Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Baxter House: FLOW Week # 1

It's hard to believe that the first week of FLOW 2017 has come and gone already! From all accounts, it was an amazing experience. Even though the weather wasn't wholly cooperative, the kids came back with smiles on their faces and with an air of pride in their accomplishment of living off the grid for a week. Chaperones were also excited with the way the week went.

The creation of an outdoor painting studio was a new slice of FLOW that we added this year. Ms. Johnson set up shop on True Point and was able to work with each of the five groups to sketch and create water colors.  Students will continue to revise and refine the work that they began here, turning it into a finished piece later this fall. Ms. Johnson and the kids loved this experience!

Kids had ample time for solitude and reflection, one of the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles. The Baxter house is doing a study of Transcendentalism along the lines of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau as part of their fall expedition. What better place could there be to contemplate nature than right in the heart of it?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Trail Work With KELT

For the few Baxter kids who did not attend FLOW this week, we did some important trail work on the Whiskeag Trail. Four bridges were built and two old ones were demolished. You can read about it here. It was a great week!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hola, José...

Dear Families,

We have all been paying close attention to Hurricane José as the first FLOW trip approaches. Luckily, it looks as though the storm will remain out to sea and will not affect Maine significantly. However, as a precaution we have decided to keep all FLOW groups on the mainland for the week. Groups will still be camping, but at established sites on Chewonki Neck. The kids will likely have the opportunity to go on day-paddles, conditions permitting. It's a bit disappointing not to be able to sleep out on the islands, but the absolute safety of your kids takes precedence. They'll still have a chance to get out on the open water and see some beautiful places.

 I will update this blog if anything changes. Here's to a great first week!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Gear Reminder

Dear families,

As we get closer to FLOW 2017, I wanted to reiterate some of the specific gear needs for your students. First of all, be sure to take a look at the gear list. If an item is on the list, your student should have it. Likewise, if an item is not on the list, they do not need it and should not bring it.

Shoes are something you may be wondering about. Each student should have two pairs of closed-toe shoes: "dry" shoes for around camp, and "wet" shoes for canoeing. Often times, loading a canoe means wading out into the water. For most situations, an old pair of sneakers or running shoes are perfect for this purpose. If the water is below knee level, bog boots can work, but they may get swamped. For around camp, a different pair of sneakers, or light hiking boots, or even bog boots are fine. Students may do a short hike here and there, but hiking boots are not needed for these excursions.

One of the many wonderful benefits of partnering with Chewonki is their deep inventory of high-quality equipment available for students to borrow. Two essential pieces of gear that Chewonki provides for FLOW (meaning you should not buy them) are a camping ground pad, and a a dry-bag.

The camping mats are Thermarest© Z-Rest  or Ridge-Rest pads. They are closed cell foam and the most comfortable option for non-inflatable pads.

The dry-bags provided are made by Seal-Line© and are completely waterproof. They are a critical piece of gear for water based travel and camping. Students need to get their gear to Chewonki in whatever vessel that works -- duffel bag, suitcase, garbage bag -- it doesn't matter. The bag that comes from home will be stored until the end of the trip when kids will transfer their belongings from the dry-bag back into the bag from home. Backpacking backpacks are not needed for this trip, so please don't buy or bring one! 

Hopefully this information helps. We are all very excited for this year's trips! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes,

Lawrence Kovacs