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Earthen Vessels



Empowering inner-city youth



Updated: 2014-10-06T18:30:12.097-07:00

 






Successful camp sessions despite the rain

2009-08-26T02:40:37.864-07:00

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We had three sessions at camp this summer, a week with 11-12 year-olds, a week of Leadership Training, and two weeks with 13-14 year-olds. It was one of the rainiest seasons we've ever had, but we managed to do three mountains during the last session. Camel's Hump was the highlight—it's the most beautiful mountain in Vermont, in my book. We managed to do Mount Mansfield, the highest, but were in the clouds without any view at the top. The traditional stop for ice cream at Ben & Jerry's was some consolation, and the sun came out for swimming by the time we got back to camp. Everybody had a good time and did some serious growing on many levels. We ended the summer with a Family Camp weekend with former counselors, tutors and their kids.



Blog rally for Roxana Saberi and others

2009-04-26T09:28:41.471-07:00

(image) Thanks to T at Notes of an Anesthesioboist for getting this going. A group of bloggers is holding a blog rally in support of Roxana Saberi, who is spending her birthday on a hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison, where she has been incarcerated for espionage. According to NPR, "The Iranian Political Prisoners Association lists hundreds of people whose names you would be even less likely to recognize: students, bloggers, dissidents, and others who, in a society that lacks a free press, dare to practice free expression." Hearing reports like these has prompted us to do a ribbon campaign. Blue for blogging. Please consider placing a blue ribbon on your blog or website this week in honor of the journalists, bloggers, students, and writers who are imprisoned in Evin Prison, nicknamed "Evin University," and other prisons around the world, for speaking and writing down their thoughts. Also, please ask others to join our blog rally.



EV Chocolate Buffet at the Langham to close auction

2009-04-13T07:33:56.996-07:00

(image) Please join us April 30th 7-9pm at the Langham Hotel Boston for a gala Chocolate Buffet—a highly reputed "indulgence"—to help us finish up our online auction in style... and, more importantly, to help us continue Earthen Vessels' essential work with Boston's inner-city young people. The event will be MC'd by one of our 'graduates', Latoyia Edwards. She is also an honors graduate of Emerson College, Miss Massachusetts USA in 2002, and a reporter for New England Cable News. She will be joined by a current tutor-tutee pair who will speak about their experience in the program. You will have the opportunity to bid on several silent auction items reserved for this final evening, including a week's stay in a beautiful apartment in Paris. Check out the auction, live online through April 28th, at earthenvessels.cMarket.com and contact Eric to reserve your ticket for the Chocolate Buffet: atty.ethompson@yahoo.com.



EV Community Event a big success

2009-04-13T07:17:58.152-07:00

(image) Earthen Vessels held its annual Community Event at its Tutoring Center in Dorchester March 31st, bringing together Harvard tutors, their tutees, the tutees' families and EV staff for a fun evening of fellowship and sharing. Families brought delicious homemade food to share and the kids put on a terrific presentation, tracing the history of (Black) liberation from slavery to Barack Obama. Several recited texts (beginning with Sojourner Truth), portions of speeches (including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama), or their own poems. Another group put on a dance number which they had choreographed (with some help from one of the tutors). Everyone had a chance to get to know one another better and appreciate the talent and creativity of the young people (and their parents!). Thanks to Lauren and Nancy for all their hard work putting it all together.



Earthen Vessels Online Auction up and running

2008-11-10T10:53:20.017-08:00

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Our THANKSGIVING ONLINE AUCTION is now open until November 24. Check it out at earthenvessels.cMarket.com. If you can donate a product or service, or you would like to be a recognized sponsor, please contact Eric Thompson at (c) 917-533-1161. Check out the many exciting items already posted—fine restaurants, theatres, ski resorts, museums, and more—Bid early and often! We've just added some exciting signature items: see http://blog.autographstore.com/



Computer Recycling Event November 15

2008-11-10T10:54:27.048-08:00

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Cheese Tasting with expert, Kurt Gurdal

2008-06-28T20:55:27.588-07:00

(image) On June 19th cheese expert Kurt Gurdal from Formaggio's Kitchen in Cambridge presented a series of interesting and unusual cheeses paired with delectable confitures or such, and appropriate wines, both white and red. He explained in detail how and where each cheese was made. For the 20 participants, some old hands at EV and some coming for the first time to find out what Earthen Vessels is all about—that was the reason for the event, after all—it was a delicious encounter with cheese, to be sure, but also with two of the young people currently in the program as well as a camper from way back in the early 80's, Carla, who will be joining our Board of Directors. Dan Thompson hosted the event on his terrace in Belmont, and, as the saying goes, a good time was had by all. If any of you out there would like to host such an event for your friends, let us know. We are always interested in getting the word out!(image) (image) (image)
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My Great Job

2008-05-19T16:04:29.152-07:00

(image) by Nancy Jiménez
Educational Coordinator

“What do you like most about your job?” This is a question I’m often asked and the answer is always different. Lately what I like most about my job are the moments I get to spend one-on-one with the kids—especially if it’s outside of tutoring. There’ve been a couple times when I’ve taken teens to the library or an internet-café to work on a research paper. The casual feel of the outings are a special treat for me and for the students as well. I think that letting the kids see me in an environment outside of the tutoring center is a great mentoring tactic—it suddenly dawns upon them that I’m a ‘normal person.’ I become real to them. I become their friend. They let down their guard and open up. And most importantly, they begin to trust me. Occasionally, I also get to work with students at the tutoring center when they show up for extra help or if their tutors are absent. It’s a chance to see the students’ abilities and needs firsthand. Better yet, it’s a chance to get to know them. This is why I enjoy picking the kids up after school, too. They tell me stories about their day or their weekend. They share their problems with me and I try to offer thoughtful advice. Sometimes, they even give me advice: like the time one 5th grader suggested I get a ‘cool’ make-over including purple highlights, long acrylic nails, and a tattoo! Needless to say, this advice was unsolicited. It did make me laugh though. And these are the kinds of things that keep me interested in my job. I wonder what connections I’ll make today.



Chocolate buffet and auction a great success

2008-05-18T18:43:37.016-07:00

The EV family gathered at the Langham Hotel Boston for a delicious Chocolate Buffet and the exciting end of our silent auction, with bidding heating up considerably as the time was running out. Tutors Esmeralda and Kamille helped out with sign-in and subsequent payments for winning bids. Several former tutors and former tutees or campers joined us, including Carla and her husband; Anthony, and former camper and tutee Latoyia Edwards who MC'd the event. Board member Eric Thompson, who spearheaded the auction, along with former camper and counselor Shelby Pierce, set up the remaining items for the final round of our silent auction. George Bard, whose watercolor of Mt. Mansfield led to some of the fiercest bidding, can be seen here with Program Director Lauren Ravello and Educational Coordinator, Nancy Jiménez. It was fun to see old friends and to meet others who we hope will become friends and supporters. Board Member Jaime de Zengotita, who tutored during college and the first two years of Medical School, was happy to see his former tutee, Anthony. He was also the surprised winner of the first EV Distinguished Service Award for his many contributions,:a framed copy of George Bard's beautiful watercolor of Mt. Mansfield—the original was the object of heated bidding. Board member Anjali Gupta brought along the youngest member of the EV family. The auction and event raised a total of some $10,000 to help keep our programs for inner-city youth up and running. Many thanks to our sponsors, all those who donated items for the auction, the volunteers who helped the evening run smoothly, and a special shout-out to Eric and the event committee, Carlos and Beth, for their hard work.[...]



Spring doings at EV

2008-04-21T14:23:34.570-07:00

Dear Friends,While awaiting spring eagerly, we are keeping busy trying to get the most out of a short semester. Nancy, our Educational Coordinator is finishing up her second round of schools visits, some 100 teachers to be visited individually in many different schools. She is doing great work building up relationships which make of them supporters and partners in our work with their students. What they share with her is invaluable to help our tutors customize their tutoring sessions to the needs of their particular tutee.Lauren, our Program Director, for her part, keeps in contact with the families every week and keeps the kids coming to tutoring. That is no small task until children and parents alike discover on their own that coming regularly is the first key element towards progress. Both of them have also been very busy preparing for out Community Event.It was really nice to see the hall where tutoring takes place transformed into a festive space beautifully decorated by tutors. The small card tables used by each pair at tutoring, with colorful tablecloths and a small vase with beautiful flowers (gift of Hallie's Garden flower shop) were used by tutees’ families sitting down for a potluck dinner with their child’s tutor. That was a great opportunity for tutors and families to get to know each other or reconnect. The performance by the kids afterwards, the result of hours of Saturday mornings’ rehearsals the month before, entertained the families and made parents proud of their children.We will now focus on recruiting youngsters and counselors for camp and start preparing actively for it. For some of the adolescents in the program, camp becomes a turning point, a breakthrough in their journey towards self-confidence, trust in their abilities and talents, a new positive attitude and hope in the future that is a main step towards success.A month ago we had a small fun fundraising event organized by one of our alumni Board members that was a great success. Two other Board Members are actively organizing a bigger event planned for May 1st, a Chocolate Buffet at the Langham Hotel Boston. We hope most of you will participate in it, if not by coming, if you are miles away, at least by bidding in our silent auction which is about to go online and that you can already view at http://earthenvessels.cMarket.com.Our need is great. The new energy coming from our board feels me with hope. We are greatly thankful for your being with us through thick and thin, being part of this great chain of support which sustains our work, We count on you to make of this year a new beginning towards more stability, sustainability at a time when expenses are going up and funding becomes uncertain. May our common endeavor open doors for our young inner-city friends who face so many obstacles in their growing-up.Marie-Claude Thompson, Executive Director[...]



New Board member Carlos Cedeño

2008-04-17T17:23:35.515-07:00

(image) Carlos Cedeño recently joined our Board of Directors. Here is his story, as published in our latest Earthen Vessels News :

Earthen Vessels gave me hope. I was a kid with no hope, no role models and no aspirations. Earthen Vessels took me in and helped me develop the characteristics that have brought me much success in life.

Through the Earthen Vessels Tutoring Program, I was able to solidify my weak academic skills into a strong academic foundation that led to my being accepted by A Better Chance, a program that places minority students in schools with a solid academic curriculum to better prepare them for college. In addition to the formal academic development, the Tutoring Program gave me confidence and the belief in myself which helped me overcome my initial academic deficiencies. I graduated from Longmeadow High School and enrolled at Tufts University where I received my B.A. in International Relations.

At Earthen Vessels Camp I also learned the importance of teamwork, through the cooking, table setting, and dish teams. The roles that I played on these teams (although not always fun at the time) taught me that by working together we can accomplish many things.

Mountain hikes, too, taught me that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind on. I had earlier suffered from asthma and was afraid of having an episode during the hikes. The counselors organized a group that walked at my pace and talked me through the hikes. Once I succeeded in reaching my very first mountain peak, I felt proud. On many levels those hikes proved to me that one can overcome fear and feel a sense of accomplishment. They taught me that if I kept working hard in life, there would be a beautiful view at the top.

I also learned conflict resolution, via workshops and role-playing scenarios. I learned to be open-minded about different music, different activities (volleyball—not a cool sport growing up in the ‘hood), archery (I had no idea what that was until I attended EV camp), and spiritual growth (via the reading of Bible passages and the conversations we had about them every evening).

In short, the success that I have today owes a great deal to Earthen Vessels. I started out as a 14 year-old kid without any positive role models, with little belief in myself, full of anger, unable to see past the neighborhood that I grew up in. I have since graduated from one of the top high schools in Massachusetts, and from one of the most competitive universities in the field of International Relations. My beautiful wife Ruth and I have two wonderful children, Mariaisabel and Juan Carlos. I still have goals and am teaching my children the values of hard work, prayer and belief in self. I thank Earthen Vessels for instilling in me the values that have brought me much success and happiness in life.



SAVE THE DATE: May 1, 2008

2008-03-16T16:34:15.963-07:00

(image) A SWEET WAY TO HELP EV

Join us for a night of celebration of Earthen Vessels, cholocate indulgence, and silent auction fun!

This event will feature the Langham Boston Hotel's unique Chocolate Bar, voted "Best Indulgence" by Boston Magazine, our Chocolate Bar is guaranteed to delight chocolate lovers. This delicious assortment of more than 125 chocolate desserts includes chocolate mousses, specialty cakes, homemade ice cream, fresh baked cookies, milk chocolate passion fruit tarts, miniature s’more cups, cotton candy, delicate truffles, donut machine, homemade waffles with chocolate fondue and more.

The Langham Boston Hotel 250 Franklin Street, Boston MA 02110, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

We will offer a selection of quality items for auction, including

• A Week's Stay in a beautiful Paris apartment with Eiffel Tower views
• Memorial Day Weekend Stay in a magnificent chalet overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee
• Paella Marinera Meal Prepared in Your Home
• Large Silk Ikebana (flower arrangement)
• Tooth Whitening Treatment by D. Sever, DMD
• Overnight stay with breakfast at the InterContinental Hotel on Boston's waterfront
• A delightful 'date' in Belmont Center: couple's massage, 18 roses, and a fine Thai dinner

and many more. Most of the auction items will be available for on-line bidding (with links to corresponding web sites like restaurants, shops, etc.). The action will commence online on April 14 but you can preview initial items at http://earthenvessels.cMarket.com. Do you have an item to donate? Do you want to help in some way?

Contact: Brian Thompson, President, at (617) 497-0759, brian.thompson@umb.edu, or
Eric Thompson, Benefit Chair, at (617) 489-4031 or ethompson@childrensrights.org




Portrait of former EV camper/tutee Latoyia Edwards

2008-04-21T14:26:31.835-07:00

(image) New England Cable News is as proud of their reporter as we here at EV are. Their web site (http://www.necn.com/shows/96/node/359) says: LATOYIA EDWARDS joined the NECN family as a morning reporter in 2005, arriving from WWLP-22 in Springfield, MA, where she had been a weekday anchor. A native of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Edwards graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She began her career as a news writer for WBZ-1030AM radio, and later reported for the Fox affiliate WICZ-TV 40 in Binghamton, NY. She first anchored television for MediaOne cable news network, while also reporting as the morning drive news anchor for WILD 1090AM. Additionally, Edwards has instructed courses for the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. In 2002, Edwards was crowned Miss Massachusetts in the USA pageant. She is married, and greatly enjoys volunteering with youth groups.
Check out Latoyia's own first person account of her time with us, "EV and I", on our web site: http://earthen-vessels.org/evandi.htm
Latoyia has agreed to MC our Chocolate Buffet and Silent Auction on May 1st: come and meet her!



Lauren's Corner: A great fall at tutoring

2008-01-08T07:50:18.040-08:00

There is cause for rejoicing this fall. The tutors this year are amazing. The recruitment for freshmen tutors was a success in many ways. I feel that our new tutors came into the program ready to meet the challenges of their own academics and willing to foster a great mentoring relationship with their tutee. The tutors who have been with us for a number of years have set a great example for the new tutors by getting to tutoring on time and through their willingness to share ideas and experiences with them. This collaboration that exists between the experienced tutors and the new tutors is reflected in the eyes of all tutees. Our tutees feel that they not only can receive help from their own tutor but that they could share their ideas with the other tutors. This collaborative effort by all creates a safe and creative atmosphere for our tutees to work and learn.We have three tutees who have attended tutoring for a number of years and are now in ninth grade. I have to say that I am very proud of their achievements. They are transitioning well to high school and doing well in their academics. They are also involved with sports and other activities at school while keeping up with a new and challenging academic schedule. One particular ninth-grade tutee was praised by his guidance counselor for his adjustment to high school and his teachers’ faces lit up when his name was mentioned during our Educational Coordinator’s recent school visit. His leadership at school was proven when his peers elected him as the Freshmen Representative for Student Government. One of our other ninth-grade superstars, who had been very shy for the past three years I have known her, joined the volleyball team at school. She was introduced to volleyball, the camp’s sport, while spending two weeks at Earthen Vessels Camp in Vermont this past summer. This summer experience built up her confidence enough that she felt that she could try out for the school team while keeping up with her academics. Go, superstar!! All three of them also feel that they can attend tutoring more than once a week when they needed it. Their tutors have been great by being available to them and coming to the tutoring center more than once a week despite their own busy schedules. If their tutor could not make it for an extra day at tutoring, there are always other tutors who are willing to share their time all in the name of academic improvement. I would really like to thank our tutors for their especially supportive and welcoming approach this year. It has been very refreshing and has proven to be an academic and personal boost for all of the tutees involved with the program.Lauren Ravello, Program Director[...]



Earthen Vessels: To the TOP!!!

2007-12-31T07:18:53.526-08:00

It’s funny how sometimes just a word, a phrase, a song or a scent has the power to prompt an emotional response or elicit a specific memory. The other day driving my car, trying to find a station to listen to, I came across the song Take Me Home, Country Roads. Prior to my experience at camp I probably would not have stopped and begun singing it as I did with a Dolly Parton twang, smiling like a fool. It would have meant nothing to me. But it, along with songs from The Beatles and Cat Stevens, now trigger happy memories for me of camp – of preparing ‘interesting’ meals with kids who’d never used a salad spinner, repairing tents and sleeping bags, and watching dried pine needles spark and crackle in the camp fire. Every week at tutoring I experience another trigger. At the end of the day, when books and materials have been put away, we sit with chairs side by side facing inwards for Circle Time. After a quick trivia game and sharing our joys and concerns, we hold hands. A couple of us call out “Earthen Vessels!” and then with hands in the air we all respond “To the TOP!” This mantra not only reminds us each day of our goals and where we are heading, but for some of us it also brings back the memory of camp in Vermont – particularly of climbing to the mountain tops. For the kids - and counselors, too – reaching the mountain’s peak was a challenge. Physically, emotionally, and mentally the journey to the top was exhausting for us all. I hope the kids remember how good it felt when after hours of climbing, of thinking they would never make it, of maybe tripping or slipping a few times, no longer caring that their sneakers were dirty or their hair wasn’t ‘fly’, they finally reached the top. I hope they remember how it felt to look down from the sky to the valley below and see just how very far they’d come; how they’d continued striving to keep up despite their fear of heights, despite their trouble breathing, despite whatever weakness. They had determination. They had the support of others. That (and some Gatorade) was enough. Success is a similar journey and struggle. I’m lucky enough to be witness to this journey for some of our campers throughout the school year. One camper surprised us by announcing that she decided to join the volleyball team in high school after having been introduced to the game at camp. She’s juggling sports and grades very well. Another kid was afraid of swimming but was determined to pass the swim-test by the end of the summer – and he did. This same kid signed up for AP courses even though he was afraid it’d be too challenging and ran for and was elected Student Representative for his freshman class. I know the types of personal challenges our kids faced at camp and was lucky enough to witness how they’ve grown from their experiences. Sometimes you wonder if you’re getting through to the kids, if they are taking the lessons they learned at camp to heart. Now I know that they do. And when we sit at Circle Time and exclaim, “Earthen Vessels: To the TOP!” I’m reminded of how resilient and brave these kids are. I have no doubt that they’ll reach their peak, their full potential.Nancy Jimenez, Educational Coordinator[...]



Notes from summer camp

2007-12-27T08:52:20.032-08:00

Every day at camp, after breakfast, physical, and spiritual fitness, we would split into groups for workshops. There were two per day. Separated by snack time. Zone bars, carrot sticks, and juice. And a stack of eighteen plastic cups. But I digress. Workshops. Somehow, my experiences in third and fourth grade qualified me to teach volleyball. And so that is what I did. Marc and I, and the occasional Tom/Lucas/ Guillaume, would take five campers down to the field. Volleyball being the main camp sport, we tried to cultivate skills that would allow us to have a “good game” during community game time. With the workshop assignments sorted out for the day, we’d gather our troops. Bug spray, check. Water, check. Raspberry mocha blast hat, check. With three volleyballs in hand, one of which would be getting fished out of the woods ten minutes later, we were ready to go.We’d start out by practicing basic hits, bumping and setting, and then work on serves. Some people could clear the net easily. For others, it was a big deal when, on their fifth try, standing six feet from the net, the ball finally went over. By the end of the week, we were good enough to get some good rounds of pepper, complete with shrieks of “buuump… set… spiiike!” and the letter game—although I would argue that some illegal hits were used in making it to triple R, or whatever the final record was.Not every day was AVP quality, as we were occasionally plagued by unidentifiable biting insects, a glaring sun, or the camper who had just not gotten quite enough sleep. Attempts to skip out with a bathroom break were quickly thwarted, and pleads of “Stand up, your team needs you!” were periodically heard. While these episodes were quite frustrating, the good times more than made up for it. For instance:The tournament at the end of camp, complete with the widest variety of sunglasses styles I have ever seen. Juliette serving five straight points, laughing because she wanted to stop. Rex (and Tom) sending the ball thirty feet into the air, despite their best tries to lightly tap it. Xavier rallying his team even when they were fading. And Kathy, to my surprise, telling me this fall that she had joined the volleyball team at school.Camp offered many experiences like those with volleyball—each one with its ups and downs. Hiking: the length of the climb, balanced by the serenity at the top. Serious workshops: not an easy experience, but certainly a valuable community opportunity. Services: sometimes a burden, sometimes a prideful act of producing the best tuna casserole ever.While at camp, it’s difficult to know what type of impact you are having on the kids. But the little comments you’d hear made you realize you were achieving something positive. When we’d do “highs and lows” before bed, the girls would often cite activities as both a high and a low. The things they were doing were new and sometimes difficult, yet they were the best parts of their day. One evening while doing the dishes, Leah asked me how many years the camp had been running. She was disappointed that she hadn’t come before, and only after being told 27 years was she able to settle for not having attended previously. It’s this desire that reminds me how meaningful our time at camp really was.Amanda Kolb, Harvard '08[...]



Camp reunion on October 20

2007-12-27T08:59:24.036-08:00

We had a great camp reunion over at Harvard on October 20th with a bunch of campers and counselors. It was great to see everyone again, and the weather cooperated with a glorious day.We played some games in front of the Kennedy School, shared camp photos at the Student Center, and sang some favorite camp songs like "Country Roads," "Charlie on the MTA," and "Let it Be." We caught a peek of the Head of the Charles Regatta with some 8,000 rowers from around the world. Our own Amanda was racing the next day with the Radcliffe crew. Go (or row) Amanda![...]



Comments and suggestions welcome!

2007-08-08T08:35:28.314-07:00

(image) We would greatly appreciate hearing your comments and suggestions about our blog, our web site (which we encourage you to visit at earthen-vessels.org), and, more broadly, our work with inner-city youth, both at camp in Vermont and in our school-year tutoring and mentoring program in Boston. Posting of comments has been simplified. Please add yours!



Family Camp ends the season in style

2007-08-06T14:05:55.209-07:00

(image) We spent a delightful weekend to close the camp season with former counselors and tutors and their children. The weather was ideal and we were able to do a myriad of outdoor activities: various community games like Signal or Sharks and Minnows, swimming in the Mad River, some great volleyball games, archery, walks along the headwaters of the White River just down the hill from camp... Diana and Jaime, with assorted other members of the 'cooking team,' put together a delicious cookout Saturday with tilapia, salmon, burgers and hotdogs, roasted vegetables and corn on the cob, followed by a campfire and the roasting of marshmallows. We also played some inside games like chess, ping-pong, and 'Saint Pete-Saint Paul'—which we learned from campers way back in 1980 and have played ever since—and sang favorite camp songs to the excellent guitar accompaniment of Eric and Dan, longtime counselors. On Sunday we managed to put tents away, pack up equipment, and pretty much put the camp to bed for the winter. It was a wonderful end to an exceptionally good camping season.(image) (image) (image)



Second camp session of fun and personal growth

2007-08-01T11:43:25.645-07:00

(image) We have just finished the two-week camp with a great bunch of kids 12-14 years old. We had some wonderful weather which permitted mountain hikes up Mt. Hunger and Camel's Hump, the most beautiful mountain in Vermont. In-camp activities included volleyball, soccer, archery, theatre improv, chess, community games, swimming in a spring-fed pond or—on hike days—the Mad River, "serious workshops" on issues like grief, anger management, conflict resolution, sexuality and relationships, and a lot of singing and sharing in the evening. Though they normally listen to hip-hop, the kids became enthusiastic about singing "Take me Home, Country Roads," "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," and "Leaving on a Jet Plane," among many others. A terrific group of counselors, several of whom have also been tutors in our Tutoring/Mentoring Program, helped the youngsters on many levels, and we all formed a real family where the kids felt at home, comfortable with one another and with the staff, and able to share even painful events or experiences from their personal life and help one another come to terms with them. As one camper observed, "I learned how to make friends."(image)
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First camp session successful

2007-12-31T07:06:07.702-08:00

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(image) We managed to get things into shape to welcome ten campers for the first session. Despite an oil-pan leak which obliged us to abandon our van only one-third of the way to camp, leading to an extended wait and a 9pm dinner, the kids quickly became acclimated to the intense rhythm of camp activities and had a great time. Workshops and games, swimming, singing every evening, shared chores and a mountain hike on the last day filled the week which went by like a flash.
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More work on the barn

2007-07-11T17:15:19.464-07:00

(image) Lucas and I managed to get most of the back wall of the barn done, replacing old, worn-out tar paper with modern Tyvek and a layer of tar paper. I'll be able to finish it up during the three days of prep for the first session. We head up tomorrow in two waves: Marie- Claude and Nancy at 7am, the counselors and I at 2pm. During the weekend Marie-Claude finished up the mowing and started getting the house in shape.



More work on the barn

2007-06-21T14:24:31.887-07:00

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(image) Marie-Claude, Lucas and I are heading back up to camp for the weekend. Lucas and I will be working on two projects: one, to remove all the vertical barn boards on the rear of the barn (in photo), apply new tar paper and/or Tyvek (the original tar paper between the boards has been completely eaten through by sunlight and weather, leaving spaces for hornets' nests and the like); and then, replace an 8"x8" beam holding up one end of the back porch of the house, the center of a lot of camp activity (or occasional inactivity). We'll have to use a car jack to raise the porch while we work on it: should be fun! We'll use pressure-treated materials this time, so it should last another 50 years at least. In the meantime, Marie-Claude will be getting things ready in the house, mowing the grass (again), making sure the tents are in good shape, and so on.



Mission accomplished

2007-06-18T07:10:48.939-07:00

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Lucas and I managed to build bunkbeds on three sides of a new room in the barn. We enjoyed working together again, and the final product was satisfying to see. I am sure the boys will appreciate it if we get hit with sustained rain during camp. We also had just enough time to mow the grass around the house and out in the field.  In places it was already about 10 inches high, all since Marie-Claude mowed it just 10 days earlier. Marie-Claude and I are heading back up to camp Tuesday and Wednesday next to do some more work. Camp is just two weeks away!