A group of 11 people stand in front of a bronze memorial

Week 1 – Hill to Harbor Introduction

Hi! We’re the Hill to Harbor crew, a Youth Conservation Corps with the National Parks of Boston. This summer we’re going to be working with four YMCAs around the greater Boston area and facilitating our discovery camps with them.  Our goal is to give the youth campers happy memories and teach them about the history of the land that we stand on. We will visit many sites including: the Black Heritage Trail near the Boston Common, TWO Boston Harbor Islands, Georges and Peddocks, and even a visit to our HQ and one of the most historic parts of Boston, the Charlestown Navy Yard. We hope to leave these campers with a lasting impression and sense of appreciation for the history that we live amongst. We hope by the end of the summer, their experiences at the parks can guide them into answering our essential question “What can people and parks do for one another?But first, we must build a relationship with the campers, which is what we spent week one doing.  


Week one of discovery camps was a handful. A usual five-day week was forced to be compressed into three days due to an extended Fourth of July weekend. Despite some obstacles the H2H team along with all the YMCA staff worked together to make sure we had a productive and fun introduction week. We would start off our programs with an introduction where we tell youth about ourselves and what we plan to do throughout the summer. And then afterwards we split up into 3 groups to play a name game where we tossed around a stuffed bison and said our name once we got the bison. We also came up with a team name and ideas for a team flag! Once we got back to the office, the H2H crew worked on the flags all week to ensure they’d be ready by the following week. 


Intro week is one of if not the most important week of camp. First impressions matter and we wanted to make sure that we left a lasting impression and gave the campers something to be excited about and look forward to.

“Parks are places where kids go to play! But not all parks have swings, some are like yours with mountains and nature!” – a YMCA Camper

A youth employee smiles while showing off a team flag for the "White Wolves."
A youth employee hides behind a team flag for the "Power Rangers" while another youth employee smiles for the camera.

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