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Hingham community welcomes young field trippers

Created date

September 25th, 2012
Linden Pondsdidn t fit the description of a typical Friday field trip destination for the B-SAFE summer program (Bishop s Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment program). Nonetheless, as soon as they stepped off the bus, all 60 children were greeted with fanfare, hospitality, and a day of activities organized by those who live at Linden Ponds, the Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass. Nearly 60 residents shared their talents with the group of children ages six to ten and their supervisors. Welcomed first by Paul Ricca s lively trumpeting and lei necklaces, the children visited four activity stations: bocce, gardens, origami, and ping-pong, and they later enjoyed a barbeque lunch. It was a rolling stone that gathered moss, Betsy Bishop, who lives at Linden Ponds and chairs its Episcopal community, says of how quickly the event garnered volunteers. Word of the visit attracted volunteers of all faiths from the Linden Ponds community. So many people said to themselves, I have a talent that I can share. B-SAFE provides safe and enriching experiences for youth from eight Boston-area neighborhoods. Betsy was familiar with the program, and upon her suggestion, the Linden Ponds Episcopal group donated to B-SAFE earlier this year, forging the connection that eventually led to this summer s visit.

Joyful learning

The event was a memorable occasion for both the B-SAFE group, which hails from Mattapan, and the Linden Ponds community. Never has a Friday field trip gone as smoothly as this past one, Robb Quinn, B-SAFE s site director, wrote in his blog shortly after the event. We could never hope to be able to write enough thank you notes to express the gratitude we have for the experience crafted for us by Rev. Chris and the residents of Linden Ponds. It was truly joyful! (Rev. Chris is Linden Ponds Pastoral Ministries Manager Christian Beaukman, who organized the event.) Some of the older kids said, I hope I can move here when I m older, says Ed Petcavage, who lives at the community and led the bocce station. They were all excited about playing, he adds. It was a brand new game to most of them. Nearby, below sunny skies, Ginny Bauer oversaw the groups of children who were led through the gardens by one of four Linden Ponds resident gardeners. The kids loved seeing the compost pile. They also enjoyed identifying vegetables and flowers, and getting to taste some things, such as basil and mint, Ginny says. From the gardens, the groups were guided indoors for ping-pong and origami sessions. Burt Longenbach, an artist and teacher who lives at Linden Ponds, led the origami activity in a classroom decorated with paper cranes and other examples of the Japanese art form. I chose the origami experience for the kids because I thought it would provide them with an opportunity to gain something rather quickly in a rather short amount of time, he says of the folded paper art. Burt gave each child oragami paper and an 11-page booklet of instructions to make 11 paper sculptures. I hope that it continued on past the one-day experience, he says. Those who didn t run workshops were available to answer questions and bring the groups from one place to another. Between activities, Cecile Arnold taught the children songs, and Norman and Renee Feingold taught dancing and began an impromptu conga line.

Positive memories

I think they left thinking very positively about Linden Ponds, but more importantly, I think they had an experience that was a memorable one for them, Burt says. Betsy and others at Linden Ponds are talking about hosting the B-SAFE group again next year. I think kids love being with adults and older adults, if they re given positive interaction, Betsy says.