This summer, I was hired by a newly-germinated venture called Maine Outdoor School (also known as MOS, which is pronounced just like the plant. That’s appropriate, because the company’s co-founders, Joe and Hazel, are a pair of botanists.). As MOS’s summer outdoor educator, my role was to design and lead outdoor education for the children of migrant blueberry rakers in Downeast Maine at Blueberry Harvest School. It was a gorgeous, hectic summer, full of opportunities to get to learn and explore with new students and co-workers alike.
In finishing up the summer season, I was asked to write an article that provides an overview of the summer. In a few days, that article will be posted on the MOS newsite– but to whet your appetite:
In my work at Maine Outdoor School this summer, we opened every staff meeting with notes on what was going on in the natural world. We’d list the flowers that were blooming every week, new behaviors from the resident birds, the first sightings of migratory species. Taken individually, these were small changes. But together, they captured the whole Maine summer, short and sweet and bursting with activity.
In reflecting on Blueberry Harvest School and the role of Outdoor Explorations (OE) within the school, I find clear parallels to the seasonal changes we noted at MOS staff meetings. In OE we made our way through the summer through a host of games and discussions, songs and art pieces. Like the arrival of a new bird species or the blooming of a different wildflower, each activity taken alone is just a moment, a blip of the summer. But taken together, these moments created a rich season full of meaningful education in the outdoors.
Check out the MOS news page for the full article, as well as more information about this very fascinating company.
And then have a listen to September’s edition of the local community radio show, WERU’s Talk of the Towns, in which Joe and Hazel and I talk outdoor education.
With summer’s end, I migrated back to Mount Desert Island for an autumn of research at Acadia National Park…stories from that are coming soon! Watch this space.