By Jairo, Jamica, and Victoria
In January, the Youth Leadership Program went on a trip to Pinkham Notch, in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. On our first day, we went snow shoeing to Lila’s Ledge, which is near Mount Washington. It took us four hours to make it there and back. Our instructors for the trip, Nate and Jamie, gave each of us the opportunity to serve as the group’s leader and sweep. The sweep stayed at the back of the group made sure that no one was left behind on the voyage. Kalvin was the first leader. We stayed behind him in a single file line as we made our way up the mountain. He made sure that the team was together at all times, which was important in case of an emergency. About half way, Victoria took over as leader. We reached the top of the mountain and it was a beautiful sight. The most difficult part about the voyage was heading back to the cabin, because many of us felt cold and physically tired. Jairo served as leader on the way back down, and he was instructed to take a shorter route. He was a good communicator and encouraged everyone not to give up. We encountered difficult objects like a small stream and extremely steep hills. Night began to fall and temperatures dropped. Some people in the crew began to get discouraged and tired. But we had to keep going. We finally reached the cabin and enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate followed by a massive hot dinner.
On the second day, we woke at 6:30 am and had breakfast at 7 am. After that, we drove two miles to a cross-country ski lodge, where our instructor Nate taught us how to cross-country ski. We began in a flat area, then started going downhill. We went through a tunnel and on the other side we spent more time improving our skiing skills. Nate taught us how to ski on a flat area by doing a technique called the french fries, which entails placing your skiis side by side and pushing forward with the ball of your foot. When going downhill, we used a technique called pizza, which entails pointing the tips of our skiis towards each other like a triangular pizza slice. Skiing was harder than showshoeing because it takes a lot of physical strength. We also went snow tubing, which was very fun. We pushed ourselves down a steep hill and enjoyed the breeze as we went down the hill. After a long day outside we returned to the cabin and enjoyed a nice hot meal.
The next morning we went show shoeing to Lost Pond. It took us about 30 minutes to get there, and when we finally got there we played a tag game on top of the solidly frozen pond. Then we learned about the pond itself, and how beavers live in dams throughout the area. Did you know that beavers are the only animals besides humans that are able to change their ecosystems? We also learned that it isn’t safe to be on a frozen pond with ice that is transparent and not milky-looking, because it can break. We traveled individually back down the trail to the cabin, so that everybody had a chance to walk in the woods on their own. Then we headed back to Boston.