On Saturday, May 16th, Boston ICO volunteers Cassie, Jeff, Meg, and Melissa joined 20 youth (13 boys and 7 girls) from St. Peters, and their staffmembers James and Jeanice, for a canoe/kayking trip on the Charles River at Nahanton Park in Newton, followed by a hike through the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain.
The group met at St. Peters at 10am to loosen up with Basketball and Soccer, and then drove out to Nahanton Park in Newton for our canoe and kayak trip on the Charles River. After separating into 2-person kayaking groups and canoe groups, we got our PFDs fitted, with a quick safety demonstration ("don't stand up in the boat!"), and we were off. The weather was cloudy but warm, and after getting the hang of paddling in unison and applying more force to different sides to turn the boats, we were quickly moving fast upstream. On the way back, a couple of the kayaks flipped over (whether it was an accident or the kayakers just wanting to cool off, we will never know!), but with a bit of difficulty the boats were righted and we were on our way back to home base.
After turning in our gear (and drying off a bit for a few of us!) we set up the picnic tables on the hill and had a lunch of sandwiches (ham, turkey, and PB&J) and fruit. while cleaning up, we found a couple of frogs that were disguised perfectly with the grass and got to observe them closely. We then headed back into the van for the short drive over to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, where we had a bit of an introduction into what an aroboretum was, and headed up the hill! The kids still had plenty of energy and charged up Peters Hill to see a great view of downtown Boston, and we went down to play around the lilacs which were in full bloom and had fun rolling down the steep hills.
While enjoying the sights of the various species in full bloom, we came across a gigantic willow tree and all gathered underneath the huge branches for a group photo, and headed back to the van for a final closing circle. It was a great day, and several of the St. Peters youth said they would be back to the Arboretum with their families.
A link to the photos from the trip can be found here: