Thursday, June 27, 2019

Oh my COD, we’re ready for another great summer!

And just like that, we are back for another summer on Boston Harbor!  We are this summer’s dream team, a duo unmatched by any other, full of energy and enthusiasm, teaching experience and love for marine life.  We are Kristen Barry, Director of Youth Programming and Bridget Ryan, Lead Teacher for the Summer Youth Programs! We thrive in running the day to day operations for the program and are in charge of a staff of 35 which includes post-grads, college students, and high school students. We have been patiently awaiting the start of the summer, as we are excited to get to know the new staff, see the returners, and help to share the harbor with Boston’s youth!

I (Kristen) am back for my FIFTH summer at Save the Harbor! As a former Senior Harbor Educator stationed at Camp Harbor View, I am thrilled to be back for summer 2019 - this time getting to experience all of the sites that Save the Harbor works at. Having worked as a science and math teacher and coach for the previous three years, I am eager for the summer programming to start so that I have the opportunity to work not only with the kids that Save the Harbor programs with, but more so the youth staff that brings the energy to the job each day. I currently live in Cambridge, and love to swim, hike, bike, run, and do really anything that gets me outside (which Save the Harbor summers are perfect for!)

I (Bridget) am back for my SEVENTH summer at Save the Harbor!  During the year you can find me teaching government and politics to 8th and 12th graders at the John D. O’Bryant in Roxbury and coaching the Girls Varsity Soccer and Softball teams.  But when it comes to the summer, I’m ready to catch lobsters, take trips to Spectacle and Georges Islands, and enrich the lives of thousands of kids as they discover the wonder that is Boston Harbor. One of the greatest aspects of this job are the kids who work for us! I have been very lucky to have O'Bryant students become summer staffers for the past six years - and the kids we have this year are incredible! I live in South Boston and love walking around Castle Island and enjoying the cleanest urban beaches in the country!

Going with our summer theme of FUN, we kicked off orientation with a trip out to Spectacle Island accompanied by our Boston Harbor Historian David Coffin. On the cruise out to the island, David pointed out significant landmarks along the way, and shared with us the history of the Boston Harbor cleanup. Not only did we learn that the solid waste coming from the toilets of Boston is repurposed into fertilizer that is sent to Florida in order to help oranges grow, but we also learned about the fiery history of Spectacle Island. What piqued our interest was the tale of the bulldozer that sunk deep into the piles of trash that covered Spectacle Island before it was transformed into the beautiful island that we spent the day on.

Day two brought us out on The Belle with Captain Charlie for a fishing trip. It seemed as though the old wives tale that you catch more fish in the rain may be true, as we did not see a shortage of flounder, blackfish, black sea bass, and skates. We motored out around Long Island, and as soon as we dropped lines, the fish began to bite. Each staff member got the opportunity to fish, whether they were a seasoned fisherman or it was their first time holding a fishing rod. We learned how to line a fishing rod, how to put a sea worm on a hook to use as bait, how to remove hooks from the mouth of fish, and much more! The senior harbor educators took this time to not only get to know their staff a bit better, but also teach them all they knew about the different species that we were catching. As a treat, we prepared ceviche and sashimi with fresh fish for everyone to enjoy.

Our favorite part of orientation was hands down playing games with David on the field on Spectacle! It was amazing to see the energy and teamwork with which each person approached the challenges presented to them. Our staff took this opportunity to get to know each other, and show how supportive and communicative they are on a daily basis. If these games were any indication of what is in store for our team this summer, then it will surely be the best one yet!

What keeps us coming back to Save the Harbor each summer is the connections that we make with our youth staff, the kids on Boston Harbor, and how much fun it is to spend the day outside fishing, crabbing, and learning more about the urban natural resource that is the harbor.

See you on the water!
Kristen & Bridget

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