Meet the ACT Scavenger "Hunters"
By Jenn Shea, Director/Registered Maine Guide & Arundel Parks & Recreation Department
The pandemic has reshaped the lives of most of us, requiring us to step outside our comfort zones and think creatively. It has also required us to find new ways to exercise and play. Arundel Parks & Recreation Department is no exception.
With the start of the 2020-2021 “Hybrid” school year, we stepped outside our comfort zone and entered the realm of community childcare and educational support for our local student learners. With children in school only 2 days per week in the hybrid model, working parents needed help. We have been very happy to provide this service to the community, and with some creative thinking, we’ve really gotten into the groove.
Remote school begins at 8:25am with all students in a virtual meeting with their teacher and classmates. Schoolwork is generally completed by mid-afternoon and then it’s time for recess! Recess looks a little different than usual at our remote school location in the Meeting Room at the new Town Hall, because there is no playground outside.
Children have great imaginations, and they have found many things to enjoy about recess at the Town Hall. Fall hiking and winter walks on the new Arundel Community Trails, accessible from the Town Hall parking lot, are among the childrens’ favorite recess activities. Finding all 5 painted rocks and the rest of the items on the ACT Scavenger Hunt list have been educational and FUN! Oh, the joy and exhilaration of finding another painted rock!
We see people of all ages unloading bikes from vehicles in the Town Hall parking lot to enjoy the mountain bike flow trail. Several adult community members have approached us with excitement to share how happy they are about the flow trail – “What a great bike trail to have in our community!,” they tell us.
Others with red, sweaty faces and adrenalin pumping as they come off the bike trail will exclaim “That was awesome!” to whoever will listen. During our winter walks on the ACT, we often meet other hikers who are equally as enthusiastic as the bicyclists. We especially enjoy meeting dogs under voice command enjoying the trail with their people. There is always a silver lining, even in the darkest of times. The new trails at the Town Hall are among our silver linings! What could be better than giving the children of the community beautiful trails to explore and learn from?
Thank you ACT for bringing opportunities to Arundel for all to enjoy!