Boston Harbor Islands, Georges Island
Saturday, August 3, 2019
On Saturday, August 3, 2019 the Club hosted a day trip with the Catholic Charities Teen Center of Saint Peters - Dorchester to explore the beautiful Georges Island located on the Boston Harbor Islands (BHI). ICO Volunteers (Nicki, Ben, Matt and Lily) met 15 high schoolers from Saint Peters, along with their chaperone, Augusto, at the Boston Wharf at 11AM under cloudy skies, and the warm summer heat.
To introduce one another, provide a brief trip overview and to cover “Leave no Trace,” the traditional opening circle was held. Nicki, as the main ICO leader, instructed everyone to make new friends by briefly introducing themselves to their neighbor sharing their name and a fun fact about themselves. Following this personal introduction, everyone came back together to introduce their new friend to the group with a fun that fact that they had just learned about them.
Since there was some time before boarding the ferry, a lively pick-up game of volleyball/soccer was played by a handful of the group. Shortly before noon, the group, along with many other BHI day explorers/tourists, then boarded the 50-minute ferry to Georges Island. During the ferry ride, everyone took pictures and was in awe of the majestic views of the city of Boston from the harbor. The group also had a chance to experience a few flying planes directly overhead (Boston Logan airport is located right off the harbor) and saw other boats, sails and even jet skiers happily cruising through the harbor enjoying the hot summer sun, which finally came out glaring.
In no time, the group arrived on the dock of Georges Island. According to the official BHI website, Georges is one of 19 islands centrally located in the middle of the Boston Harbor. Comprised of 53 acres of land it is home to a historic fort called Fort Warren. The Civil War-era fort was constructed, in the shape of a pentagonal star using stone and granite, between 1833-1860 and completed shortly after the beginning of the American Civil War. Today, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation maintain and administer the fort as the centerpiece of the park.
The group’s first mission on land was to walk to the nearest picnic area to enjoy a simple, yet healthy and delicious sandwich and fruit lunch. After full and happy bellies, the day was filled with another pick-up game of volleyball/soccer, walking the shore path to feel the cool water and find crustaceans that populate the Boston Harbor. As the day progressed, everyone had the opportunity to explore the fort and the rest of the island. Some members of the group even went on a Civil War living history tour to meet Dr. Charles MacGill, a confederate political prisoner during that time. In that tour, they learned about his time being incarcerated at Fort Warren, where he tended to both Union and Confederate soldiers.
After a relaxing day on Georges in the hot summer sun, the trip concluded with a leisurely ferry ride back to the Boston wharf and a closing circle where everyone was asked to share their favorite part of the day (the consensus was “everything”) and trip ideas for future outings (jokingly “Europe” was on the list). The Boston ICO chapter would like to thank the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park for graciously providing the resources and opportunity to take the BHI ferry to explore Georges Island during a very busy summer day.