Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bye Bye Boston Harbor!

Working with Save the Harbor Save the Bay this summer has been such an incredible experience that has surpassed all my expectations. As a photographer, I was so lucky to be able to spend time at each site throughout the course of the summer. Each site is so unique in their environments, but they all offer kids an amazing summer experience.

Each day, I was amazed by the children’s excitement, enthusiasm, and curiosity.  I have grown up around the ocean, and this summer made me realize that it has something I have most definitely taken for granted. The ocean, especially Boston Harbor, offers so much to our community. It was amazing watching children of all ages discover and learn about the environments around them. It was amazing meeting all of the kids who came to our programs this summer, and it was equally amazing getting to know the Save the Harbor staff.  It was incredible being able to come to work with such amazing people each day. I learned so much from everyone and made some amazing friends. I am so thankful to everyone I worked with but especially to Bruce, Patty, Bridget, and Amy.  This amazing summer wouldn’t have been possible without all of their guidance and support.

            Since I was mainly a photographer this summer,  I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures:

I am so sad to see this amazing summer come to an end. I already miss being on the harbor and spending time with my phenomenal coworkers every day. Thank you so much to everyone who made this summer so memorable and extraordinary

- Hallie Fox 

Ivan, Lindsay and me at the top of Spectacle Island

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Farewell and Adieu

     Hello again fellow explorers!

     Working at Save the Harbor this summer has been nothing short of spectacular. Coming into the first day of staff orientation, I could not have even dreamed of the amazing summer that I have had.

     As most of you will have figured out by now, this summer program is based mainly on the education of Boston's youth. Coming into the summer I wouldn't have expected to be working with such bright young minds. I quickly realized we weren't going to be teachers as much as helping these kids enrich their experiences with the world around them. While I grew up fishing the various ponds and lakes near my home, most of these kids had never even held a fishing rod; and throughout the summer we were able to teach hundreds of kids how to do something that had been second-nature to me. This was perhaps one of the most heart-warming experiences for me, seeing their eyes light up at something that seemed so ordinary to me, but what new and exciting to them. 

Working hard, or hardly working?
     While I was in-fact working 5 times a week this summer, the word "work" was taken very lightly. Between fishing, pulling up traps, and even playing Four Square, I'd say my job was much more fun than most people's summer jobs. Every day my fellow co-workers and the kids we spent the day with would laugh and have a grand ol' time. We even made photographing the wildlife fun, by taking group pictures and of course the staff favorite, lobster selfies. Between the ever positive energy of the staff and the eagerness of the kids we worked with, I could not have had a better time.

     And now comes the emotional goodbye. This group of people at that came together in early July from all walks of life quickly became a tightly-knit family that I would do anything for. The Senior Harbor Educators brought structure and leadership to every sight, and also work experience. The Lead Harbor Educators (myself included), helped bridge the age gap between the SHE's and the JPA's, who all worked above and beyond. Of course I can't forget Bridget, who kept everything organized and under control, no matter how great the task. It was clear from the start that Bruce and Patty devote their lives to this company, and I tried to match their hard work and perseverance in every aspect of my daily routine at Save the Harbor. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that they gave me this summer, and I will never forget what I learned here.

Our version of a family photo
     Although this summer is coming to an end, it doesn't mean that you can't still continue to go out every day and explore this wonderful world around us. So until next time my fellow explorers!
- Luke -


Monday, August 25, 2014

Visiting Blacks Creek and Camp Harbor View

This week I got the chance to visit Blacks Creek for the first time this summer. From the beginning all of the kids were excited and ready to start exploring the waters. The environment and the animals there are so different than what you find at the other sites so it was really fun checking out the area with the kids. Together, they caught buckets full of minnows and shrimp along with hermit crabs, green crabs, and snails.

building the crab castle
The kids got the most excited about catching Mummichogs, a fish I had not even heard of until visiting Blacks Creek. They are a small fish that mostly populate salt marshes, and shallow, muddy channels, and their name is derived from a Narragansett term that means "going in crowds". It was really cool to see so many of these little fish for the first time. Once the kids had all gotten their fair share of creature catching, they built a castle out of sand and drift wood for the crabs.

In the afternoon we visited Camp Harbor View where I got to know some of the campers while fishing with them on the pier. I also got to venture up to the light house when I participated at a checkpoint at the camp's version of  The Amazing Race. At the lighthouse, the kids had to create a two line, rhyming poem, and it was really fun to hear what they came up with. All the kids had a blast running around during the game, and it was a great way to meet some new faces.

Overall, it was a great and exciting day at both Blacks Creek and Camp Harbor View!

-Hallie Fox

Fishing at CHV

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The end of a spectacular summer

     It's that time of year again....the time where I have to write a farewell blog once more. This past summer of 2014 has been a blast, everyone on the staff has been a pleasure to work with. At long last, the eight weeks of programming has come to an end for me. This summer was an eventful one, from me holding a skate for the first time to having an awesome time at the beach bash. Everyone on the staff this year worked extremely hard to ensure that the children of Boston can enjoy a wonderful time on our city's harbor. Everyone showed the city what our organization is all about: teaching children about all the fun the Boston Harbor has to offer. It was a delight to be able to work with not only the children that I've worked with in years past, but to work with amazing children that I've never worked with before. The invaluable experiences that I shared with these children will never be forgotten.

Good times on the water
     I would like to wish all of my fellow coworkers the best of luck in their future endeavors, be it school related or work related. It was a genuine honor to be able to work with all of you each and every day. I don't think I would have survived such a hectic summer if it weren't for the diligence and integrity that you all showed. Now that the summer is coming to an end, it is time for us all to diverge and each go on our different paths in life. I hope that I will see everyone again in the future!


Vinh Tran
Lead Harbor Explorer

Family Fun Night!

Family fun night was hosted on Carson Beach located in South Boston. It was definitely an awsome night for me, I had an amazing time with the kids. There was a ton of Disney songs playing such as Tarzan, Lilo and stich, Beauty and the Beast, and many more! There were also hot dogs, slushies, and of course popcorn for storytime!

When we arrived we had a little problem because we had no water for our touch tank. We tried to go out to get some water from the beach, but it was low tide and it was quite difficult to walk through the mud. But we did manage to grab some seaweed and a little water for the sea friends in the touch tank. We brought Larry and Lareta (the 2 lobsters), 2 spider crabs, many green crabs, and some snails. For once the center of attention of our touch tank this time wasn't the lobsters, but the spider crabs! We got many questions about them and the plankton on the seaweed, which was quite intresting. Another thing that was the center attention of the Family Fun Night was the blue marbles for the raffle for the Jet Blue round trip ticket, that got alot of attention. Some of our Save the Harbor staff went to hide the marbles. The kids went wild looking for those blue marbles! From windows, to sand, even to flower pots, the kids looked everwhere they could! It was entertaining watching them scouring the whole Carson beach searching for the marbles.

Overall, I had an amazing time and it looked like many other people that attended would agree. I'm most definitely looking forward to other events like this.

Well, I'll catch you later,

First Time Sailing

Unfortunately this is our last week working with these amazing kids, so I wanted do something I had never done before. I have never been sailing and this week I had the chance to go sailing and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. It was really fun being out on the water moving with the wind. At first when we sailed all was at peace were moving fast and we where in control and everyone was having fun. I even had an opportunity to sail the boat for a couple of minutes which was really amazing.
Me and Mae and Vinh sailing

So as we were out on the water the boy that was sailing the boat had to go home because his parents came to pick him up. The McDonough staff came on the motor boat and they took him and left us there with Mae who we thought knew how to sail. Mae then tried to sail us back but it wasn't working, Vinh tried he couldn't and finally I took the post and nothing happened. We were stranded out there for about 20 minutes trying to get back. Finally the staff from McDonough came to rescue us and I couldn't be happier to see land. Even though we got stranded out there, I was really happy to go sailing and I'm really looking forward to taking sailing classes so I can become a pro and make sure I don't get stuck out there again.

Jazeel Mendes- Chao

Friday, August 22, 2014

Another unforgettable summer...

Remember how I mentioned in one of my blogs that hopefully by the end of summer at Piers Park we will catch a fish? Well... We did! Ironically, it happened on the very last day of camp! Also, It wasn't just no ordinary fish, but it was a squid! Which has never been caught here before. What a great memory, definitely one that will stick with me and the kids for a very longtime.
"I caught a squid!"

Its crazy and sad to realize that this summer is actually coming to an end and to know that this will be my last blog. Honestly, Save the Harbor Save the Bay has made another unforgettable summer for me. This summer, I got to met a group of funny, awesome, and amazing people. I also got a chance to grow many close friendships with the kids that will be apart of my memory. I will remember having tons of fun with the kids and my team playing a competitive game of capture the flag, fishing and crabbing, and of course all the laughs we had together. I had a fantastic summer and hopefully you all did too.

Besides all the fun, I also learned many things and developed many skills from working here, and most definitely will be using them in the future. Which makes me very grateful for having the honor and opportunity to be able to work for Save the Harbor Save the bay.
Very soon, I will be heading to college and there will be many changes in my life. I don't know what path college will take me and where it will lead me to. Whatever happens, I hope I will see you guys again someday. Till then, I wish you all the best and good luck.

Day one: When we all met each other for the first time.

I miss you guys already!

A Summer To Remember

Working for Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay this summer as a Senior Harbor Educator was an unforgettable experience. Not only did I learn so much about the Boston Harbor and working with kids, but I also made a ton of friends. When I look back on this summer I feel as though it just began- I remember playing "ride that pony" at our staff orientation like it was yesterday. Getting to know all of our Junior Program Assistants and Lead Harbor Explorers was such a fun experience, and I know I'll cherish the memories we made forever. 
The whole crew during our orientation!
Over the course of the summer I worked at two sites: the Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston and the Harry McDonough Sailing Center in South Boston. Both had incredible kids eager to learn about the Boston Harbor and all it has to offer. My favorite experiences were when we would catch something new in the crab traps, lobster traps, or on a hook- the campers were always so excited to see the new creature and to learn more about it! The most interesting things we caught all summer were skates, sea stars, flounders, HUGE lobsters, and a squid on our very last day of camp! Piers Park was a lot of fun because we had many of the same kids come back week after week. It was great to watch them grow with the program and use the skills they were learning all throughout the summer. Our afternoons at McDonough were a blast-it's a hectic place with kids running amuck, but it was definitely my favorite place to work. We made so many little friends there over the course of the summer, and I know I'm going to miss them all! 

Dissecting a Sea Squirt at Piers Park
 One of my favorite memories from this summer was participating in the Jet Blue Swim and Paddle for Boston Harbor. The other Senior Marine Educators and I swam the entire mile after first believing we couldn't do it! We had only planned on swimming to the first buoy and then heading back to the beach, but once we rounded the first marker we all decided to keep going and finish the race together. I was so proud of myself for completing the mile, and it was a great bonding experience!

After the one-mile swim!
All in all it was an amazing summer- one I will never forget. Thank you to all of the Junior Program Assistants and Lead Harbor Explorers who worked so hard to give the children of Boston a fantastic summer! And to my fellow Senior Marine Educators- I had a blast getting to know all of you during our various staff meetings and the many events we worked all summer, praise cod! 

Thank you Bruce, Patty, and Bridget for such a wonderful opportunity!

-Kelly Randall-

As The Summer Comes To An End

This has been an amazing second year working with Save the Harbor and it's unfortunate that it's coming to an end. This summer I had the opportunity to experience many new things that I did not do last year. This year was really different from last year, but it was a good type of different. This year I feel that the JPA's were all closer than we were last year. This year I had the opportunity to make a lot of great new friends like Esmeralda, my brother Andy, Somtoo, Carlos, Edward and Abdi. These were the people that I had a change to work with and we became close after a couple of hours of work. I also caught my first fish ever which was really cool because I brought it home and we had the fish for dinner and it was the best fish I've ever had. One of the coolest changes this year was having Sam around to lend some of his art talents to us. I had an awesome time learning how to make fishing prints and the fish mural that we mad was just amazing.

The Squad
Fish Printing With Sam
The Fishing Tournament
It is really hard saying goodbye to not just the staff but saying bye to the kids. I really enjoy working with these kids even though at times it maybe be tough. You can learn a lot from the kids if you pay attention closely to what they say and do. They are all intelligent kids and when a challenge is posted in front of them they always find a way to solve the problem and that's really impressive. These kids that I've been working with for the last two years have really grown on me and it really stinks that I won't be seeing them for a long time. To all the staff it was really great working with all you guys, I had a terrific summer and I'm really looking forward to carving up with some of you guys to hear about how your year is going. To Bruce, Patty and Bridget thank you for an amazing summer.

Jazeel Mendes and this is the me signing out- Chao

When The Animals Came To Visit

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to work the event in the North End. Sundays are not one of the most exciting days of the week to work, but this sunday I was very excited. At first when we arrived the place was really quiet and there wasn't much life around, but as soon as the band came on and started playing it felt like a different place. The bands were all great, especially "Street Magic" which was a group from the same neighborhood where the event was taking place. There were many other organizations like ours that took time from their busy schedule to do something nice for the neighborhood.
La Familia

There was everything from the balloon man to street magicians to even a animal shelter that had the cutest little animals. The shelter brought with them little chicks, bunnies and they even had two little goats. I was really happy that they showed up because we had our touch tank which had sea animals and they brought a whole mini zoo which was really awesome. Everyones faces lit up when we saw them bringing the animals through the park. We also had a chance to show many kids lobsters and many of them had never held one or seen one before. That was also really cool because it's an awesome feeling when you show someone something for the first time. Overall the event was great there was free food and live music and most important all the kids had fun.

Jazeel Mendes- Chao

A starfish! At McDonough?!

First starfish at McDonough
At the McDonough Sailing Center this week we actually had a starfish in our touch tank- which I find quite exciting because we never caught any here before! One of the staff members from McDonough took some of the kids out to search for some starfish, and came back with one starfish, a few hermit crabs and many Asian shore crabs! Making our mini touch tank complete, we made it more lively by adding a few pieces of seaweed, muscles with a few tiny shrimp, and a small sculpin fish! All of the kids were intrigued because for the first time our touch tank had something other than green crabs.

Our mini touch tank!

Fishing and crabbing seems to never get old for the kids here at McDonough. They get equally excited everyday when my team and I arrive to the site. They run towards us and start asking "whats for bait for today?" and grab the rods and start fishing right away! They sure make my job much easier and fun, and for that I feel pretty lucky. 

Well till next time!
I'll catch you guys later,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Staff Day 2014

     Every single summer at the beginning of August all of the Save the Harbor staff head out to Spectacle Island for an excellent day of sports, food, and of course, swimming. Other than the Fan Pier fishing tournament, Staff Day is my most favorite event of the summer. It is a day where all of the staff can get to know one another better and bond more. The day started out early at 9, where everyone was expected to meet at the marina next to the Aquarium. As soon as the boat reached Spectacle Island, everyone congregated on the dock where Bruce and Patty's boat the Verandah was docked. Following a brief yet inspiring speech by the pair the staff headed off to the meadow for a massive kickball game!


     Determining the teams for the kickball game was easy; the teams were simply the All Access crew against the No Access crew (the staff that work on sites). Despite the best efforts of my No Access kickball team, we were dominated by the All Access team by a margin of at least 8. The disparity of the score became so one sided that we simply stopped keeping track of the score. After the game the majority of the staff proceeded to play an intense volleyball game. My team which included Sam, Maxwell, Thi, and Iris handily beat the opposing team. When all was said and done we went back down to the dock to have a delicious lunch of hot dogs, cookies, chips, and refreshing watermelon. Staff Day 2014 was a success!

-Vinh Tran
Lead Harbor Explorer

Jet Blue Swim and Paddle

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in Jet Blue's Swim and Paddle for Boston Harbor! 


This was definitely my favorite Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay event this summer- not only was it an incredible day spent in the sun, but I accomplished two exciting and unexpected things that day! First, I completed the one mile swim (without a noodle!) Me and a few other Senior Harbor Educators decided to compete in the swim just for a fun activity and to support the event. We were prepared with goggles, rash guards, and of course, noodle boards- a kick board made of foam! Once we stepped in the water, realized how cold it was, AND realized how long the course actually was, we decided we would only swim to the first marker then turn back. However, once we reached that first marker we all decided that we should push through it and complete the whole race! We kept ourselves going by singing and thinking about the Tasty Burger and Harpoon that was waiting for us at the finish line- that certainly kept us motivated! Crossing the finish line together was a great feeling, and I am so proud of us for completing the entire mile!

The second accomplishment was that I raised the most amount of money for the entire event, and won a round trip ticket on Jet Blue Airlines! With the help of my family and friends I raised a total of $510. I am so grateful for their support, and was excited to have raised so much money for such an incredible cause. The money raised for this event went to Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay to support the fantastic youth summer programs, beach events, and advocacy we do for the Boston Harbor, and the Surfrider Foundation to support the preservation of the New England coastline!

-Kelly Randall-

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Somerville takes Spectacle

Some of my Somerville friends pulling in the crab trap. 
This week we returned once again to Spectacle Island! It was lots of fun with so many excited kids as always. On this trip though, there was one group that I knew particularly well. As I mentioned in my introductory blog post, I volunteer at the Somerville Public Schools’ After School Program at the Argenziano School.  Different Somerville Community Schools groups have come out with us on AABH earlier this summer, but this week a group from the Argenziano school came for the first time.

I have been hoping these familiar faces might make an appearance at some point this summer, and I was beyond thrilled when I saw the kids and some of the after school employees get off the bus.  It was so fun spending time with the kids and catching up with my co-workers. Once on the island, they had a great time fishing, hiking, and enjoying the beach. They loved the trip out to spectacle Island, and  can’t wait to return next year.
Isaac, Myself, Sheamus, Beckett, and Jackson (from left) on the boat ride out to Spectacle. 

I loved seeing how these kids get to enjoy the program. It was an absolutely amazing day and without a doubt one of the best highlights of my summer so far.

-Hallie Fox

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer with Save the Habor

This summer has been a great time for me here at Save the Harbor. This was my first job I'd ever had and I loved it. I learned a lot here. I learned how to fish and how to put a hook on correctly. Everyone here are great and fu. All the events are fun and everybody always has a good time here. The sites I've been working at are awesome; the kids are great, respectful and fun. This summer I caught many fishes and crabs and I got a chance to bring home three lobsters to eat for dinner. Overall, it was a great summer here at Save the Harbor. Everyone here are great and I hope I can come back next year.
                                                                                 -Andy Gomez

Last Week at Blacks Creek

It is amazing how quickly this summer has passed. It seems that only yesterday I was greeting explorers for our first day together. Now programming is coming to a close. The boats on Blacks Creek are being hauled out of the water and I must say goodbye to all of the kids who came to join us for the summer.

The last week was certainly a one to remember. We spent our days playing games and of course catching things in the creek. The numbers of captured critters sky rocketed during this time, because by this point, nearly all of our explorers were experienced in the fine art of dip-netting. Adding to the success was the use of a new technique in which we bait our nets with crushed crab in order to catch copious quantities of both mummichogs and silversides. On one particularly successful day we had to have caught at least 300 of these small fish.

On the high tide days—when catching can be difficult— we built some very impressive sand castles. The kids were excited to build a home for the crabs that are plentiful on these high water days. The most elaborate of our sand creations had numerous arched entrances and a spiral tower in the middle. It was great to see all of the kids cooperating to create this magnificent castle. 

While I hoped the week would never end, all things must come to a close. These were bittersweet feelings for me. While I would no longer have the pleasure to enjoy Blacks Creek, our program grew tremendously this summer and even continued to do so in the last few days. The final two days of programming saw five completely new explorers join us, and, while disappointed to hear of the impending end to our summer at Blacks Creek—they were excited to sign up for next years programming. This is fantastic news for the future health of The Harbor and the environment at large, as our Blacks Creek Explorers will undoubtedly be future stewards of the wonderful resources that we all have to share.

Many thanks to the Quincy Rec. Dept. for their cooperation and to the fantastic families and kids who have come down for some sun and fun down at the creek. See you next year.

-Tom Rebula