Saturday morning, 20 high school students from St. Peter's Teen Center and staff member Daniel met ICO Leader Allison and first-time volunteers Lucy, Anne and Rebecca at Long Wharf with just minutes to spare to board the ferry to George's Island.
The 30 minute ferry ride was chilly, yet exciting for most of us who had never before visited the island. When we arrived, Daniel split the group into two smaller groups and each became a human knot. This instantly broke the ice and set the tone for a fun day.
We were then greeted by Ranger Mike, who oriented us to the facilities and gave us a brief overview. He also sparked some serious interest with the promise of a ghost story. We stashed our lunch in a picnic area with special care to zip up/"seagull-proof"our bags.
After viewing a short 8 minute film about the island's history and spending a few more minutes checking out the exhibits in the visitor center, we headed out on a tour of historic Fort Warren. Ranger Peter did a great job keeping the kids' attention and setting a pace that kept most of us engaged for the entire time. The tour ended in a dark corridor where we were told the story of The Lady in Black. A couple of boys in the group decided to jump out and turn this spooky, eerie place into a haunted fun house and you could probably hear the shrieks all the way back here in Boston.
After lunch, kids relaxed, enjoyed some soccer and just over half of the group calmly revisited the dark corridor to experiment with triboluminescence, otherwise known as the Wint-o-Green lifesaver effect.
We had just enough time to pack up our stuff and skip some rocks while we waited for our return ferry. It was a nice, long day with no rain (silly meteorologists!). Kids' highlights ranged from the human knot, soccer, to the ferry ride and visiting the dark fort.
Many thanks to Daniel of St. Peter's and new volunteers Lucy, Anne and Rebecca for their flexibility and enthusiasm throughout the day!