Thursday, July 4, 2019

First Week of Piers + Courageous

Hello again!

This week was the first week of programming--so exciting! On Monday and Wednesday, I was at the Piers Park Sailing Center, and on Tuesday, went to the Courageous Sailing Center! Both are really incredible organizations that serve kids of all ages in the Boston area and teach them to sail. Piers Park is in East Boston. At Piers, we work with children ages 5-8. They are very squishy and sweet! On Monday, I recognized some faces of campers and counselors from last year, which was very exciting! Courageous is in Charlestown, and unlike Piers, I had never been to Courageous before Tuesday. At Courageous, we work with children between the ages of about 9 and 14.

Since it was the first week, it took a little bit of time to figure out our daily schedules. In addition to fishing and catching crabs and other sea critters for our touch tank, I learned that I also have to plan lessons for our days at Piers. On Wednesday, I did a brief introduction about the Boston Harbor Islands: what national parks are, what species you can find in the Harbor, how many islands there are, and how the Harbor was once dirty but is now clean! It's very hard to hold the attention of young children, especially those under 10, so it was a fairly brief lesson.

While fishing and letting out our crab traps this week, we did not catch many animals. We did catch many green crabs, and almost caught a large spider crab, but unfortunately it fell back into the ocean while we were reeling it back up on our fishing rod... One really interesting thing, though, that did get caught on a fishing hook, was this odd looking egg sack. It was translucent and jello-like, and if you looked closely, you could see the partially-formed body of a small fish-like creature. See the photo I posted of the egg sack caught on our fishing hook (ignore the piece of squid above it--that was our bait of the day!).

I posted photos of it on an app called iNaturalist, which everyone should download if they get the chance! It's a great citizen science app. You can look on it and post pictures of various organisms you find all over the world. You can identify plants and animals, or, if you don't know what you found, you can ask scientists or other individuals to help you identify it! Many rangers around the Boston Harbor Islands use it, too. It's pretty fun to see what species are growing in your neighborhood! Check it out!

See you next week,


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