Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Summer in Dayton with the Rivers Institute....

Today I was walking up the stairs to Zehler to stop in and see the
lovely Bethany Renner, and as I was walking up the stairs, I was
having flashbacks on the incredible summer that I spent working for
the Rivers Institute. I was part of an incredible summer team that
successfully completed many tasks including planning the steward
orientation, developing the River Leadership Curriculum, and running
summer programs for hundreds of people from preschoolers to adults. We
all had our own specific tasks, but we really worked as a team. We had
some great bonding moments, a lot of learning experiences, and
developed new skills. I could write hundreds of blogs about my summer,
but I will just try to hit the highlights.

My favorite programs out of the summer were our programs with
Daybreak. We did two programs with the Daybreak shelter, and I felt
like we really had the opportunity to see transformation right before
our eyes. Both groups kayaked in the Blue Hole at Eastwood metropark,
and both groups had a good time. After kayaking, the group headed over
to the lagoon for some art projects by the river. The first group
painted picture frames representing their past, present, and future,
and the second group painted old records to resemble the album of
their life or their theme song. Obviously both of these activities
were not directly tied to the river, but the students were sitting in
the shelter house next to the river and reflecting on their life. The
art projects turned out to be very powerful and emotional works of
art, so we managed to run an eco-retreat with these students. In the
closing discussions with both groups students shared about how they
learned to trust each other when they were out on the water. They said
they learned how to encourage and support each other. They said they
felt like they were closer after having that experience. Many of them
also shared how much they want to connect with nature more and kayak
again. The best thing about the program was just seeing the students
come in with fears, frustrations, and negativity but leave excited,
inspired, and calm. It was really an incredible program.

Another great group was the Dayton Jewish Community Center teachers.
The very first program of the summer was for the teachers of this
preschool, and the goal of the program was to inspire them as they
begin developing nature trails on their property. For that program,
the teachers spent time kayaking the lagoon, discussed some readings
about children losing nature, and also tried out some water education
activities. Similar to Daybreak, some of the teachers came in very
hesitant, scared, and negative, but we watched them all leave
completely inspired to make the most of their nature trails. They were
all like little kids leaving the playground! It was a fun program and
challenged the group because it was two days into our summer.

Other programs we did included: All ages at Adventure Central, St.
Albert's youth group, Peru and Argentina Marianist high school
students, YMCA boys camp, and many others. I think you can determine
that I had a great summer just based on the length of this blog! So in
conclusion, I have found that my summer internship has really prepared
me as a future science teacher because I am extremely comfortable
teaching all ages, I am confident in my ability to trouble-shoot and
manage groups, and I learned how to work as a team. I am so thankful
to have spent my summer here on campus working for the Rivers
Institute with Leslie King, Bethany Renner, Alex Galluzzo, Jill Pajka,
Andrew Kowalski, Anthony Whaley, and Taylor Pair. For the first time
ever, I was not disappointed that I did not go abroad because I would
not have wanted to be anywhere but Dayton for the summer.

Amy Price

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Amy, you're pretty lovely too! You have blown me away with your enthusiasm and ability to connect with the community. Awesome job this summer! River Love.


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