They say time flies when you’re having fun, but maybe we should say it’s hard to bee-lieve we are already past the halfway point of our program! The past couple days have been filled with birthdays, bees, and business lessons.
The students have spent time this week working on group projects researching companies to learn more about the business models and organizational structures of different “green” ventures. On Friday morning they explored potential marketing strategies for these businesses before presenting their overall findings to the group on Friday afternoon. Following the “formal” presentations, we were witness to a more “casual” presentation later in the evening as some students performed a rendition of “I Want It That Way” during our joint birthday party. We were able to celebrate two birthdays with cake and song.
On Saturday morning we ventured down the road to Dartmouth’s Organic Farm where we learned about farming and got a first-hand look at some beehives. After a tour of the farm, students were able to speak with current Dartmouth students about student-led sustainability initiatives on campus. They were also able to learn more about beekeeping and how honeybees play an important role in food production. Bee sure to ask them about some of the new information they learned, including some insight on how bees build and maintain their hives.
After our tour, we cooled off with popsicles and a dip in the river. It was a much-needed break on such a hot day! Later in the afternoon, students were able to go swimming and canoeing on the beautiful Connecticut River. We concluded the day with a group game of trivia! This was a fun way to review some of the key concepts that were taught this week, as well as learn more about our community (and stay up-to-date on our celebrity gossip).
On Sunday morning we divided into smaller groups and students attended two breakout sessions of their choice on various topics. Some of the sessions included introductions to subjects such as environmental policy, spiritual ecology, community owned solar, and green building. These sessions were a great way to delve deeper into more aspects of sustainability and continue discussions about environmental stewardship from new perspectives. We are hopeful the students will consider some of these new lenses on sustainability as they prepare for their final projects and create ideas for an environmentally-focused, sustainable social venture.
Also on Sunday, we had about several members of the group sit down for a conversation with Sustainable Summer alum and current Dartmouth sophomore, Annika, for a chat about life on campus, sustainability at Dartmouth, college admissions, and other topics of interest to our cohort this summer.
On Monday we started our week off with a hike on the Appalachian Trail. Our hike was a lovely way to connect with nature and get some exercise in! Later this week we will be revisiting the Appalachian Trail to summit one of the mountains, so this was a great sneak peak of what’s to come. Stay tuned on our final adventures!