John Rigney: Woodstock Summer Sessions Week 3
It seems hard to believe we’ve finished our third week and are heading into week four. Yesterday we wrapped up Community Service, a second offering of City Lights, Graphic Design, and the Oregon Trail trip. Overall student attitudes and effort have been exceptional with students demonstrating wonderful learning attitudes which offer them a glimpse of their best.
This week, we continued to work on speaking up in large groups, forming strong bonds between faculty and students, and trying out new activities. Our week was also filled with plenty of action and reflection.
We pulled the community together Monday evening to address some poor decisions made by student leaders and provided some time for them to receive feedback. This opportunity to practice truth over harmony was also a valuable learning opportunity for all members of the community.
For Week #3 Activities, students divided up and were off on their various adventures.
Community Service had a full week starting with volunteer work Monday morning at the Hartford Market food share. Tuesday and Wednesday the group drove to Brimfield, MA to help in the tornado relief effort. Still in dire need of help, this area was devastated in May when an F1 tornado ripped through homes and country side. Students demolished a damaged barn and helped to clean up debris in an effort to support members of that community. They spent Thursday and Friday working at Camp Quinebaug, a camp for kids and adults with special needs. It was a great opportunity to work closely with others and have fun.
In their program debrief, students were asked to respond to two questions.
1. Which activity brought out your best and what did it show about you?
2. What did you think about while you were helping others?
Some of their responses included:
- I felt good about myself, like I came out of my own life for little while to help others in need. It was simply about what I could do to help others.
- I think the tornado relief brought out the best in me because it was probably the most difficult activity. It was hot, tiring, and a little frustrating; however, I was able to overcome all of these obstacles and keep positive. At the end of the day, even though I hated doing the tasks at the time, I felt really good and accomplished.
- The tornado relief efforts helped illustrate my characteristics as a leader. These include persistence, endurance, and motivation.
- My best activity was helping the children with special needs at Camp Q. Drawing pictures, swimming, and playing air hockey brought smiles to all of our faces.
City Lights redesigned their group divisions with a new set of students this week. Students were challenged to take photos and collect information about architecture, history, art, and more. They debriefed at the end of the week and shared their gathered information, lessons, and experiences. Read about the City Lights trips HERE.
Graphic Design took charge of Hyde’s new Apple lab and learned the ins and outs of these high-tech machines. Wednesday they took a break from the lab to check out galleries at the Rhode Island School of Design. They wrapped up the week in Boston at Museum of Modern Art, dinner out, and a trip to see The Blueman Group.
The Oregon Trail Trip got off the river and will report in later about the experience they’ve had this past week. Last they checked in, they were excited about the chance to hit white water and learn about their connection to the wilderness.
We concluded the weekend with a trip to Brownstone Quarry waterpark on Sunday. It was be an all-day opportunity to beat the heat. It was a great success and well-earned fun day for all who went. Faculty, staff and students look forward to your arrival at the end of the week!
See photos from Woodstock Summer Sessions Programs HERE.