June 15, 2013 - The Blue Hills and Houghton Pond with St. Peters
The ICO and the St. Peter’s Teen Center recently snuck in a late Spring swim in Milton. Jenny Hall and 9 middle schoolers were joined by 3 ICO volunteers for a fun day of hiking and swimming.
After meeting up in Dorchester at 9am the group drove 25 minutes to the Blue Hills Reservation. The trip started a hike through the pine, oak and hickory forest surrounding Houghton’s Pond. At one point the group stopped, closed our eyes, and listened to the forest. We then shared what we hear: the wind through the leaves, the birds chirping, the wind through grass, an airplane, people at the beach across the pond, and more. We learned that rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes lived in the Blue Hills Reservation. However, no sightings. In keeping our eyes open to the forest a few of the participants found mushrooms growing out of the tree. Some of the trees were large enough for kids to completely hide behind, and were.
Although not as warm as it could have been earlier in the day, swimming could not come fast enough. The kids love to swim immensely. There were lifeguards on duty which was nice. (I learned that floatation devices were not allowed in an embarrassing way – no noodles!) I tried to teach the kids to do hand stands underwater, front and back rolls, and swimming underwater to become more comfortable floating. The maximum depth of the swimming area was under 6 feet.
The sun warmed up and it almost felt like summer with sunscreen out. A bountiful beach picnic consisted of pbj sandwiches, the healthy option turkey, ham and cheese (thanks, Jeff), bananas, and even apple cider. There was some sand aqueduct construction occurring throughout the day. Some of it got developed with a very specific and meticulous method. It turned out to be a great day at the beach after postponing this trip from the week earlier because of rain. Thanks, Jenny, for rescheduling!
ICO welcomed a new volunteer. It was Jessica’s first trip. The kids loved her, and she was great with the group. Thanks, Jessica. Hope you join in on more.
Photos from the trip:
Thanks to Jeff, Jessica, and Jenny for your time and effort to make it happen.