A beautiful letter from a Canoemobile outdoor educator reflecting on the subtle ways Canoemobile affected students from Clark High School in Hammond, Indiana:
A stillness held the water of the lake as the first hour of sunlight splashed down on boats full of inspired young adults. Many were exploring their own lake, Wolf Lake, for the first time. Flocks of migrating birds crowded the lake, communicating in unseen and unheard ways that mirrored the communications of the students. The fresh light met our skin, embracing each of the 10 people in our hand crafted wood canoes, each of us on a migration of our own.
These young adults, juniors and seniors at Clark High School in Hammond are all in the process of migrating. They are on the journey from the life of a youth, as a student of the classroom, to becoming an adult: a student of the world. They engaged with the world around them, connecting their lessons to what they could see on the water. They dug into issues of water quality, invasive species, their future education, and employment in sectors that truly inspired them. They connected with their environment in new ways, silently watching a flock of 200 birds take flight and continue their journey southward, just as we all continue our journeys forward.
Canoemobile is also a migration. Seven colleagues living, working, and playing together. We are following the early fall weather from our homes in Minnesota to paddle these beautiful boats, with beautiful people all across this country. Few people get the opportunity, day in and day out, to watch excited and nervous students get into a boat for the first time and return to land an hour later beaming with joy. We get the opportunity to let these youth empower themselves. We get to see them try something that they may have never thought possible, and succeed at it! We work hard, we are up before the sun, we fix boats that wear from thousands of people using them, we see incredible outcomes every single day. We love it.