By Abbie Smith, SSE Program Manager
Back in May, a group consisting of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders from Manson Options School boarded schooner Zodiac for an expedition for the first time in two years. Manson Options School from the Lake Chelan area has been a repeat school group for years—it’s become tradition. With the two years of program hiatus, there was a large group of students wanting and waiting to go on a Salish Sea Expedition. When we were finally able to welcome the students, chaperones, and teacher onboard, it felt like a long-awaited exhale. We were back in business.
There’s something about the eager anticipation of an experience that heightens the impact for all involved. Here are a few things that impressed the Salish crew during this trip:
- Having a mixed-grades group created a unique learning environment for all aboard. The older 9th graders towered over the 7th graders and were really ready to take on more responsibility. The Salish crew saw that and leaned in—offering opportunities for them to be leaders amongst the other students. Each one was willing and jumped right in when extra help and strength were needed.
- The magic of every Salish Sea Expedition is found in watching students step into the unknown and watch as they transform right before your eyes to become more confident in whatever they are learning. Manson Options students were no different. Two students, in particular, stood out to the crew as being a bit timid on day one but by the end were running the show at their sail stations.
- Evenings on shore at Sucia Island were just as memorable as being on the boat during the day. Students’ curiosity had them exploring tidepools—some seeing anemones for the very first time! And around the campfire, a very spirited song game competition commenced—a Salish tradition (IYKYK).
During the trip it was clear that Manson Options is a true community—the students were looking out for each other, and the adults were pitching in to help. The Salish crew was so thankful to be a part of that for a few days, and we look forward to continuing the tradition this coming year!