Cobscook Community Learning Center has arrived at the threshold of a celebrated new season of growth. Please join me and CCLC’s board and staff in welcoming Sebastian Teunissen as CCLC’s new Executive Director! For me personally, as a co-founder and founding Executive Director of CCLC, this marks the moment that best honors all of the vision and essential investments of time, heart, funding, collaboration, commitment, and competencies that have carried us through our first twenty years. This moment positions us for expanded impact and innovation through education, as we embark into our second twenty years, and beyond. Welcome aboard, Sebastian. May your roots grow deep at CCLC and the fruits of our collective efforts yield bounties of joyful learning as this new growing season begins.
Dear CCLC Community,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the fall edition of Cobscook Waves. A lot has happened at CCLC since you last heard from us. Among other things, I’ve come on board as Executive Director—and I’m thrilled to be here!
I’m only one week into my new role, and I am hard at work getting to know the staff, our programs and our wider community. As the new kid on the block, I will leave it to others to bring you up to date on our activities. But I did want to say hello and express my hope that I will meet many of you in the coming weeks and months.
Assuming the helm of an organization can be a formidable task, but it also offers the opportunity to reexamine what has gone before, build on the strengths, refocus the energy, and explore new opportunities. I hope to do all of this in the coming year. To accomplish this requires support from everyone involved. I hope that I can count on you to stay with us!
It is an exciting time for CCLC and I’m looking forward to working with everyone as we build on the foundations from the last 20 years and chart the course for the next decades.
With warm fall greetings from our Trescott campus,
Executive Director, CCLC
The End of River Camp Signals the Start of a New School Year
You might think that a high school program would be quiet during the summer months, but Cobscook Experiential Programs stays busy year-round! Our annual River Camp, offered in collaboration with Downeast Salmon Federation, was fully enrolled this summer and participants helped accomplish conservation projects and learned new outdoor skills.
Ten teens worked on developing an outdoor classroom and campsite on our Straight Bay property, moved over 826,000 clamshells to a tributary of the East Machias River to support Downeast Salmon Federation’s pH-buffering efforts, worked on the development of a new Downeast Coastal Conservancy trail, and learned from professionals at both DSF and DCC about their conservation work.
Participants also learned new paddling skills, sea kayaked in Machias Bay, paddled 35 miles of the St. Croix river, and learned fly-tying and fly-fishing from Maine Outdoor School.
Here’s how one participant summed up the experience: “River Camp is truly experiential and has had a big impact on my life and how I conduct myself. River Camp is not easy. It's not just summer camp. It’s about the moments where you encounter difficult situations. The moments where you experience community. River Camp is about looking at a challenge and saying ‘I can't wait.’”
Meanwhile, lead Cobscook teacher Kara McCrimmon was able to experience professional development through National Geographic’s Educator Certification and Upstander Academy while managing enrollment for the new school year. Upstander Academy provided a week of learning about genocide, settler colonialism, and ways to work towards decolonization in the classroom. Kara recommends that any educator look into experiencing Upstander in 2020.
Now that the expanded CCLC campus is complete, teachers Kara and Michael are especially excited to have the high school program take full advantage of the entire first floor of Rice Hall, including a dedicated art and science lab space.
Save the date! CCLC is hosting the inaugural Downeast Apple and Arts Day on October 19, in partnership with Healthy Acadia, and with support from Maine Arts Commission. Join us for a celebration of Downeast heritage featuring workshops on heirloom apples, fruit tree care, apple ID and more. John Bunker, Maine’s legendary heirloom “apple whisperer” will give the keynote address, with workshops and presentations by Todd Little-Siebold of College of the Atlantic and C.J. Walke of MOFGA.
PLUS apple tasting; cider pressing; live music with Kris Paprocki, Allie Talbot, Michael Giudilli, Alan Cook, Sepp Huber, and Sheila Unvala; and traditional handcrafts, including birchbark, basketry, beeswax, and beadwork. Artists will offer demonstrations as well as work for sale. We can’t wait to see you at Downeast Apple and Arts Day! Click here for more information.
Did you know that 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon? Saving salmon habitat is a passion for many high-schoolers on both sides of the Atlantic. In August, 45 young people converged on the CCLC campus from Scotland, New Brunswick, and Maine for a 3-day gathering of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Schools Network. This organization, founded in 2016, links schools on both sides of the Atlantic that are focusing on salmon conservation projects so they can share their local research findings with each other. This year, students first traveled to Miramichi, New Brunswick, then to CCLC. With the coordination of Washington Academy teacher and CCLC friend, Don Sprangers, they worked with hatchery managers, field biologists, and civil engineers, and participated in several days of restoration projects including large-wood-additions to rivers, small dam removal, tree planting, and in-stream assessment. Go Gen-Z!
Recent Lodge Guests:
Orono Wildlife Biology Survey
Road Scholar (3 weeks of Birding; 2 weeks of kayaking & hiking)
Maine Indian Tribal State Commission
Ecological Teaching & Learning
Atlantic Salmon Conservation Schools Network
Others who have recently used our campus include:
Monday Night Music
Washington County Consortium
Maine Writer’s & Publishers
Downeast Acadia Regional Tourism Board
Lubec Garden Club
Supporting Blueberry Harvest School and Welcoming Lucille Willey
If you take a drive through Washington County in August, you are guaranteed to see people bent over raking blueberries in open barrens punctuated by boulders and colorful stacks of plastic blueberry boxes. Drive a little deeper into some of the more hidden pockets of the county and you may notice the rows of small shelters that compose the blueberry camps where many blueberry workers who migrate from near and far live during the harvest season. The children of these migrant workers often miss school days wherever they call home and may lack resources, especially when their parents are working long days on the barrens. That’s where Mano en Mano’s Blueberry Harvest School (BHS) comes in, a summer school option for migrant children in Washington County designed to provide them with an opportunity to attend school while they are in Maine.
In order to support BHS staff and students in having a positive, trauma-informed learning environment throughout the program, TREE provided professional development and a resource lending library to BHS staff, presenting each staff member with one professional development book of their choice. We also organized a food pantry, and provided transportation support, footwear, and clothing to students. Our resource coaches and teacher assistant were available to support BHS teachers in meeting student needs and maintained a sensory calming room for anyone who needed a quiet space.
As one BHS staff member said, “TREE provided a lot of flexibility to the school in terms of being able to adjust to meet student needs on the fly--which was very important given that on any given day, new students might show up and the mix of kids in a room could be really different. The ability to, for example, have some of the really small kids go to TREE during nap time if they weren't napping was very helpful, but so was having a place for kids to be able to rest.”
We are also very excited to announce that we have hired a TREE Associate to join our team! Lucille Willey will support our Resilience Resource Coaches, Ashley and Laura, and TREE Director, Brittany Ray, in the great work they’re doing. Lucille grew up in Washington County, attending local schools. She packed sardines, raked blueberries, and even lived with her family in a camp on the blueberry barrens with rakers from near and far. Lucille went on to earn a degree in Business Education from the University of Maine at Machias and began her career in schools, working as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Athletic Director, Adult Education Director, and most recently, as Principal of Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School. Lucille has been closely following the work of TREE since former Narraguagus Guidance Director, Brittany Ray, transitioned to CCLC as TREE Director in 2016. In June, after 43 years in education, Lucille retired from public education, but her desire to continue working with students and other educators remains and she is very excited to have an opportunity to be involved with TREE.
Maggie, TREE's Multingual Leadership Corps member, and BHS teacher Cynthia lead yoga with 5 and 6-year-olds during a BHS Enrichment period. BHS photos courtesy of Mano en Mano.