbers and fruits; although I forgot the name it was pretty fun! I'm pretty sure you guys all know Preston and how competitive he is when it comes to sports. Well , it was time to play handball and it was our team verses his. He was talking so much trash about how his team was going to win but guess what?  The team I was on won and it was so fun.

Peddocks Island

Hi everyone,

This week, All Access is at Peddocks Island. Peddocks Island used to be my least favorite island, yet it has a better beach than Spectacle. I disliked Peddocks just because every where you would step last year, you would see goose poop. This year is totally different. It's like a miracle because there is no goose poop!  Now I can say that Peddocks is definitely my favorite island. 

       It's the biggest SPIDER CRAB!

These past two days has been amazing. Yesterday, we caught about fifty to seventy-five crabs. Most surprisingly, we caught LOTS of spider crabs. We normally catch more green crabs than any other type of crabs. I was also surprised that we caught several humongous red rock crabs.
      Caught in the pavilion on Tuesday

Today, Sam who's back with All Access went with us to Peddocks and guess what he caught on his first day in a matter of five minutes? A SKATE!!! Lord knows that I was excited when he caught the skate. The kids were also excited and I really mean that they were extremely happy when they got to wear the skate on their heads as a hat. It's really funny but I mean Sam is just amazing. For my lovely All Access coworkers, they should know that I always get too excited when we catch anything. Whenever I get crabs from the crab traps, I always call them my people. My love for sea creatures is unbelievable because I hated and I had a fear of all types of animals. Thanks to Save the Harbor, especially All Access who made me overcome my fear for sea creatures.

       Happy girl wearing the skate as
                             a hat 

           Sam reeling in the SKATE

Sea Creature Loving,

- Andrea Lopes

Peaking Choggie

It felt good to go back to the Boston Children Museum this past monday. No, there were not familiar faces but there were many groups consisting of tourist, commuters, and visitors of the museum who were interested in what we do. Surprisingly enough after our first cast we landed a Choggie. We collectively have been on a role this summer! Identifying  a new fish is not the easiest thing to do but with the help of Mike and our reference book we were able to provide the right name to the children and their families.

The ever so "scary" spider crab
Numerically two comes after three and so on. This was exactly what continued to happen. By noon we had successfully caught four Choggies with the help of some awesome kids. Great success.

Our catch report for Monday was fairly impressive. It offered a wide variety. The highlight of my day  definitely would have had to been watching the children play with the touch tank using a dip net to pick up the crabs. Many of the children were frightened of the spider crabs but after explaining to them that if interacted with appropriately they can be harmless: they opened up to us. It always awesome watching our children overcome their fears. Especially when some adults are so reluctant to interacting with our touch tank even after their children have help numerous sea creatures.

Its been an awesome start to the week and am looking forward to our next few days!

-Ahmed Hassan

Miss Peddocks

Unfortunately this is not a blog about the boat Miss Peddocks, if you were anticipating that my apologies.

Ladies and Gents this is a blog about the wonderful, Peddocks Island.

Personally I have had an amazing time on Peddocks in previous years. I've met Governor Deval Patrick and have hosted thousands of children on our FREE All Access Boston Harbor experience.

Nice to meet again, Tobin Sports Club!
Being our first week out we have accomplished many things on Peddocks. We welcomed our favorite fisherman Sam Schrieber back, landed a few skate, and thrived in a heat wave. Sounds like a lot, right? Wrong. We pride ourselves in our work and once we accomplish one thing we do not like to settle, we dream bigger and work towards the bigger goal. Especially when were catching spider crabs on our rods that are almost a foot in diameter!

Peddocks' beach is also a favorite of many groups. On All Access we cycle islands first Spectacle, George's, Spectacle, then Peddocks. Already we have seen groups like Mission Safe, Revere Rec, and many others return this week for Peddocks. They all enjoy many parts of the island but love the beach the most. Despite being slightly smaller my belief is that they enjoy the slight current that flows through the beach. Or maybe the smooth rocks that can be skipped if the group cannot swim due to their organizations ruling. (We still advise everyone to atleast get their feet wet) Despite spectacle offering equal the amount of opportunity with a shorter commute, Peddocks is still a fan favorite.

Its been a great week, from BCM to AABH, from kickball to swimming, from smiles to excitement. This week could not have went any better.

Talk to you soon,

Ahmed Hassan

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First time at Peddocks Island

What an amazing day at Peddocks Island!! It was my first time at Peddocks and it was a lot of fun. We started off the day with a really good game of kickball and a lot of kids came to play, it's a 10 vs 10 game and each and everyone of the kids had fun. It was really hot out so we ended the game early so everyone could go get in the water. It was my first time this summer getting in the water and it was really cold I ended up getting thrown in by David for taking too long while getting in. We all had  had a lot of fun in the water with the kids, and even started a splash war!
Picking teams for kickball

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Great week

This has been a really good week so far. We have been pulling in more people than we have all summer! We have consistently hit two hundred or more people coming to the site, which keeps everyone running around, checking crab traps, and showing kids how to fish. The other day we had these huge camp groups come by. We had ten to fifteen kids per group. At first, it feels like a lot, but once you get into it, it is impossible not to have fun.

We have had the same crew at Children's for the past few weeks, but recently we have had some new JPA's and LHE's come in: Carlos, Ian, Arianna, Ahmed, Dexter, and Max. I love my team, and it has been really great getting to know some of the other JPA's and LHE's. We really do have a great group of young men and women this summer. I have never seen a group that age be so kind, responsible, and generous. They really want to help the kids they work with, and it is wonderful to see the joy they both bring to the kids, and receive in return. I am especially impressed with Mark Rose. He carries himself the way a leader should. He is humble, and teaches by example rather than by preaching. I look forward to working with him, and other JPA's and LHE's, more.

School of Mackerel

     On Thursday was the biweekly fishing trip event at Camp Harbor View. We take the fishing club who has been fishing with us for the past two weeks on a boat and take them into the harbor. We then proceed to fish and try to catch something in order for us to take it home. Before getting to Camp Harbor View we went to a spot where there was a school of mackerel and we caught at-least 20 mackerel. It was really cool because they were using these special hook that allowed them to be able to hook 2-5 at a time, instead of the usual one.

     When we finally got the kids we went straight out to the harbor to where the school of mackerels were. But instead we were able to catch two huge totaugs. The totaugs were giving a very big fight and it took a net to bring them in from the surface of the water. It was the biggest fish that I had actually witnessed being caught. It was fun to see how much of a fight big fishes give to a fisherman. We didn't really catch as many fish as the last fishing trip, but the kids still had fun going through the motions of being actual fishermen. I really wanted to catch something because I knew this could possibly be the last time that I would go on the fishing trip. Fishing is pretty relaxing and I'm glad that I have gotten the chance to do it twice on the trip already
Ivaniel Diaz

New Site Adventures: Spectacle Island

Hi everyone, it's blog time!

      So, while the rest of the CHV crew got to go on the fishing trip last Thursday, I had the opportunity to take part in All Access Boston Harbor instead. We were going to Spectacle Island that day, which was great for me, since I had not had the chance to go there yet. While we were waiting for the kids to meet us at the Blue Hills Pavilion, I set up a crab trap off the side of the pier. By the time the first groups started to arrive we had caught a couple of small perch and some green crabs, which we set up in a touch tank for the kids to interact with.
One of the All Access kids trying his hand at fishing for the first time!

      Once all the groups arrived, David Coffin gave his welcome speech and we started to get all the kids moving to the ferry. Once everyone was boarded, I started signing groups up for fishing sessions out on the island. The kids were so excited to try, that my fishing schedule was filled to capacity all day long! When we arrived, after a quick lunch. I showed the first group how to set up the crab trap, and then taught them how to properly cast a fishing line. The kids had a blast learning how to fish and catch crabs. After all the groups got a chance to come through and try their hands at fishing, we had to board the ferry and return home. All in all, everyone had a great day!

Bye for now everyone!
Justin Warrener

CHV Beach Walks and Crab Hunt

Welcome back folks, it's blog time!

        So far at Camp Harbor View we've taken kids on hikes up to the old fort, participated in the Amazing Race, taught them about sea glass and beach artifacts, and taken them fishing off the docks. This week, since the tides were with us in the morning (low) we were able to take the kids on beach walks. We showed the kids the best places to look for sea glass, showed them the different kinds of animals that live in tide pools (hermit crabs, periwinkles, Asian shore crabs, etc.).
A couple of campers from GPL search the tide pool for any signs of life.

      We also took the opportunity to teach the kids about invasive species, specifically the Asian shore crab, which eat the larvae and eggs of lobsters and other crab species native to the Harbor.Over the course of the week we started a contest between the different CHV Lighthouses (camp groups) to see who could catch the most Asian shore crabs. The campers love any chance to prove their Lighthouse is the best, so they all got really into it. The first team, M-Dot managed to catch 166 crabs, Sandy Nook, caught 169, GPL manage to pull into the lead on day 2 with 212 crabs, but Heron Nook took the contest on day 3 with a whopping 370 crabs!
Campers and counselors scour the beach, on the hunt for Asian shore crabs.

That's all for now!
Justin Warrener

Beach Walks at Camp Harbor View

This week we mixed things up a bit and took the kids on beach walks! Instead of a fascination with shells and hermit crabs the kids took a liking to the Asian Shore Crabs. All together the kids collected over 600! We invited a little friendly competition between lighthouses to see who could collect the most! The largest amount collected by one group was over 300!

As well as the beach walks we allowed the kids in fishing club to use an underwater camera to look under the surface. Other than a few crabs and a lot of rocks we didn't see much, but the kids were fascinated with that alone! They could see an environment separate from their own and it also helped me prove to them that it wasn't their fault we couldn't catch fish at the dock; there was just none to catch!
See Yah!

Fishing Trip #2 and my First Day At Carson Beach

On our second fishing trip with Camp Harbor View we caught some good fish! We caught a bunch of mackerel which we later used as live bait to try and catch striped bass. The kids had a great time and so did I (as expected)! This week I also spent my first day at Carson Beach which was awesome! We went kayaking and paddle boarding. It was all fun & games until we had to paddle back to shore against the current & wind. The 10 minutes trip out took us nearly a half an hour to take back in. By the end of the day I had acquired some well earned blisters from the paddle.

See you soon!