BHS Outdoor Club
Helping lead excursions into the outdoors near Boston
When Jonah was nine, he went on his first camping trip. It was a short canoe paddle across the Green Lake in New York and a night spent camping at the destination. Although modest, this experience triggered Jonah’s love for the outdoors. Every summer, Jonah would take on increasingly challenging and beautiful trips in nature with his camp. He realized that the skills he acquired and a connection with others was as important as appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer. When returning to Brookline High, Jonah was always disappointed that his friends didn’t share this passion. He saw that the stresses of school and the fast-past lives of his peers were causing a lot of anxiety. To make a change in this environment, Jonah helped build the BHS outdoor adventure club. This club would offer chances for students to both experience the outdoors and to take a break from the taxing school culture.
Implementation of Project
When starting the project, Jonah met certain difficulties. Another similar club to his had already been formed at BHS while he was away at Alzar School. He attempted to change the club’s membership to include middle schoolers. Unfortunately this wasn’t possible because of COVID-19 and insurance restrictions. So, Jonah joined forces with the faculty advisor of the existing outdoors club at BHS. This was very successful as there was already a system in place for shuttling kids to other places so that they could work on more ambitious excursions.
Results of Project
Along with other club leaders, Jonah has planned and carried out several excursions into nature in the greater Boston area. The first expedition was a kayaking trip to the Boston harbor islands. After borrowing a few kayaks from friends of the faculty advisor, the club traversed to an island, took a mid-October dip into the water, and hiked up to the top. Other expeditions included a hike at the Blue Hills Reservation and a campfire in Larz Anderson Park. There have been over 40 participants thus far.
Jonah is planning to further continue the growth of his leadership skills and efforts with the BHS outdoor adventure club for the reminder of his senior year. Some next steps he would like to take are: getting WFR and swiftwater rescue certified, and continuing pursuing job opportunities with outdoor components to them. Jonah really wants to plan a longer hiking trip or an overnight camping trip at some point this spring. This will be very difficult to plan and make sure the school approves, but Jonah is up for the challenge! There are many younger participants in the club, so those students will take over the club when Jonah graduates.