“Are we still meeting at the trail at 7? Me and ________ are coming?” -This text message, following one of the hottest and most productive days at The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch came and went as I was in a deep, deep, sleep following the previous sweat shop day of productivity with the 5th week of our Upward Bound Work Study and students with The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy rolling forward. The call I received 15 minutes later woke me to the realization that students were waiting at the nature trail this morning.
I was disoriented, not hearing from students the night before, and thinking Saturday, a no go to gain more hours on Saturday, so imagine my surprise realizing some were waiting for me the next morning! A little dread filled my push to fall out of bed and quickly get ready and throw the necessary items needed to survive an early morning, a VERY hot morning, in a 10 minute rush to get to the meeting spot. I also thought, “Most people would be annoyed, I think, at not hearing from someone the night before, but I would be annoyed not knowing and I am not at all!” Not annoyed or bothered at all, I followed that thought with, “In what world do you have students, up early, on a weekend, calling you to say where are you, we are ready to work despite a scorching hot morning, let’s do it!” – I was quite proud of the initiative these students had already showed on a heat advisory day, this early in the morning.
I was counting on a in and out of what we needed to do day, grabbed the dogs, with a little foreboding of how they would handle the heat, grabbed a few coolers and icepacks, water, etc. from the adventure of the day before. took out items of the car and set them aside- items I had not taken out yet, moved to pack last minute survival items quickly, dogs in, and hit the trail.
The heat was already blasting as I was pulling in, objectives of the day shared quickly with students, dogs already panting, we dived into the nature trail. For 1.5 miles, we videotaped every single course direction for what would be a 3.1 mile XC (Cross Country) trail, so athletes would know BEFORE hitting the course, the direction to follow- took notes of all intersections/turns that needed directional color matching poles, AND wrote the directions out by hand.
Within the first five minutes of walking the trail, everyone was soaked to the skin. Being asked, “Is that steam rising from your shirt?” was quite funny, as everyone realized the wonders of the heat we were seeing, even being in the canopy of the nature trail. In three hours, the XC trail had been videotaped, narrated, and written down. Dogs were on the ground after having stopped several times along the way due to heat, having lapped up water, trying to find hiding shady spots under the benches, and looked as if their time was done for the outside. Recovering at the end by inhaling freezer pops and bottles of water, objectives were made to accomplish tasks for work study this weekend, and everyone realized how hard and difficult, yet rewarding, what had been accomplished in three hours in the AM on Saturday. Another amazing accomplishment tacked on to yesterday’s achievements.
The realization of images seen that morning, from more works of art found in spiderwebs, mushrooms, and light rays in various parts of the woods – to the chorus of birds surrounding us in the canopy, the awe of such a treasure in a community’s own back yard still remained.
Looking back on the day before, July 22nd and 23rd post:
and taking in the events of today, a SECOND day of pushing through to get all done, in a record pace – I realized a few things-
Brick and mortar buildings are not needed – when you have plans, goals, creativity, and believers of all those three categories, The power we have in our community often cannot be seen, it is in the on-the-cusp-revolutionary ideas that can be enacted to change communities that our youth have, and can be channeled to do some extraordinary feats in our community, things that can’t be seen do not mean they can’t be created and implemented.
Secondly, I realized the power of a licensed Information Science Librarian – the power of young people to achieve some amazing things in a short amount of time, in an unorthodox way, in creative ways that motivate the certified librarians themselves, as well as those that surround them, that unharnessed power can change whole state; can you imagine if that power was present in every single school? What we accomplished in two days could be accomplished EVERY SINGLE DAY in and out of school with the correctly motivated, supported, and certified Information Science Librarian. What many failed to see was how these professionals can impact all areas of their positions, in and out of school.