Each morning, my teaching partner Nathan and I drive to Florida, Massachusetts to begin teaching at Gabriell Abbott Memorial School. It is a forty-minute drive, through twists and turns, down many hills and then up a mountain. Sometimes we get stuck behind a school bus or mailperson. Other times, there is a car behind us, frustrated with our slow moving van. Some mornings, my mind is racing, going through the lessons planned for the day and thinking of supplies we need to organize. Most of the time, I do not think about much except turning on and off the turning signal. As much...Read more
New England winters are tough: freezing temperatures, multiple feet of snow just piled high on the ground at all times, bitter winds that rip through your down jacket like you weren’t even wearing one. What really makes it tough though is how hard it is to be active. I do my fair share of playing in the snow and sledding and can sneak in a run every now and then, but what I miss the most is being able to going out on bike rides. When the temperatures are consistently in the teens or lower it’s just too cold to go out on the road.
For around 3 months my...Read more
A not so unusual Friday here in Hawley, when the Emma L. Miller Elementary School joined us for the day. The 4th and 5th graders built this quinzhee hut as a part of our wilderness survival lesson for them. This quinzhee is a hollowed out mound of snow that as many as four students squeezed inside. Here at SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps, we’re all about bringing environmental education to kids through the simple joy of being outside (or inside a mound of snow)!
On April 22nd, SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps members will be hosting 90 K-3rd grade students from the local area. Students will be on site at the Kenneth Dubuque State Forest in Hawley, Massachusetts from 9am until 4pm. While there, students will be broken into groups and will rotate through various learning stations with Corps members. They will be learning about habitats, animals, wilderness survival, and seasons.
“February 1, 2015
I am sitting on a tree swing suspended by purple rope next to the frozen Hallockville pond. The wind is rushing through the tree branches high above me and blowing up whorls of snow ﬂurries...Read more
Danger Six Special Operations
Operation Save Boston
17 February 2015
0800 Electronic mail received from Melissa Patterson containing call to service.
0801 Daniel Dobrosielski, Emily Palmer, Nathan Salle, and Sophie Stern respond via electronic mail to service call.
Mission Leaders James Sims and Zach Colatch.
1600 Melissa Patterson sends electronic mail with mission...Read more
Driving into the city of Boston for the ﬁrst time on Wednesday reminded me of all of wonderful the commuter traﬃc, which I left in DC to go live in Western Massachusetts to serve with SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps. It felt a little bit like home for the ﬁrst half an hour or so. But after a few rounds of some standard road trip games to pass the time, all of us in the van just wanted to get to our site and start shoveling. When...Read more
Here at SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps, our teaching season is in full swing. I and many of my fellow corps members ﬁnd ourselves teaching all kinds of science lessons in elementary schools, from electricity and magnetism, light and sound, to animal adaptations, or composting. When I ﬁrst started teaching in my elementary school placement about two and a half months ago, I was surprised that we were being asked to teach such a variety of topics, and topics that didn’t really directly relate to environmental education or conservation.
But my initial surprise has...Read more
January is always misconstrued as something boring, dead, and lifeless, and… and dull… something along those lines. For anyone who believes this, I invite you to visit Hawley. One needs only to awake at dawn and take a walk around the pond to see life everywhere. You see miniscule mouse footprints with a thin line from a dragging tail in the snow….”Um, are chickadees still around?” a voice next to me asks.
Jessica, who had been standing next to my bunk leans towards me with her elbow resting on my bed, questioning me about birds. I...Read more
As a result of comfort and familiarity, and also attachment and ownership, I’d say your second visit someplace, or your third or fourth and so on, always looks very different from the ﬁrst time you see a new place. After ﬂying over eight states and driving through two more, I pulled into the driveway at SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps a little over two months ago for the ﬁrst time. On the lawn next to the pond, a group of strangers, but soon to be friends, were playing Frisbee. I hopped out of the SCA van that picked me up from the airport, grabbed my bags and walked down...Read more