Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Transformational Journeys

April, 2014

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

The student speakers at the April 9th Gala were truly remarkable, poised, mature and confident young people with a great sense of humor and healthy sense of self. It was so gratifying to see how they had blossomed into such impressive young adults since their involvement in Thompson Island programs six years ago. I was truly blown away by them and ultimately humbled to be part of an organization that can have such impact on the youth of Boston and beyond.

Suzanna, now 17 and a junior in Boston, shared that her experience on Thompson Island uncovered a whole new world of possibilities. She began to view learning in a broader context and, for the first time in her life, discovered learning could be touched, felt and experienced in a way that was joyful. On Thompson Island she could explore areas of herself and academic subjects in new and wonderful ways. She now truly feels empowered to learn, explore, grow and succeed…. in the real world. She feels free to be herself. Wow! I was so impressed by her speech and the young woman she has become.

For Tre, it was apparent that his experiences on Thompson Island guided him towards a path of leadership and service. His time working with students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and volunteering with the Food Project in homeless shelters was inspired, according to Tre, by his transformational experiences on Thompson Island in 2007. Now 19 and entering college in the fall, Tre went on to eloquently describe that he was, in fact, transformed not changed. He differentiated between the two concepts by saying that “change, is turning someone into something you want them to be. But transformation is removing any fake wall that was built and helping us to see the world, others and ourselves for what we really are and see the potential and power we all possess!”

I am truly grateful to both Tre and Suzanna for sharing their experiences in such a thoughtful and profound way. You’d never know that they were speaking onstage under bright lights in front of 500 well-dressed adults. To say I was proud and awed is an understatement. The standing ovation given by the assembled guests says it all. They touched many, many people that night and I am so thankful that I could play a part in their “transformation” based upon my involvement with Thompson Island Outward Bound.

To read Tre and Suzanna’s full speeches, please click here: www.thompsonisland.org/about-us/news-and-current-events

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Discover Boston’s Island Classroom

September, 2013

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

Recently I spent the day touring Thompson Island with Forbes writer John Farrell. We traversed the island from “stem to stern” and John was truly amazed by the island’s myriad features, facilities, challenge courses, ecosystems and infrastructure. Whether it was the north end tide pools and eroding cliffs that provide the perfect “classroom” for intertidal or geology studies, or the south end Alpine Tower high ropes course area that provides an unmatched platform for character, trust and team-building, John clearly saw how beneficial our programs are to the youth of Boston and beyond. The pristine salt marshes, the amazing island history, and its proximity to Boston were icing on the cake. I’ll let John take it from here in his own words, as we’ve posted his article and accompanying video from Forbes.com in the TIOBlog this month. Read on and you’ll get a sense of how inspiring a Thompson Island visit can be to the uninitiated.

September 11, 2013
Historic Harbor Island Inspires Students To Take The Lead
By John Farrell (Source: Forbes.com)

I stood in a large meadow of Thompson Island in Boston Harbor, historic home to philanthropic educational institutions going back to the early 1800s.

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Paul Lamoureaux, the VP of Programs for Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, was literally showing me the ropes of the non-profit organization that works with the National Park Service and Boston public schools to introduce thousands of inner city kids to the wilds of nature –less than a few miles from where they live.

You’d have to look hard from several spots on this refuge to know Boston was anywhere in sight at all.

And that impression is one of the inspirations for the Outward Bound program, Lamoureaux told me, a program which has turned Thompson Island into a training ground for future leaders.

Standing in the meadow on the south west side of the island, we can face the huge Alpine Tower of the Challenge Course. While behind us, we can see where the tidal flow comes in and out of a salt marsh on the north side, facing Boston.

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“We’re looking at the Back Bay,” said Lamoureaux. “The Back Bay used to be all salt marsh. And of course, the South Bay used to be all salt marsh –it was all part of the Charles River Basin.

“So, to show kids, when they come out, to bring them down to this side of the island, talk about the importance of the salt marshes–their continued importance as a nursery, as a filtering spot, how important they are to the larger ecosystem…”
“…and then to have the point come home to them–because they can see the city skyline here, and realize– ‘We’re right from there!’ –just how close they are to their own city, it’s pretty powerful.”

Lamoureaux turned to the challenge course, the two huge platforms in the middle of the meadow where students can rope-climb and clamber up structures–Alpine Wall and Tower– that look at least 100 feet high to me (they’re 60 feet).

But even with helmets and harnesses on their backs to prevent any fall, the task appears daunting (and I demurred from an invitation to try it out myself).

“This is sort of the icon of the challenge-based aspect of our program,” said Lamoureaux, “and the salt marsh is sort of the icon of the curriculum based aspect of our program.”

The challenge course is all about goal-setting, and overcoming fear, encouragement, support of team members, commitment, trust, he said.

“It’s just a potent platform for their training–and it will stay with them. These kids get something that they can draw on for the rest of their lives.”

Outward Bound’s emphasis on environmental projects also gets a lot of inner city kids excited about science. And that’s another point in its favor. It helps boost their grades.

Last year Outward Bound’s Connections program — which includes student groups from fifth to eighth grade– served more than 4,300 youngsters from 35 different Boston public schools. The program brings the students to the island for one-day and three-day expeditions to explore the woods and salt marshes and tidal inlets.

For older students, between the ages of 12 and 17, a Summer Expeditions program brings them on sailing and kayaking expeditions–and climbing and camping expeditions for those who prefer keeping the ground under their feet.

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At the top of Outward’s proverbial pyramid of activities, stand the Green Ambassadors, high school students who’ve completed the earlier programs and are now in a position to work for six weeks of the summer, managing environmental preservation projects, and helping to teach and train kids in the intro programs readiness training and how to work in teams.

For many kids in Boston’s inner city schools, it’s like a trip to another continent.

“It must have been April when I was eleven,” Roisin Kirby of Boston’s Hyde Park district told me. “Educators from Thompson Island came to my school, the William Barton Rogers Middle School, to meet with students and introduce us to the organization.”

Initial meetings in class included games to work on team building. But they told Kirby and her classmates about an opportunity to take part in a five day stay on Thompson Island– to learn the Outward Bound mission, to gain a hard work ethic, to acquire team building skills — and to escape from the city.

“I was so excited, after school that day I told my parents about it and they said I could do it,” she said.

Kirby considered herself an outdoor person by nature. But she was not prepared for how enthralling she would find her first visit to Thompson. Every summer afterward, she returned for more advanced programs, and as soon as she was old enough, she applied for a job.

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“When I was applying, I could choose between being a Green Corps member or an Island Ambassador. The Green Corps took part in landscaping projects and invasive species removal. I was interested in manual labor and I wanted to learn about different plants and animals on the harbor islands. I got the job and started in July of 2011.

“I thought my job was so cool, because I didn’t know anyone else who had a job like mine. All my friends were babysitters or waitresses or sales associates at random retail stores and I got to take a boat to work everyday.”

Working for Thompson Island Outward Bound has inspired Kirby–now in college at University of Massachusetts, Amherst–to pursue an outdoor career. “It has been a dream of mine to join the Peace Corps after I graduate college and working for Outward Bound has given me skills that I know I will use if and when I am selected to be a Peace Corps member.”

In September 2014, Kirby will begin a two-year Associates degree in Horticulture.

For Lamoureaux, a Boston native who loves the outdoors himself, reaching students like Roisin Kirby is what the big picture is all about.

The video I shot below offers a few highlights from Thompson Island at the height of summer.

Click here to view the video!

 

Posted September 13, 2013 by thompsonisland in Uncategorized

Boston Bruins Score Team Building Goal on Thompson Island

July, 2013

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

The Boston Bruins created a buzz of excitement on July 15th as their rookie prospects tackled trust exercises and climbing walls to build teamwork, communication and conflict resolution skills. The 23 prospects boarded a morning ferry to Thompson Island where they participated in an Outward Bound Professional (OBP) course as part of the Boston Bruin’s Player Development Camp. Off the ice, they were pushed out of their comfort zones and driven to new limits.

The challenges they faced and lessons learned are all similar to the experiences our young people enjoy every day through Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center programs. Throughout their OBP course, activities were documented on social media by Caryn Switaj, Boston Bruin’s Digital Content Specialist and crew. Thompson Island youth alum immediately recognized their location and excitedly announced their favorite team was engaging in the same activities they have experienced. Boston’s young people flooded Instagram and Twitter with comments and tweets:

“This is teambuilding and getting to know one another on Thompson Island. I’ve done it before!”

“I climbed this Alpine Tower this summer! It was way fun and challenging!”

“Hey (tagged all his Thompson Island friends)! They are going to Thompson Island just like we did!”

This year more than 6,500 young people will be able to discover the same excitement and life changing activities as the Boston Bruins prospects, as well as more than 1,500 adults in OBP courses. Below is a blog post and social media photos from the Boston Bruins prospects’ big day. It paints a great picture of the challenges all kids face on the island, whatever their age.

We are very thankful to Bostonbruins.com for giving us permission to redistribute this material! All coverage was produced by the Boston Bruins’ crew of Caryn Switaj, Jonathan Gotlieb and Brandon McNelis.

Prospects Taken Out of Their Comfort Zones

Monday, 07.15.2013 / 2:51 PM

By Caryn Switaj – Bostonbruins.comBruins Blog

THOMPSON ISLAND – After finishing up with the on-ice portion of Development Camp, the prospects traveled into Boston and out on the water for team-building activities on Thompson Island, part of the Boston Harbor Islands system.

In years past, the prospects have taken part in The Program, a military training based challenge that is physically grueling. This year, the “team bonding” time happened on the final day of camp. On the island, they’re taken through various challenges that test them with problem solving, leadership, and most importantly, teamwork.

“To serve and not to yield” is the motto for Thompson Island Outward Bound Professional, who organizes the programs for young kids, as well as specialized programs like the one today for the prospects.

Before the day started, the prospects were asked what they’ve learned this week throughout camp.

“Sky’s the limit,” said Anthony Camara. “You take out what you put in,” added Wiley Sherman.

The prospects then separated into two groups for activities. All week, they’ve been tested on and off the ice in many capacities. But on a day like today, while their athleticism helps them through low and ropes courses, the lessons become entirely about teamwork.

Trust and “learning by doing” are the name of the game. Throughout activities, they learn from mistakes and improve performance, while sharing advice.

One particular challenge that ended the morning involved the prospects hoisting each other over a 14-foot wall, one by one, until Brian Ferlin was the last one standing.

Then the real challenge began.

Anthony Camara, Malcolm Subban and Adam Morrison had to help him get over the edge.

Several ideas were thrown out: Dangle a leg, use Subban’s (extremely) long reach, rely on Camara’s upper-body strength. They decided on having Ferlin run up the wall and grab onto the trio. It took countless tries.

What was the magic method?

“A lot of teamwork,” said Ferlin. “I mean, I didn’t know how I was going to get over at first. So I was just sitting there watching the other guys go over. A little boost and seeing how difficult it was.”

“So I didn’t know, without the boost, what I was going to do – it took us probably around 10 or 15 minutes just to get it down.”

“Just trial and error and eventually me and Subban got the wrist going there.”

Trial and error. Teamwork. And a little encouragement goes a long way.

“It’s definitely a little chaotic and stuff once everyone’s pushed out of their comfort zone out of their limits,” said Zane Gothberg, who has emerged as a leader during his fourth camp. His vocal leadership helped give Subban, Ferlin and crew the vote of confidence they needed to get over the hurdle – literally.

“It makes for an interesting morning so far, but it’s obviously fun to learn from each other, learn how to react in certain situations with each other,” said Gothberg.

“You learn and react with different situations and stuff with all the guys here and that’s how you really get to know each other is in those uncomfortable situations, resolving the conflict together, and doing it productively.”

The morning altogether resulted in a variety of learning experiences – and the day was just half over. The prospects were set to take part in high ropes courses and rock climbing, and Gothberg was appreciative of the process so far.

“Each different exercise had good aspects, good team bonding aspects so they all were very beneficial to the whole process.”

To get an even closer up and personal view of the Boston Bruins prospects’ OBP course please visit the following links:

Photo Gallery: http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=37368

Additional Blog Post: http://bruins.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=19057

Video: bbru.in/15ik2a9 

Alpine Tower Climb from Chris Casto’s video camera: http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=662&id=262878&lang=en

For more information about conducting an Outward Bound Professional course please contact Ellen Harris at eharris@thompsonisland.org

Posted July 24, 2013 by thompsonisland in Uncategorized

Between the Lines

June, 2013

More than 32 Boston Public Schools and 2,866 students have visited the island this spring as part of our Connections program. The impact of this program can be measured in many ways, but this month we provide special insight through the words of the boys and girls themselves. I’ve asked Communications Manager, Jaclyn Parks, to be the guest blogger and highlight some of what the Connections students have written about their experiences on Thompson Island. – Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

Between the Lines
by Jaclyn Parks, Communications Manager

“When we were testing the water in the hydrometer and looking at different animals in the water, I was learning and having a good time, at the same time.” Alexus, Boston Teachers Union (BTU) Pilot School

This week we received an inspiring package of student thank you letters from the BTU Pilot School located in Jamaica Plain, who came to the island for a Harbor Connections experience. Every child’s letter paints a picture of their unique hands-on learning activities and its lasting impact. We thought, what better way to help you visualize a Harbor Connections program than through the words of the students who were in the field, getting dirty, exploring science and nature all while having fun?

The quotes below are from BTU Pilot School 5th grade students, however, the pictures are a combination of the 32 different schools we have served thus far this year.

A typical Harbor Connections expedition goes a little something like this…

Thompson Island instructors visit the school’s classroom to collaborate with the teachers and engage the students with the vocabulary, scientific instruments and outdoor environments they will experience.

After an exhilarating 20 minute boat ride, students arrive on our Island Classroom to participate in the Connections program. Connections integrates Massachusetts curriculum frameworks into hands-on field experiences for students in order to make learning fun, memorable and impactful.

Traveling around the island and experiencing many ecosystems connects children to nature and helps them grow an appreciation for the natural world.

At the end of their excursion, many students declare they never want to leave! They treasure their new memories and are thankful for the Thompson Island Outward Bound instructors and National Park Service rangers who have taught them so much. Both at home and in school they excitedly share their new wealth of information.

We would like to tip our hat to BTU Pilot School teachers Betsy Drinan and Erica Welch for having their students write the letters as a way to extend the learning experience as well as inspire our instructors and rangers to see up close and personal the impact of Boston’s Island Classroom.

Nature and Technology are BFFs

May, 2013

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, along with numerous university and research partners, has been installing and testing remote sensing technology that captures data, audio and video of the island’s flora, fauna, weather and geology. One of the desired outcomes for these resources is to enable Boston Public School teachers to extend their students’ island expedition back into the classroom with technology, data and lesson plans that build upon and complement the on-island experiential learning experience.

One of these technology partnerships also ties directly into measuring the effects of sea level rise, a hot topic in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and in the scientific community as a whole.


To focus on this important issue and to highlight one of Thompson Island’s primary technology project partnerships, I’ve invited Communications Manager, Jaclyn Parks to be our Guest Blogger this month.

Nature & Technology are BFFs
by Jaclyn Parks, Communications Manager

Technology is usually thought to be the culprit for keeping children inside. However, on Thompson Island technology and nature are working together to get children outdoors and interested in science. A partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMASS Boston), Boston University and Northeastern University has helped us strengthen this synergy by collaborating on a remote camera-based erosion study.

Most of us are aware of the growing concerns about global climate change, the expected rise in sea levels that could occur during the remainder of this century and increasing rates of erosion. Since 1920 Boston’s sea level has risen approximately 10 inches, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). NOAA predicts Boston’s sea level will continue to rise as much as 6 feet by the end of this century. For more information about Boston’s sea level trends and projections visit the City of Boston’s climate webpage.

Remote camera technology used by the erosion study partnership on the north end of Thompson Island


UMASS Boston recently approached Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center to participate in a study to evaluate the use of low-power, low-cost networked smart cameras to study and manage coastal flooding. Thompson Island was chosen due to its close proximity to Boston and geologically dynamic shorelines. The Boston Harbor Islands are a unique geological formation called drumlins that formed from the recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last Ice Age, some 20,000 years ago.

The UMASS Boston/BU/Northeastern partnership has placed these smart cameras in areas of known erosion and beach movement to help clarify what exactly is causing rapid erosion and which weather types affect tide movements the most.

Beach movement, as deposition, on the east side of Thompson Island?


Thompson Island instructors are leveraging this study by incorporating components into our geology curricula. Students will use camera footage to learn about erosion, climate change, tidal movements, deposition and much more.

According to Alex Chu, program director for curriculum programs, “We will be using this scientific data to develop lesson plans that provide classroom-based access to island data and video that complement field-based science expeditions. Remote access to data will enable Thompson Island to expand our capabilities to deliver technology-based aspects of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curricula to schools. It also allows us to begin to deliver integrated scientific/technology field and research work that connects to next generation science standards, while offering students a realistic taste of how a future career in science might appeal to them.”

To view live footage from these erosion cameras visit www.cesn.org/live/thompson.php

We suggest you read the following abstracts if you’re interested in learning more about Boston’s coastal history, erosion and rising sea levels!

Effects of Rising Sea Level on the Boston Harbor by Duncan FitzGerald Boston University Department of Earth Sciences and Peter Rosen, Northeastern University Department of Geology

Drowned Drumlins, Battered Bluff, and Salt Marsh Sediments – Boston Harbor Through Time by Peter Rosen, Northeastern University Department of Earth and Environmental Science and Carol Wilson, Boston Universitiy Coastal Geomorphology

Mapping and Modeling Sea Level Rise by Ellen Douglas, University of Massachusetts Boston Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences

Effects of Natural and Anthropogenic Forces on the Geophysical Processes in Boston Harbor by Dr. Zoe Hughes, Boston University Department of Earth Sciences

Impact of the Connections Program on Students, Teachers and School Culture

March, 2013

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President Programs

On March 5th, donors and trustees visited the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester to learn how Connections has impacted the teachers and students who have participated in the program. The “Lilla G.” is located within the Circle of Promise, an area in Boston designated as in need of extra support by the Mayor and the Superintendent. Sixth grade math teacher Meghan McGoldrick and several of her students shared highlights of their learning experiences on Thompson Island.

Students, Teachers, Donors and Staff interact in Meghan McGoldrick’s classroom


Meghan kicked off the discussion by talking about the school’s introduction to Thompson Island through the one-day Harbor Connections program in 2010. At that time, her sixth grade students visited Spectacle Island on a cultural history lesson with Thompson Island instructors and National Park Rangers. The memorable expedition followed preparatory classroom sessions about the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, chart making and interactive math lessons that attempted to determine how long it would take to get to Spectacle on the ferry (based upon distance, time and speed).

Math teacher Meghan McGoldrick (center) discussing the benefits of the Thompson Island experience


Meghan’s enthusiasm inspired other teachers within her school to participate in Harbor Connections trips as well. Meghan then began building the expedition into her 2011 curriculum to extend the impact of the classroom and field-based lessons.

It was at this point, based upon the clear commitment to Harbor Connections from both teachers and school administration, that Thompson Island invited the school to join the coveted Environmental Connections program. Meghan was effusive as she described her elation at the selection of her 6th graders to come to Thompson Island for 3 days and 2 nights in the spring of 2012. She immediately began coordinating efforts with Thompson Island staff and other Lilla G. teachers, particularly her 6th grade humanities teacher partner, Jessica Lider.

Environmental Connections Students exploring the Salt Marsh on Thompson Island


In preparation for the expedition, the teachers integrated reading, science and math curriculum into their lessons that would be directly relevant to their time on Thompson Island. This was then followed up by classroom visits from Thompson Island and National Park staff with additional relevant preparatory lessons, to insure an impactful and memorable 3 days and 2 nights on Thompson Island. Meghan was also quick to point out that the myriad benefits of participating in Environmental Connections included social-emotional skills, as well as academics.

Respect, communication and collaboration were the “order of the day” on Thompson Island and reinforced school values according to Meghan. Visible outside of Meghan’s classroom were the five team flags created by the students on Thompson Island during the 6th graders spring expedition. Each flag colorfully depicted all of the positive behaviors and values that group members wanted in their crew. Also listed were behaviors that group members did not want in their crew, such as put-downs, violence, and disrespect. Group members then each signed their flags as they would a contract, indicative of their intent to embody its positive values. This concept of a full “value contract” helped guide the students during their time on Thompson Island. Now, however, these values returned to the school and were observed each day as everyone gathered in the lobby for morning meeting. These values became part of the inspiration for the newly developed Lilla G. Academy Creed! According to Meghan, the Thompson Island experience has clearly had a positive impact on school culture.

Lilla G. Frederick crew (Los Lobos) with their team value flag (now hung in the Academy Lobby!)


After Meghan finished dazzling the guests, the students each relayed their most memorable experiences from the island expedition, accompanied by island photos projected onto the classroom screen. The students were articulate, passionate and humorous. Highlights included their joy for exploring and identifying creatures in the salt marsh; reconstructing skeletons of small mammals from Owl pellets; working with peers and challenging themselves on the island’s ropes courses; feeling like they were in college spending overnights in dorms; learning map skills and orienting themselves throughout the island; or simply being immersed in nature in beaches, meadows and forests. Oh, and of course, they had to gush over “how awesome the food is on Thompson Island!”

Environmental Connections students explore the coastal ecosystems under the watch of a National Park Ranger


After a question and answer session, students became ambassadors and led tours of the fairly new and impressive school complex.

Lilla G. Frederick 7th grade students, who were the highlight of the school visit, accompany a generous donor


Hosting the Thompson Island board of trustees meeting in Meghan’s classroom was the perfect way to end the day, and further reinforced the importance of our partnership with Boston schools in need of community support. Meghan and Jessica reiterated the importance of the Connections program to their school, to them personally as “holistic educators” and most importantly to the students they so passionately serve. Once again, the teachers discussed what a meaningful program Environmental Connections is and the benefits to academics and social-emotional learning, as well as to school culture. They explained that now, after their first double-overnight experience on the island, they have woven preparatory lessons based upon the forthcoming spring expedition even more tightly into their classroom lessons in humanities, math and science. But, perhaps even more importantly, they saw the benefits of the program in opening students up to a world of possibilities, whether as a scientist or as someone who just wants more out of themselves and out of life. According to the teachers, a trip to Thompson Island in the Connections program is almost magical in the way that it stimulates a student’s heart, mind and body.

Lilla G. Frederick 6th grade Students on their last day on Thompson Island last spring


Hub Pen, Walker-Clay Partner In Thompson Island Trail Run

October 15, 2012

By Paul Lamoureux, Vice President of Programs

The annual 4k trail run on Thompson Island was a perfect, sunny September day with temperatures in the low 60s. More than 900 runners and 54 corporate teams competed in this year’s event, the largest ever! Over $100,000 was raised to help support our youth programs for those most at risk and underserved in the Boston area. I was honored to kick off the event by thanking the participants and setting the context for the long history of hands-on learning on Thompson Island as they traversed it from end to end. As the gun went off and the race started, throngs of runners ran by my position near the starting line in an awesome tidal wave of humanity. I was truly humbled by the turnout of so many people who have joined our community to make a difference every day!

I invited one of the many corporate teams to share their experience as this month’s guest blogger.

Photo credit: Jon Fischer Photography



 

Guest blog post by Pamela Tapia of Hub Pen:

For the third year, employees of Braintree, Massachusetts-based Hub Pen Company (UPIC: HUBPEN) teamed up with Hanson, Massachusetts’s Walker-Clay (UPIC: WALKCLAY) to participate in the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center’s 12th Annual 4k Trail Run.

On September 20, 902 runners, up from 728 in 2011, competed in a four-kilometer cross-country style run through the beautiful 204 acres of Thompson Island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area.

The event raised more than $100,000 to benefit Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center’s youth programs. Serving the youth of Greater Boston since 1988, the center provides both environmental and educational programs that instill teamwork, self-confidence and compassion, and encourage learning by doing.

Hub Pen customer service rep Kerrie Hynes was a first-time runner this year. “We always enjoy spending time with the people from Walker-Clay and I knew Bill Clay is very involved with Outward Bound, but I had no idea just how many people would be there for the event. It was amazing.”

Aside from the run itself, other high points of the event were the Boston Harbor Cruise to and from the island, a barbecue with live music and local brews from Harpoon Brewery. Meghan Dann of Hub Pen’s art department added, “It was my first 4K too and it was a great experience; great energy, great people. We are definitely looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Learn more about the Thompson Island trail run here.