On Saturday April 28th, we enjoyed a nice sunny day of hiking at the Babson Boulder Trail in Gloucester, MA. An abandoned inland settlement known as “Dogtown,” over 100 families lived here during peak population from 1750-1800. During the Great Depression, local resident Roger Babson commissioned unemployed stonecutters to carve inspirational sayings into the boulders, at least one of which is 15 feet high.
We traveled with a total of 10 middle school kids, 5 girls and 5 boys, from St. Peters Teen Center, 5 ICO volunteers, and Culi, the St Peters staff member. We arrived at 10:30 and Liz led the opening circle with the Name Game and then provided a history of the park.
Afterwards, we broke up into 3 teams to begin the scavenger hunt, including Teams 5-star and Lions. In order to win the scavenger hunt, each team had to use a map and compass to find all 29 boulders within 2.5 hours. These boulders were etched with inspirational sayings such “Help mother," "Stay out of Debt," "Loyalty," and "Never try never win." Lunch was held at the “Be on Time” location at 1:00pm.
Each kid was given a task-- one to read the trail map, one to read a compass and another to record their findings. Through certain parts of the trail, the winds were very strong and some boulders were not easy to find. However, throughout each challenge, with great energy, team work and effort, each of the teams pushed through and succeeded to find most, if not all of the boulders.
On the way back to the parking lot we stopped a couple of times. Latoya led a very funny game, splitting up the boys and girls into two lines, and challenging them to pass a small rubber ball from neck to neck, using no hands. Then, Allan explained to us how geocaching works, though before his GPS could calculate the location one of the kids somehow found the well-hidden “Be Clean” geocache. The kids signed their names to the book before we replaced the contents. At the closing circle, we took turns talking about the highlights of the day and complimenting each other on teamwork.