Week 2: Black Heritage Trail

Hi! My name is Rhode and I will be giving you an overview of this week with the campers. Last week we got to visit each YMCA and introduce ourselves and this week we were able to kick off our summer of adventures by bringing the children to the Black Heritage Trail located in the Boston Common. Although we were able to successfully walk only one of the YMCA groups through the BHT due to weather predicaments, campers still had the opportunity to not only learn of the stories of those within the BHT but they also asked amazing questions, showing their engagement and interest in the activity.  

Our group, when faced with the rise of temperatures, were able to successfully alter our schedule to ensure the campers didn’t miss out on the experience of walking the BHT. So, instead of bringing them to it, we brought the BHT to them. First we ensured the children got to see and hear the story of the shaw memorial and its significance to the BHT, upon with hearing the stories of the soldiers resilience we played games like “Stepping Stone” to not only build team chemistry but also portray the importance of working together to achieve a goal like the soldiers of the 54th Regiment did.  

Along with that, we constructed an activity called button making, to engage the campers in our essential question this summer, “what can parks do for people and what can people do for parks”. Within this activity we passed out a piece of paper and colored pencils and instructed them to express the different ways they could themselves help their parks or how their parks have helped them. Then we took those papers and turned them into buttons which could be pinned to their shirts, giving them the ability to wear their mission loud and proud.

Although faced with challenges, my team and I persevered and ensured the campers had the best week despite the heat.

Image Description:A button that reads "I heart parks, I clean parks, I learn about parks, and we heart parks" and also shows drawings of a tree, a butterfly, and a small person.
This button has a rainbow starting at the top and reads "Melody, be nice. Be kind. Be chill."
This button, fastened to a blue t-shirt reads simply "Alex" and shows a scene with a tree on the left, a field full of red and yellow flowers, and a blue sky.

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