The Red Dot Trail

Hearing the excitement of her peers, Paige was reinvigorated. While maybe not thrilled that she was still quite far from the parking lot, she was not going to miss out on what sounded like a pretty impressive view. We made our way up the final stretch of uphill terrain to meet the rest of the group who were spread out across the lookout, taking in the view of their home down below.

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Annie Hayes
Nature Valley...or the Blue Hills?

“Have you ever seen a Nature Valley commercial?” Fatou, a ten-year-old hiker from Boys and Girls Club Dorchester asked me on our most recent adventure in the Blue Hills Reservation. I nodded, evoking an excited response, “Well this,” she said, gesturing to the rising dirt trails and trees bright green after a morning storm, “looks just like one of them!”

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Annie Hayes
Interning with Elevate Youth: My First Week

“By bringing youth, or anyone for that matter, into nature you are allowing them the chance to connect to the natural world around them, and maybe for the first time igniting a passion for the protection and preservation of that space. But even more than that, you are helping them find an escape in the beautiful and natural world belonging to all.”

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Annie Hayes
My First Outing with Elevate Youth

With each turn and tip of the boats the girls laughed and screamed with thoughts they might get splashed or the boat would tip over. But as time went on, they got more comfortable and started leaning over the edge to touch the water. They took turns steering the boat and using the tiller, learning how to hike the sail up and break it down, and we also talked a lot about wind currents and what would happen if there was no wind at all!

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Annie Hayes
Nature & Animals

The kids’ initial reactions to the majestic animals are always the same. They are astounded at their size, a little nervous to get too close, but at the same time eager to reach out their hand to brush a horse’s mane or neck.

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Alec Griswold
Surfing with Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester

Right away it was clear that this was a determined and skilled group; one boy, Ethan, even stood up on his first wave. Liam was another natural; by the end of the day he wasn't only riding the waves but was adding in some dance moves once he got his footing on the board.

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Alec Griswold
Kayaking with Big Brothers Big Sisters

As we coasted our way up the river, we found ourselves traveling through a thick patch of water lilies, which forced us to slow down so that our blades wouldn’t get tangled in their stems. In doing so, we were able to spot a few fish splashing on the surface of the water, as well as several turtles sunning themselves on a log at the river’s edge.

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Alec Griswold
Indoor Rock Climbing with Big Brothers Big Sisters

This first outing with Big Brothers Big Sisters was a great example of what Elevate Youth is hoping to do for the organization, which is to take matches on outings to foster the existing bond between Big and Little, but also help to create new relationships among matches; giving Bigs the chance to socialize with other Bigs, and Littles the chance to meet other Littles.

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Alec Griswold