Friday, August 26, 2011

The Historic Bethlehem Partnership Reflection

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today, the office has an unusual sense of quiet… the first day without The 1742 Experience team members.

Eight months ago, when Historic Bethlehem Partnership (HBP) was approached to be a part of this new pilot program, little did we realize how much of an impact this would make on us personally and professionally.

The team rocked our historic worlds. Projects that we planned to take 2 – 3 hours were accomplished in 7 minutes. Seriously, Amy timed it.

Personally, it was exciting for us to remember what it was like to be their age, at the start of one of the most exciting chapters of their lives. It was refreshing for us to share our passion, goals, and challenges.

We hope the students took away a deeper understanding of museums and cultural organizations in communities. Now that the team members are part of the HBP family, we look forward to seeing them at upcoming events and activities in the community. We have no doubt that they will conquer the world.

It was a real pleasure to work with our community’s next leaders, and we cannot wait to see what they do in the future.

Megan and Amy
The Historic Bethlehem Partnership Staff

Celebration Dinner Photo

Day Five-Thursday

Thursday, August 25

When our bus arrived at South Campus, no one wanted to move. Not because our arms and legs were sore from working strenuously on Burnside Plantation or because we were moving historic paintings in Kemerer Museum, but because it was raining and we knew we were scheduled to work outside.  But within seconds, Kyle spoke, and we were all off the bus.  When we began walking towards The Colonial Industrial Quarter, where we planned to spend our day cleaning up after the flood from two weeks ago, the rain shower quickly transformed into what felt like a hurricane.  Our team reacted to this in many different ways.  Few complained, some came equipped with umbrellas and others sprinted as if they would not be soaking wet once they reached shelter.
After attempting to dry off as much as possible, we all went straight to work.  My job for the morning shift involved scanning historic photographs to a computer.  This task seemed never ending.  There were binders and binders of photographs all of which had no use until saved onto a desktop.  Although this was not a hard process, it was very time consuming.  I could have easily sat at the computer for the rest of the day, but after lunch we all worked together moving everything from the bottom floor of the Mill House to higher ground because heavy rainstorms are in the forecast.  This was so crucial because the industrial quarter floods relatively easily and it is important to preserve all objects as long as possible.  After diligently moving everything from the first floor to the second or third floor we all continued our yard work from the previous day. 
We not only ended our day, but our entire week of hard work with a celebration dinner in Colonial Hall.  I could not have pictured a better way to recognize how hard every single team member worked to make this whole experience possible.  After Sasha and Kyle presented an award to every group member, Katie and Nicole presented Sasha and Kyle with awards for their leadership skills that not only helped guide us through the week, but also made the 1742 Experience more rewarding and unique than I thought possible.
~Sam B. '15

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Team Photo before the Storms

We couldn't miss this photo opportunity this morning before the stroms rolled through! Off to the Colonial Industrial Quarter for our final day of service.
~The 1742 Experience Team

August 24, 2011

Reflections for Wednesday

In the morning, we split into two groups so that half of us could help wrap paintings while the other half worked on landscaping and cleaning at other historical sites. My group enjoyed listening to music, and “dancing” while wrapping pieces of artwork in cardboard and foam for temporary storage during renovations.  Amy from The Historic Bethlehem Partnership (HBP) told us that our packaging efforts were saving her and the other HBP staff months of work, as their numerous other projects rarely leaves them time to work on it themselves. We had such a blast chatting with her about the different pieces we saw, her work, and the upcoming school year, that we were shocked when lunchtime rolled around. We ate sandwiches from the Goosey Gander, then had the opportunity to see the work that the other group had accomplished that morning.  They had pulled weeds, cleared vines off of buildings, and washed windows and the work was immediately noticeable to anyone familiar with the site.  After admiring their work, we cooperated together outside in cleaning up the Colonial Industrial Quarter, fondly referred to as the CIQ.  I was so impressed at how much was accomplished by only 12 people!  By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted (but not too exhausted for a round of volleyball against the AIM students) and proud of our work.

~Sasha Halasz '13

Day Four at the Colonial Industrial Quarter

o        Today, we split into two groups. Although the group prefers to work together, we all agreed that more would be accomplished in two groups. The people that remained indoors covered pictures from the museum with cardboard in order to protect them from potential damage of the construction and renovation. The group of people that ventured outside was responsible for caring for the historic buildings and gardens in downtown Bethlehem. As a part of the outdoor group, I was able to see how much work was really needed to be done and the difference that a few hours can make on a community. Still standing tall and beautiful, the historic buildings of Bethlehem were beginning to collect cob webs and dirt in hard to reach places. Our determined and self-motivated group of volunteers worked long and hard under an unyielding sun, restoring a few of Bethlehem’s extraordinary buildings and gardens to their former glory.

After removing years worth of ivy and plant life, which had noticeably taken up residence on the side of many of Bethlehem’s structures, our tour guide commented that the archway can “finally breathe.” Originally, I laughed at the comment. However, once I stepped back and took a moment to acknowledge the significant difference, I realized that there really weren’t any better words to describe our accomplishment.

Public showers have an aptitude of making people feel icky and claustrophobic, but they certainly were a sight for sore eyes after a long day of physical labor. I watched as the dirt gathered at the bottom of the drain and then quickly vanished. I was astonished to be feeling sad, but it felt as if the proof of my efforts were washing away. Shortly after this, I realized that I was content just knowing what I had done for my new community, and that feeling of achievement is something that will never wash off.

-Jenna T. '15

Day Four Photos from the Colonial Industrial Quarter