Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Welcome to my blog!  So this week was my birthday week.  As usual, it was a fun week at Piers Park.  We caught a lot of crabs and even some fish using the crab and fish traps.  As usual, I did a lot of kayaking.  Kayaking is a fun way to interact with the kids because you get to explore the water with them.  You are also working as a team in order to move the kayak the way you want it to move.  Without cooperation,  the kayak won’t move the right way and many bad things could happen.  For example,  I was about to kayak with some kids and they were not exactly listening to me and it didn’t go well.  I was about to get into the kayak and they all decided that it was a good idea to hop into the kayak all at the same time with me at the edge of the boat.  So, because of this,  I tipped off the kayak and fell head first into the harbor.  The worst part was, I was wearing sweatpants.  It was the one day that I wasn’t wearing a swimsuit!  Sometimes working with kids can be hard because not all of them want to do the same camp activities that others want to do.  Sometimes they won’t listen to you because the way you are doing things isn’t the way that they want to do things.  This can be hard, but when you are a good counselor or a JPA, you can get them under control.  Although my fall in the water was funny to others, the kids learned from their mistakes and after they decided to cooperate with me and we all had a good time kayaking. They even wrote me birthday cards on my birthday.  I think that showed me that I have an impact on these kids, which is great because that is what a JPA should do.  This moment really stood out to me because it showed that I really had an effect on those kids, which was something I thought I would never have.  It was a pretty good week as usual and I had many good and sometimes funny learning experiences.  Anyways,  thank you for reading my blog!

me getting out of the water after getting pushed in

me holding my birthday card

me holding a crab

That's all folks,


A JPA's Life

                                                                                                                     Sunday, July 28,2019

       Hey hey hey, it's Flo again back with an update on the Save the Harbor, Save the Bay summer program. Today's blog is going to be less educational and more personal, so let's dive right in.

     This week, I was stationed at a new site, Piers Park, where I interacted with some new faces of new coworkers. It was a pretty chill site where we had the opportunity to kayak, fish, and play games with the camp kids. We worked with kids ranging from ages six to eight and we kept them entertained with the activities we had to offer. Each day, the crazy kids would scream into our ears, expressing their need to switch games or to be the next group to go kayaking. It was a lot of chaos but nothing we couldn't handle. 

    And we all know how kids are, so they would often stop to ask random questions or exaggerate details of a story or an experience they had. But it all contributed to the fun times we had during the week. My highlight for two days out of the week was when the youngest JPA, Sebastien, fell in the water from attempting to get out of the kayak. We all laughed it off for the following days. All good vibes over here!

    However, the biggest concept that I grasped from this week was the means of communication and coexisting. In the same week, I had to learn to alternate tones towards my peers and the kids, start conversations that would engage the kid and keep them entertained, and keep up an active mood to match everyone else's energy. I had quite an easy time fitting in with my Piers Park work group and connecting on various levels with them. I also learned that many people from all over have different stories that built up who they are today. And that impacted me positively because I came to realize that the diversity within every individual drives me to explore and understand them even more. And this is mostly because I have an interest in people's backgrounds, and I want to improve on my social skills. On the other hand, talking with the kids gave me flashbacks from my childhood when I would go to the park for a few hours and make a new friend. I mostly tried to make conversation about things kids enjoy doing: for example, playing games, their favorite interests. I mostly enjoyed playing the field games in the park with the kids because we all felt free and joined together to form one united family. 

    Within the last several weeks of working, one moment that I will never forget was from the first week of orientation when the whole Save the Harbor, Save the Bay group went on their first fishing trip. Bridget and Kristen were singing "Bo Diddley Bop" and "Haulaway Joe," and no one was in the mood. It was funny to me in that moment, but weeks later I was singing the same songs in an energetic mood. 

That's all for now, I'll hook you in next week for a new update,


Week 5: New week at Piers and Experiences!

Hello again, and welcome to my 5th blog post.

This week I was at Piers Park, which was nothing I wasn't used to, but I was with a new group of workers this time. I found myself interacting with them in a really enjoyable manner. I felt like, although I had a new group of Coworkers this time consisting of Jasmine, Sebastian, Flo, Kaya, and Fatima. Luckly, I felt like I could attribute myself and fit right in with them. We easily bonded due to the games we had played with one another such as freeze tag, and knee tag. Those were really fun game. I felt like this when I am at a lot of the other sites, such as the Boston Children's Museum. I interact with most of the people at those sites whether they are kids, JPAs, LHEs or SHEs. I interact with them individually and differently. For example, I interact with the kids at all the sites like at Piers Park, when I, along with my other coworkers, organize a game, we have to go over how to play the game in a well-constructed manner. Through these activities, I have learned that you have to be careful with the games you play because next thing you know they're going to be confused and less interested in the game. Another group I interact with is my LHE and JPAs. I associate them together because I act the same with both groups, meaning that I know when it's time to have fun with them and work hard with them. For example, when I work at events with them like the one at Hull Illumination that I did on Saturday, I interacted with my JPAs and LHEs by mixing hard work and fun. I knew when it was time to chat rather than fish print, and I knew when it was time to fish print and work rather than talk. That's an important learning skill when it comes to interacting with my JPAs and LHEs.  As for my SHEs, I treat them nearly the same as my JPAs and LHEs, but I do know I have to listen to them because technically they are the boss of the site I am at. However, they are human, so I shouldn't restrict myself all because they can tell me what to do at the sites. They are usually understanding people as well and this year had taught me that considering I have been with a lot of SHEs.

Although I do interact with the kids and my other coworkers, sometimes it can be a challenge dealing with them. For example, sometimes you feel like you're pulling more weight than other people. As if they don't feel like working much on that day. During this moment, you have to know how to communicate with your coworker, by asking if they could help you work or just tell them politely to get back to work. That is what I believe to be the best way of talking to you're coworkers if you're having an issue with them. Other than this, I find myself having the most fun with everybody whether it's my coworkers or the kids at the sites. I remember being at pier park and playing everybody's it and it was a fun game to play because everyone would be so invested in the game and there would just be a lot of laughs around. It helps you get to know all the kids.

One moment that I will always remember, in terms of the summer was the event at Hull mainly because I had a really good group--they were so cheerful. I had Tessa as my SHE, Patrice as the LHE, and me, Damani, Jay and Jasmine as the JPAs, They were a really good group and made me feel at home. Especially since I was familiar with all of them at this point of the summer. Everything that was at the event made it spectacular, from the sunset to the fire show, to the illumination of the lake. It was such a good sight in my opinion and something I probably won't forget for a while. It was a unique event that I never had done before in the 3 years I have been at Save the Harbor.

I can't wait to Pacifically write to you again!

Week 5: Piers Park Gang

Hello everyone,
        And we’re back again after 5 wonderful weeks of working!  This week was a little different than others due to the pace of things, but was still amazing. This week at Courageous, due to the heavy rain, we only worked until lunch. Although we left early, we played an amazing game of Boston Harbor Jeopardy! We had four categories— harbor history, fishing facts, harbor animal facts, and random. Even though they were new kids this week, a lot of the kids knew so many facts and answers to even the hardest questions! Doing lessons and playing games with the kids is always the most fun because you can actually learn so much from kids that are only the ages of 6-14!
        This past week we introduced 2 more members to the Piers and Courageous Gang, Flo and Kamal. I didn’t think I would be able to click with them so quickly because I always fear creating new ties, but luckily I did. It’s great having new faces around and their vibes are amazing. While playing our usual games in the morning from 9-10 at Piers, it was so fun how to see how competitive Kamal is, even though he was cheating a bit haha! While we were playing freeze tag, Kamal was grabbing me to make sure I could be tagged by Sebastien, which was so not fair but so funny at the same time! Flo, Kamal, and Jasmine did a lesson about the crabs in the harbor: rock, Asian shore, spider, European green, and Jonah crabs! We incorporated the touch tank in the lesson so the kids can hold some of the green crabs that were caught. Some kids were scared, but others were so excited!
        While working at Piers, I have created a very good bond with my SHE, Kaya. She is a very smart and funny young woman! She has a great sense of humor and a very fun vibe to be around! Over the course of these few weeks I’ve learned so much from her— from fishing, Harbor facts, good seafood, and places around the world. I am grateful to be working at Piers and Courageous with her! I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer holds and the bond and memories we will end with.

        See you soon,
               Fatima :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

week 5 a wrap!!

Hey it’s Damani, back again with another blog. It’s week five and summer has been great so far with the gang. But the kids are why I am here. I want to make sure the kids are having fun, and I can tell you the kids at Black Creek are definitely having fun. They always smile and the only time they're sad is when they're leaving us. The kids also love when we take them to the water to catch minnows or crabs and shrimp with the nets. The kids gave me a nickname they called me Amani because one-day last week Vanessa put two ponytails in my hair and that caught everyone’s attention while we were playing Evil Scientist. A couple of the kids at Blacks Creek grew on me and became my favorites, but at the same time all the kids are my favorite. They love to play Gaga Ball or Evil Scientist and each time we play it’s always fun, the kids are mad funny when they play, the boys are always going at it and the girls are trying to beat everybody no matter who it is and that is what makes the game so fun to play. The kids are the reason I work here, I want to make sure the kids are learning and also having fun.
catching sea creatures with a net

Playing our favorite game, Gaga ball

     The one thing that used to be hard for me was to communicate with people the same age as me or close to my age. But last summer I overcame that fear. The only reason why I’m not scared anymore was that I started talking to people last year, my first year at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and now I’m always talking to everybody. So working here helped to get rid of my fear because last year I did not know anybody here so I was mad shy. It took some time for me to talk to them, but this year I was immediately talking to all the new people. The new SHE/ LHE’s are good this year; they're all different, they have different personalities, but they're all funny and cool people to be around. You are able to talk to anybody here and feel fine if you've been talking to them for a while like this is a safe environment here. What I learned from this job is that you can not be scared to do anything here and also just to be you.

The black's creek squad 

Damani out, bye guys

Hoping to Avoid Turtle Disaster

The Best of the Best
Whale, whale, whale, what do we have here? What an interesting week I have had here on CHV with Save the Harbor. This week's events were controlled by the rainy weather Boston received. A windy and stormy day led us to stay inside with a touch tank full of crabs. The building stood tall and strong against both the activity inside and outside of it. The wind hitting the windows as hard as the screams and voices of the campers playing board games, creating art/bracelets, and sticking their hands into the touch tank. There was an energy of fear mixed with excitement around the table for the crabs. The campers were interested yet quite observant, filled to the brim with all kinds of questions about what was inside the tank. We were able to get some kids to break out of their own shell to touch and be able to eventually hold a crab. 

Black Sea Bass

 As the next day rolled around, we were cleared to go on our weekly fishing trip for the morning. We went around the boat to round our fishing club kids up and set out for Quincy on the Belle. The morning was quite but the waters were full of movement from a school of fish just below the boat. Next thing you know, we have at least 3-4 campers screaming with joy about their first, second, or third catch of the day. It was a slight competition to see who would be able to catch the most. One camper even went so far as 6 fish for the day. 
Rock On
While others were not as lucky, they were just as satisfied and excited for their companions. They kept their energy up all throughout the day and carried it down to the shore on Camp Harbor View's beach for tide pooling in the afternoon. They got a kick out of flipping over the rocks on the shore to catch the evasive short crabs and collect a few hermit crabs. All in all, we did not allow the weather to stop us from having as much fun as we could. Weather it was inside keeping away from the storm or outside in the cold morning fishing, we found a way to make it work.

As you probably know, things do not always go as expected. Even when everything is planned out, when the day comes you must go with the flow of things. At Andres Amador on Friday, we got to get creative on and off the shore. If you weren't busy with Vanessa making cute little fish out of water bottles you were down by the beach decorating the sand with any fin that came to mind. Patrice and I decided to take someone's unfinished artwork and turn it into the classic rainbow fish. Although it lacked color, her scales were brilliantly shinning. The artwork stretched across the bottom of the beach and showed off our teamwork. It was proof that if you are given the chance to be creative, you can leave your mark on the community. 

 The highlights of my week were the impressions I was able to leave on my campers at fishing club and the YMCA. I've had kids tell me that when they get older they would like to work for STH and be able to fish everyday. I've also had returning campers remember me from years ago when I first began working here and tell me about their adventures since then. It is beyond rewarding to see how I can affect the lives of others in positive ways with just one interaction by asking, "Would you like to try fishing?". It brings me great joy to give out that type of happiness.
Thanks for tuning in, Sea you next week!

Week 5 was inspiring

Hey y'all hope you guys are doing well,

    Week 5 was fun as always but also very inspiring. I love spending time with kids because it reminds me of me when I was younger and I also want to build a strong relationship with them to the point where I can be a role model and person they can trust. There was this one camper Nick at Blacks Creek who wanted me to be his baby sitter and I can tell he felt comfortable with me. My goal is to have kids be comfortable and able to feel like they can be themselves around me and anybody else because they will not be judged.
Maggie and Vanessa giving the campers a crab lesson 
   The hardest part of working with other people is communication. I have learned but still sometimes struggle with texting, calling and talking to my co-workers so we know we are on the same page. It's hard to do something well when you are not on the same page because you might accidentally do things wrong. For example, if you don't communicate where to be in the morning you might go to the wrong place at the wrong time and be late to the actual destination and get paid less, and you wouldn't want to mess up your money. Without communication, everything else would be so chaotic and so frustrating because everybody will be annoyed at each other for being clueless and doing the wrong thing over and over. I overcome these challenges by always asking questions and never being nervous or hesitant about texting my boss and trying to get every single detail I need to be successful and get on with my day.
Tessa teaching the campers the steps on how to correctly pick up a crab 
   The camper Nick, who asked me to be his babysitter, inspired me and made me feel good about what I was doing and how I was doing it. Nick made me feel good about myself and the impact I make on others treating them with the most respect in the world. Nick and I created such a strong bond where he knows he can step out his comfort zone and I won't judge him or say anything to make him feel like he isn't doing something right. There was another camper named Tommy who came in very shy and now the both of us have a good bond where whenever he sees me he comes to talk to me about what he did on the weekend and other things. I am glad to have impacted Tommy as well and helped him step out of his comfort zone. These moment has made me want to keep working with kids and keep trying to impact them.

The campers playing Gaga ball 

Crab ya later,
Che Hanks


An Ode to the CHV Dream Team (no Ode inside)

The CHV Dream Team (minus a few)
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, kids from ages nine to ninety-nine; allow me to introduce the CHV Dream Team. It’s the end of session one here at Camp Harbor View and I feel like giving some shout outs to my team (insert clapping emojis generously). Seriously, I feel extremely lucky to be working alongside such an incredible staff. Save the Harbor has provided me an incredible experience in a new field of work and 75% of that is due to my team. We are like a well-oiled fishing machine! Though some may call that a fishing boat…Anyways, I’ve just been so proud to work with this team. My position as a Senior Harbor Educator requires me to have the responsibility of each LHE and JPA at my site. As much as I have been a leader in many extracurricular activities, I have rarely gotten the opportunity to be a leader in a more professional sense. To be honest, I was quite nervous and doubted myself at first. Being able to work with a young, hard-working staff who was all on the same page really helped give me confidence in my leadership due to a more homogeneous mindset.

A Healthy Skate feat. Solomon & Micheal, CHV Campers
I especially want to highlight some important moments that happened this week, with respect to my interactions with the campers of Camp Harbor View. One of the most memorable occurred when I met a young girl pseudo-named Harley. My team and I decided to have a bit more focus on teaching about invasive species by having the kids go tide pooling on the beach. While climbing down the rocks towards the shore, a particular girl, Harley, seemed extremely nervous and unwilling to move towards the water. I had to grab a bucket on another part of the island, so I offered to take Harley to a less steep part of the beach so she could make her way down. As we walked, I chatted with her about the usual; what do you like to do, what’s your favorite part of school, etc. I commented on her artwork she was carrying, as she said Art was her favorite class. As we approached the water, it became clear Harley did not want to go on the beach because she was scared of the water. She became extremely anxious, so I quickly walked her to a table, and we sat down. She began to feel homesick and even shed a few tears. I ended up just talking a lot about my experiences with homesickness, revealing to her that I, a (somewhat) mature 21 year-old, still got homesick from time to time. This seemed to help cheer her up and I decided to have her keep me company as I fetched our bucket. We talked and giggled the whole journey and when we walked back and it was time for her group to lead, she introduced me as her new friend and gave me a hug. I felt so touched by how I went from stranger to friend in this girl’s eyes in all but twenty minutes, and it has honestly been one of the most rewarding feelings I have gotten from working for Save the Harbor. 

Your good pal, your best friend, your first mate,

Time Flies When You're Havin' Fun!

Hey guys!

I can't believe we are already five weeks into summer programming! It's been a wild ride so far, but it just keeps getting better and better. This week was a little bit different than the others. I started off the week on Monday in the office as usual, and Tuesday's programming at both Blacks Creek and the Curley were canceled due to rain. Wednesday and Thursday were pretty usual- we went to Atlantic Warf after Blacks Creek on Wednesday, and the Curley in the afternoon on Thursday. Both days were great and we got to continue the awesome stuff we have been up to all summer. Being on-site with Tessa, Damani, Che, and Aidan has been awesome. We get the job done while enjoying ourselves with many laughs during the long and hot days. I think we have really created bonds that will stick no matter what sites we continue with for the remainder of the summer.
Crab race at Blacks Creek! 
What made this week different was that I had my first two events, and I attended MLK Scholars on Friday. One of my favorite parts of the summer has been creating bonds with so many different people: SHEs, JPAs, Supervisors, and the kids, counselors, and parents we meet on site. What makes our staff so special is the diverse group of people that have come together to support a cause that so many of us are passionate about. I have created bonds with people much older and younger than me, people from different backgrounds, and people from different states and countries as well. The events I worked this week were the Community event at the Tynan and the Sand Raking at Nantasket Beach. I was put on site with SHEs and JPAs who I have only met during orientation, and despite that, we had a lot of fun interacting with each other and the communities of South Boston and Hull. The great thing about Save The Harbor is that no matter what site you are put on or what event you are working, you are with people who are so outgoing, caring, and fun to be around. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the MLK Scholars programming on Friday, which was another great opportunity to get to know other Save The Harbor educators and other kids in the Boston area.

A cool portrait at the sand raking event at Nantasket.
A lot of the designs made by passersby at the event at Nantasket.

See ya later!

A Claw-some Summer with the Blacks Creek Crew

     This week was another fantastic week of programming! We spend Monday through Thursday morning at Blacks Creek, two afternoons at Curley Community Center, and one afternoon at Atlantic Wharf. My team did a terrific job with the programming, staying flexible to weather and scheduling changes.
Teaching our campers about green crabs and the classification of invasive species.
     One of the best parts of the camp that we work with is the variety of campers that we have. We have a total of four sessions: 9-10:30 Monday/Wednesday, 10:30-12:00 Monday/Wednesday, 9-10:30 Tuesday/Thursday, and 10:30-12:00 Tuesday/Thursday. Each camper has their own personality, but each session has also formed an identity that is distinct from the others. Our 10:30-12:00 Tuesday/Thursday group generally LOVES exploring the water. They have found the most horseshoe crabs and will often choose to stay in the water over playing a game. Conversely, our 9-10:30 Monday/Wednesday group is all about the games and while they enjoy the water they are always sad if going exploring in the water means ending a game.
Our campers exploring the water in search of minnows, shrimp, and crabs.
     Almost every day of the summer thus far, the team I work with has consisted of one college student LHE, Maggie, and three high school student JPAs, Aidan, Che, and Damani. It has been great to have a small group that spends so much time together, as we’ve really gotten to form a group dynamic and get to know one another. My JPAs get along great and are always a riot when they start to riff on each other. They love playing games and do a great job of striking a balance between playing with our campers and making sure that they are also having fun and feel engaged in what we do. Maggie is in a hard position, as she is the only LHE, and does a wonderful job of finding the balance of being a friend to all of us while also maintaining a position with authority. She is constantly willing to step up and lead camp if I ever need to take care of something, whether it be an upset kid or something administrative, and does a great job of “keeping it real” with our JPAs. Overall I think we make a great group and I am truly excited to see each of them every day.

Our Blacks Creek Team thus far this summer:
(L to R) Aidan, Damani, Che, and Maggie
     My favorite part of the summer has been watching and helping to guide the JPAs as they become more comfortable working with kids. They each have a lot of empathy and high energy with kids, which is an incredible place to start. However, there are some parts of teaching and keeping kids safe and positive that are not always intuitive. At the beginning of the summer, if a camper would minorly hurt themselves or be upset because they lost a game, our JPAs would spring into action, trying to do all they could to dote on the kid’s needs. However, as almost any parent or teacher would tell you, it is often the best course of action to briefly make a kid feel heard in their sorrow and then quickly help them move on and distract them with something else. They will often be feeling better sooner if you can get them re-engaged in the game or talk about something else. It has been awesome to watch the JPAs grow in their ability to read a situation and tell what course of action will best help a camper to feel better. I have been doing environmental education for over two years now, but this is the first job where I truly feel that helping someone else teach kids is the most rewarding part. I feel a swell of pride each time my staff navigates a new challenge with a camper.

My favorite find of the week:
a baby horseshoe crab molt in one of our camper's hands!

Catch you after what is sure to be another Crab-u-lous week!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Week 5: The All-Access Family

Hi everyone,

It's Alex and this week I want to stop and reflect on the amazing people I get to work with and the family that has formed amongst the members of the All-Access crew! Out on islands it gets hot and tiring but everyone plays a vital role in the operation known as AABH. We have the privilege of working with hundreds of people each day and we get to bear witness to the ecstatic, sometimes petrified look on people's faces as they pull up their first ever skate, lobster, fish, or even a crab.

The JPA's, LHE's, and my fellow SHE are all incredible people which I believe has made for an unforgettable summer so far. The energy that everyone brings always gives me a boost after my 5am start to the day and long commute into the city. Every morning I am genuinely excited to go into work and that is a testament to my amazing co-workers that I get to spend time with on a daily basis.

However, like any family unit, problems always arise. What means the most to me is that our group has tremendous resolve and we all have each other's back and pick one another up. Even when tensions run high or adversity strikes, we all work together to get the job done. I believe the key attribute that has allowed for a successful summer thus far is patience. Everyone has been patient with me, patient with each other, and patient with themselves internally. On an island with hundreds of kids (and sometimes adults) clamoring to get a hold of a fishing rod, it can become difficult to maintain patience when hooks are flying and crabs are scurrying all over the pier with everyone shrieking in fear. The endurance required to work with kids is palpable but it certainly has a profound impact not only on us as staff, but on everyone we might come in contact with.

The highlight of the summer for me personally came towards the end of the day out on George's Island a couple weeks back. It was steaming hot and we had spent the day out on the pier fishing with hundreds of impatient kids, trying to ensure everyone got a chance to hold the rod. As we prepared to board the boat, a young boy around the age of 7 came up to me from his group and wrapped his little arms around my knees and whispered "thank you." The brief gesture and only two words from this small boy meant the world to me and is something that I will never forget. It makes all of the frustrating, stressful, and tiring days worth it. It is what keeps me going each and every day and has inspired me to pursue a career where I can hopefully have that impact on as many people as possible. Furthermore, I think it speak volumes to the work that everyone at SHSB does as the ultimate goal is to inspire and enhance the lives of every child and adult we come in contact with. I think it's important to reflect on how it is the small moments, gestures, and words that really mean the most as the words of Albert Einstein crystallize this sentiment succinctly...

Food for thought going into week 6: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."


Making Connections!

            I visited a different site for the first time this week and that was Blacks Creek in Quincy. This was a whole new environment (literally) than where I am usually working. Blacks Creek is a saltmarsh which offered opportunities to use a seine net in order to catch a ton of fish. Back at CHV we weathered a storm saw the end of our fishing club for this session with one last fishing trip on the Belle!
It was nice to visit a new site and see how programming works at different locations. It was a hot day so using the seine net was a perfect excuse to get in the water. Our hauls yielded tons of killifish, some sticklebacks, and a baby flounder. It sure was exciting to interact with some species I haven’t worked with this summer. On the CHV fishing trip we got into a lot more fish than last time, we caught a bunch of black seabass, cunner, and even a striper! It was definitely a lot of fun and more productive than the first trip!
            Getting a chance to teach kids about things I grew up learning was one of the main reasons I wanted to work for Save the Harbor. If I could inspire anyone to be more active in the harbor through our programming, then I would be more than happy. Another reason I wanted to work for Save the Harbor was to be part of a team that had one goal in mind.
            I really enjoy working with others, because everyone brings something different to the table. Some people have a lot of experience fishing and are able to handle problems that arise with gear, some people are really good with the kids and are able to teach them effectively, and some people are able to do a little bit of everything. This kind of diversity on the team allows for everything to run smoothly while everyone can learn from each other and expand their skill set. One of the most important things I’ve realized is that you can’t be afraid to ask for help, because the task will get completed that way and you’ll learn in the process. 
            As a lifelong fisherman, I love to get others interested in the sport. It’s something that can be affordable, brings you closer to the earth, and is relaxing. I really enjoy fishing with the campers in hopes of making lifelong fisher-people out of them. Before our fishing trip on Wednesday, I was delighted to get bombarded with a bunch of fishing facts from one of our campers. He had spent a great deal of time researching fishing regulations, reports, and techniques for the best results while on the trip. I like to think that our programming helped to spur that deep interest in fishing. 
            One of the best moments I experienced this summer happened this week. While on our final CHV fishing club trip, one of our campers told us that they wanted to work for Save the Harbor when they were older. This moment really touched me, because we were able to inspire our campers so much, that they want to spread our message to others. It’ll be hard to top that one for a while. 
            I won’t see you on the harbor this week since I’ll be fishing in the woods of Maine, but as always…

Tight Lines!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Amputate! Kill It! Knock It Out!

Another week, another blog! Welcome back! Long time no see. This week was definitely one that I will remember. On Tuesday it was raining all day so we went to the KIP (knowledge is power) building and brought a crab touch tank for the campers to look at. The weather was HORRIBLE, but I still enjoyed myself. On Wednesday we had a fishing trip with the kids in fishing club. We caught about 15 cunners and 10 striped basses! That’s a record for us! Wednesday was also our last day with the kids because Session One ended the next day, so it was a fun but sad day. Thursday was the campers last day so we didn’t have any kids coming down to the pier. So instead we went down to the beach and skipped rocks. This week was different from rest, but in a good way of course!
Helping get the hook off a Skate

All the interactions I’ve been involved in this past month were all great. Starting with my team and all the way down to the campers and staff at Camp Harbor View. Talking to the campers that I work with is always a challenge. Sometimes you get the kids that are outgoing and love to talk, or other times you get the kids that are shy and see “STRANGER DANGER!”, but talking to them is always a learning experience. After talking to the kids I’ve learned more about them, their families, lives, likes, and dislikes. Sure you probably get that kid that makes you angry and makes you want to bang your head against a wall, but what this experience has taught me is that if you just try to find something that you both have in common, or even just try to get to know them a little bit, they’ll start to rub off on you and maybe even become your favorite. Two campers that I’ve actually grown to become very fond of are named Emmanuel and Solomon. These boys are probably one the most sweetest kids that I’ve ever met! They’re both really shy, but once you really have a conversation with them you can really hear the excitement and joy they have for fishing or just camp as a whole. On the fishing trip this week, Solomon didn’t catch anything but seaweed while everyone else was catching four to seven fishes, but at the end of that day he said he had a lot of fun and wanted to do it again (now you understand why he’s one of my favorites?). He even said that he wants to work for Save the Harbor when he gets older! 

CHV Dream Team (Minus Xavier)
My team at CHV is amazing! We all get along so well and there’s never a dull moment! They make me excited to come to work everyday. We have our inside jokes, weekly affirmations, and we all yell for Michael when we need help holding or unhooking a fish (literally every single one of us)! If there’s ever a disagreement we don’t think about it too long and move on to the next topic. My group has taught me how to handle situations and people in a better manner, which is something I can’t thank them enough for because sometimes my temper does get the best me and I Iose focus on how to handle a situation better. Overall this past month has been great and I can’t wait for the next one!
See you on the “flip(per)” side,

"I want to work for Save the Harbor when I grow up"

My favorite part about working with the kids out at Camp Harbor View is seeing their faces light up when they catch something. It doesn't matter if they catch a crab or a stripper there're always ecstatic. This past week one of the kids in fishing club said something when we were on the fishing trip that really made all of us who work at Camp Harbor View really proud. On that trip Solomon, one of our campers only caught a single piece of seaweed the whole day  out on the boat. But he was so excited and proud of himself for what he had caught. On our way back to the dock he said that when he grows up he wants to work for Save the Harbor.  It kind of took all of us back because we all felt bad for him because he had only caught seaweed while everyone else on the boat was pulling up all different types of fish. He didn't care he was having the time of his life and it just made me really proud of the work that we do and how we can get kids involved in fishing and interested in learning about the harbor and the ocean.

Sometimes we use artificial lures and one of the funniest things is when a kid reals it in and starts shouting 'I caught a fish, I caught a fish' and the kid next to them goes 'Mannn that's the same one you cast out.' One of my favorite things is to see kids go from being scared of the crabs, not even wanting to look at them, to becoming comfortable enough to not only touch them, but to actively hold and interact with them. This progresses to them wanting to come out tide pooling, no longer being afraid to touch the crabs anymore. It has gotten to the point where they would come running over when someone shouts that they've found something and they jump right in there and grab them. It was really cool to see kids fascination and curiosity grow as they got more comfortable with us and with the crabs and fish. By the end of their time with us, they were able to tell which species of crab they had caught and what types of fish lived in the harbor.

In the mornings the kids in fishing club always wave to us when they come off the bus. It's that excitement that even after 3 weeks of camp they were still just as excited on the last day as they were on the first day to come out and fish with us. The kids we worked with this session were definitely memorable and I really enjoyed working with them, even though it wasn't for very long.

I am SO glad that I have had the privilege to work with the people at my site. I feel like were our own little family, and even though I missed some time earlier this month, it didn't feel like I ever left. We all get along so well and it makes me really proud to be a part of their team. I've made so many great memories with you guys and definitely have the tan lines to prove it!

Excited for the next session to start at Camp Harbor View and getting to know our new campers!

See you out on the shore,

4th week was a blast

Hey everybody,

I work at Blacks Creek, in Quincy, most days. Looking at the water it seems like Quincy and other water-based locations are generally trash free and people are doing a good job not killing the environment. The full Save the Harbor, Save the Bay staff went kayaking in the Fort Point Channel on Monday. It was a great experience and only my second time kayaking. I was able to get to know my co-workers a little more, make some new friends, and able to express myself a little more. There wasn't too much trash,  which suggests that people have realized it is bad to throw their trash into the harbor and that they have changed and are keeping this harbor really clean.

The campers playing gaga ball
   The crazy thing about the Boston Harbor is that it used to be called the harbor of shame because of how dirty it was and how disrespectful we were to the water and the marine animals' home. Eventually, we started to realize how we were hurting our community and ourselves so we made technology to help us. For example, on Deer Island, they have these egg looking things that treat sewage so that it is not in the water. Before we came up with all this new technology to keep the harbor clean, there was literally so much trash that it was visible above water, which is insane. To help clean it we had to burn all the trash, which took a while and left smoke in the air for a long time.

One of our campers, Jayden, trying to catch minnows
   Now that we got this Harbor to have some of the cleanest urban beaches in America it's up to the kids and our generation to keep it clean and make sure that the harbor stays safe for us and the kids I will eventually have. Save the Harbor / Save the Bay is a perfect organization to help keep this harbor clean and teach kids how important keeping this harbor is and how bad things can get if we don't. I believe in global warming and we already have that as an issue, so we need to make sure not to make it and other environmental problems worse. For us to keep this harbor and this world cleaner we must treat it like home no matter if it's water or land. We need to realize other living things live there and it's not like we would like it if people trashed our home and killed us due to all the trash, dirty air, and diseases.
Jayden looking at what he caught
Catch ya later,
Che Hanks

crabtastic experience!

Working at CHV has definitely made my summer fun. Everyday feels completely different than the last. The interactions I’ve had with my fellow co-workers and the kids at CHV have been nothing but positive. My coworkers especially have made every day more exciting than the last. The positive atmosphere makes every day better than the last, I am always looking forward to my next day at work. We have the dream team at CHV and everything runs so smoothly because everyone does exactly what they are supposed to be doing without any complaints. Nobody just stands around and waits to be told what to do; every single member at this site goes and does what is necessary to allow the day to run smoothly. The kids we receive all make the day go by fast, it is very unlikely that we meet a group of kids that is uninterested in what we do, and even if they are, a quick look at the touch tank changes their whole attitude.
One specific memory that really stood out to me was what one young boy by the name Solomon told me, he wanted to work for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay when he was of age. This specific line really touched my heart and it stayed with me for a while. I realized that what we were doing every day at work, really was impacting kids in a positive way. Solomon had always spoken of his excitement about fishing club but it was not truly shown until the last fishing trip for session one of CHV. On this day, all the kids except Solomon were catching fish left and right, some kids caught up to 6 fish and Solomon had yet to get even a single bite.Towards the end of this fishing trip, I had asked Solomon what we had caught and with the biggest smile ever he told me “ I caught some SEAWEED!!” He had not caught anything yet he was clearly the most excited out of everyone to continue fishing.While he was sad that his time at CHV was over he was proclaiming that once he returned next year, he would catch the “the biggest fish in the world”. Hearing him tell us that when he was older, he would love to work for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay felt so inspiring to me, what we were doing was changing and influencing the younger generation of kids into doing something special with their lives. This has definitely been the top moment of my summer and makes want to continue working at Save the Harbor for years to come.

See you next week,

Week 4 - The best part about working with kids (Piers Park)

Welcome back!

     This week we had a lot of new faces at Piers Park. As fun as it is to really get to know the kids that are a part of our programming, it's equally as nice to meet new ones. We also had a change in our staff at Piers: Flo and Kamal joined the Piers Park crew going forward, and they are great to work with.

     This week came with a lot of experiences that were pretty new to me. After a pretty usual Monday of meeting new campers and greeting returnees, Mother Nature threw a wrench in our plans with an ill-timed rainstorm on Tuesday. So, instead of our regular programming of lessons and fishing, we had to improvise and quickly create a game of harbor-themed Jeopardy! Creating the game was actually more fun than playing it with the kids: everyone on the staff had to figure out different categories, who knows what subject best, and which questions the kids could answer with a limited knowledge of harbor history and marine science.
Setting up for a lesson on the lawn

     Wednesday and Friday were particularly fun for me because we got to plan and teach lessons for the campers. On Wednesday we held a lesson on how animals defend themselves; Flo and Kamal led the lesson, and focused on crabs as an example because we mostly catch green crabs when we're fishing on the dock. Friday had a food chain lesson, led by Fatima, Sebastien, and myself. We taught the kids about the difference between consumers and producers, gave a few examples of consumers and producers, and finished off with how energy moves from one level of the food chain to the next. Afterwards, we led the kids in an activity designed to simulate the food chain. We had four groups of kids, each as a different animal (plankton, mussels, crabs, and seagulls were the animals we used) and, under the direction of the counselors, tried to "eat" animals lower then themselves on the food chain by tagging them. The game seemed to work for the first few rounds, but by the end we just had a mess of kids tagging each other and running around (very fun, but not educational). Although it needs work, I think we can re-design the game to the quality it needs to be one of our go-to lessons.

Getting everyone involved in the crab lesson
     Teaching these lessons is part of why Piers Park is my favorite site to work at out of all of the sites we offer programming at. There are lots of great things about this job: I get to work outside, I work with kids and animals, but the best part by far is teaching kids new things about the world. We've held all sorts of lessons at Piers Park, from crabs to tides to how the food chain works, but even outside of our official lessons I try to make all of our activities learning opportunities. We had one kid who really knew his way around a fishing rod, but didn't quite know how casting worked, so I taught him about how motion works with a fishing rod. Every time a new fish or bird showed up, the kids and I would talk about what it was, what it ate, and where it lived. Anything I didn't know, I would look up during lunch break or at home. It's great to not only learn something every day, but to help someone else learn something new as well.

Song of the week: Once You Say Hello. by Phony Ppl

Until next time,
     ~Colin McRae

Friday, July 26, 2019

Splashes at Piers!

Hello everyone!

Sebastien after he fell in to the water...
This week was a fairly calm one, and we did our normal programming at Piers Park and Courageous. Monday, we had a new group of kids at Piers, so it was fun getting to know them. Of course, we had some familiar faces! Tuesday morning it poured! As a result, we only programmed at Courageous for the morning. In our indoor space, we last-minute created a Save the Harbor, Save the Bay version of a Jeopardy game! It was fairly rushed; however, I was pleasantly surprised how well it turned out--and how into it the kids were! We split the game up into four categories: harbor history/general harbor facts, harbor animal facts, fishing facts, and a random category! It was very fun, albeit challenging for many, due to the fact that these kids were new to Courageous! We hadn't realized that it was a new group of kids we were interacting with, so many of them didn't know things about the Harbor yet... Next week, we'll help to change this by creating some more informational lessons that teach them more about Boston Harbor and the species that live throughout its various ecosystems!
Lesson on adaptations!

This week was also interesting because, aside from Tuesday, where I led the majority of the lesson, both Wednesday's and Friday's lessons at Piers Park were planned and taught by JPAs and Fatima! It was a good experiment to see what everyone was capable of, and overall, I was impressed. Especially since we had some switcharoos and had both Kamal and Flo join us this week! Wednesday, Kamal, Jasmine, and Flo led a lesson on adaptations relating to species in the Harbor. They focused primarily on green crabs. First, Flo led the discussion by talking about which types of crabs you can find in the Harbor--European green, Asian shore, spider, Jonah, and rock. Kamal followed by prompting conversation about various defense mechanisms and adaptations a crab has to survive in the wild. For example, its protective shell or dull colors for camouflage. Finally, Flo finished the lesson by explaining how to properly identify whether a crab is male or female. Afterwards, they played a game that was meant to get the kids thinking about sea turtles and the use of their shells.

Friday, Colin and Fatima led a lesson on food chains and trophic levels. They went over large concepts, including what producers and consumers are. They did a lesson on the whiteboard, then did a game of tag that was meant to imitate the passing of energy between phytoplankton, mussels, crabs, and seagulls. However, we did not realize how difficult the lesson would be with 6-8 year olds. They seemed to get very antsy and were confused by the activity. Although it was not as successful as planned, it was a great learning moment! Now we know what works well for this group of kids and what didn't work well, and can thus plan more accordingly in the future. What a great--although chaotic--week!

Talk soon,