ICO and Let's Get Movin' (from East Boston Neighborhood Health Center) set off to explore Gloucester on a beautiful fall day. With 8 kids, 2 Let's Get Movin' "coaches" and 4 ICO volunteers (Liz, Ben, Maria C & Amy) the first stop was Babson Boulders to look for the over 25 inspiring inscriptions from the Great Depression era, commissioned by Roger Babson (founder of Babson College).
After Amy led name introductions (along with asking everyone what their favorite Halloween costume was) and Liz provided an overview of the day, we hit the trail with maps in hand. The kids were very excited and had a lot of energy. Since it had rained a little in the morning, we had to be extra careful not to slip on the wet leaves. At our first water stop, Ben gave a lesson about using a compass to help navigate the trail when looking at a map. As the trail split in two, we divided the group in two to explore different parts of the trail. One group was surprised to find pennies at the "Spiritual Powers" boulder. The other group pretended to do homework when they found the "Study" boulder. A new find along the trail were signs with scannable QR codes that provided more information about different aspects of Dogtown, the Boulders and Gloucester. There was not much wildlife to be seen aside from a few friendly dogs and a frog, but it was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.
Next up was Stage Fort Park near downtown Gloucester. Upon arrival we found out that the Visitor Center and restroom facilities were closed - so we had to make other arrangements. After a healthy lunch the kids were eager to explore the beach. Although it was challenging to find flat rocks, Ben & Coach Will gave everyone lessons in skipping rocks. We then played a quick game of "Racing the Ball" in a large circle before the playground caught the kids attention for the last few minutes of the day.
At the closing circle led by Maria, everyone shared highlights from the day, which included skipping stones at the beach, playing at the playground and finding pennies. Many thanks to ICO volunteers Ben, Amy and Maria (on her first trip) and Let's Get Movin' Staff Will and Bri.