Ironwood Maine Web Update

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” – Sydney Harris

Believe it or not, The Ironwood Campus saw it’s first few flakes of snow this week. While some of us are excited for the continued changing of the season, others are still trying to make the most of these fleeting warm afternoons. All of us though, are preparing for what is to come.

The campus has been buzzing with the delivery of new gear. Our residential services team spent an impressive amount of time shopping, sizing, organizing, and delivering cold weather gear. While the students may be timid toward the lower temps, they were all excited to try on their new gloves, hats, jackets, and snow bibs.

The horses are also taking extra steps to prepare. Their winter coats are getting longer, their food will soon be soaked in warm water, and wool blankets will soon be adorned for each of our stable members. Currently though, each of our horses are still able to enjoy most of the days frolicking through the campus pastures and participating in student riding lessons, horsemanship’s workshops, and EAP sessions.

The students have also transitioned from outdoor sports and rec enrichments to character development blocks. Students will have the opportunity over the next several months to learn and practice a variety of skills that directly support their growth as young adults. One of the lessons revolves around public speaking, and gives the students a chance to hold their own debate!

Within every activity, responsibility, and conversation that takes place on campus, a space lies for processing and feedback. This concept of constant challenge and growth is an integral component of success for everyone here on campus…staff and students alike. We recently shared with our students a TED talk presentation that focuses on how to get great at something. These presentations not only share how important, and effective coaching and feedback can be, but it also neutralizes the concept. We watched a surgeon, wildly successful in his field, and in business, openly willingly to engage someone to point out his flaws on a regular basis. This example of openness, offered a sense of relief for each of our residents.

Early this week, the students harvested some of the last produce from our garden. Pounds and Pounds of blue potatoes were pulled up to soon be made into colorful cuisine. A supply of collected sunflower seeds were also separated and roasted for a down the road small treat. And most enjoyable, baking pumpkins were harvested and turned into the finest dessert fall has to offer!

The students also participated in some fun off-campus activities. One group went to spend time and an assisted living facility to offer conversation and good times for their residents. A competitive game of bingo allowed for some good-natured fun. Another group made their last trip to Acadia National Park. During this trip, the students excepted the daunting challenge of taking on one of the most difficult hikes in the region, the Precipice Trail. While the students were forced to deal with their fear of heights, they also displayed an awesome ability to be supportive on one another during trying times.

All in all, it was another enjoyable and productive week here on campus. There have been countless opportunities for challenge and comradery. We hope that each of you are discovering newways to appreciate the world around you and we wish you a restful and safe weekend.