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

Day Three Thoughts

Day Three at Burnside Plantation
On the third day of The 1742 Experience we took a trip to Burnside Plantation right off of campus. We had the opportunity to help out the nonprofit organization by cleaning up the plots of land in their gardens, saving the other volunteers months of work. We also helped out by doing other miscellaneous tasks, rebuilding the farm. This day was a turning point for our group; we found that we were getting off task and our group leader was able to help us regroup and refocus, showing us what this program is really about. As a result, we really became closer as a whole and were able to appreciate what we have completed and look forward to what we are going to accomplish in the rest of this week.  Then we ended the day by showing ourselves what teamwork is all about when we completed a campus scavenger hunt as a group. At the end we learned that you can’t have success without a little bit of failure.
Megan M. '15, Brianne T. '15, Sam '15, Jenna T. '15

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day Three Thoughts

Reflections on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our volunteer work today took place outdoors at the beautiful Burnside Plantation.  Help was needed to weed and landscape the winding driveway and garden patches of the plantation.  We split into teams to tackle the project that would have taken much longer for the volunteers to complete without a few extra sets of hands.  Despite their busy schedule, the volunteers took us on a wonderful tour of the plantation, complete with tidbits about Moravian history.  Did you know that the Moravians had running water and the first pipes were made of hollowed-out wood?!  We also got to see and pet the horses that belong to the Bethlehem Police. For lunch we ate food from Johnny’s Bagels and it was delicious as always.  After our day at the plantation, everyone was exhausted, but the work done looked beautiful; the difference we had made was tangible and vivid.  We returned to Moravian for a video scavenger hunt around campus.  The first year students completed the 26-point task list in under an hour and the video is hilarious. Humor aside, this was a good task for learning teamwork and discovering where everything is at Moravian College. After dinner from Lehigh Pizza we called it a night.

-Sasha Halasz '13 (Team Leader)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day Three Photo at William Penn Elementary

While the students spent time at Burnside Plantation with The Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Coordinator of Community Service, Nicole Nugent, delivered the backpacks from Sunday night to William Penn Elementary School on Main St. in Bethlehem. Principal Nate Stannard was thrilled with the donation. Special thanks to Matt Berry and members of New Covenant Church on Broad St. for making the back pack project possible. Their contributions of school supplies, back packs, and books will give students an edge as they settle into kindergarden at William Penn. And kudos to Nichelle Hunt, Asst. Director of Learning Services at Moravian, for supporting this project.

Day Two Thoughts

Reflection on the first day at The Historic Bethlehem Partnership

Today we visited the Kemmerer Museum of Decorative Arts, located right on New Street and home to an impressive collection of furniture, paintings, glassware and artistic pieces.  The staff was gracious enough to take us on an extensive tour of not only the museum, but also Moravian Academy, Main Street, the Goundie House, the Visitor Center, and the Gemeinhaus.  I learned an incredible amount about Moravian’s history and feel even more proud to be associated with such a resourceful and forward-thinking group of people.  My personal favorite part of the tour was learning about the community apothecary, which is now part of the Moravian Bookshop. After the tour, we helped out around Kemmerer by transporting historic objects from a room about to be renovated to a temporary storage area.  As a team leader, I was very impressed by the resourcefulness and cooperation demonstrated by the team.  The staff at the HBP were great to work with and they were surprised at how quickly we finished the work.  Afterwards we got dinner at Hello Burrito and ice cream at The Station, taking Megan’s advice about supporting local companies.  Finally, we spent some time doing team bonding activities and talking about the day.  So far I am very impressed and happy with the group dynamic; everyone gets along really well and stays engaged in daily activities.  We even had an impromptu volleyball game even after the day was technically over, which attests to how close everyone has already become.

                                                                                                          ~ Sasha Halasz '13 (Team Leader)

Day Two Thoughts

Reflections from Day Two of The 1742 Experience

So today was really exciting and important for two reasons, we impacted the community of Historic Bethlehem & we made great bonds and showcased awesome teamwork... kudos guys! The first time today when I personally felt like we became a team was when we all quickly decided we needed a plan for moving the boxes and immediately came up with one we all agreed on. I for one never did a "bucket brigade" and I was so impressed by how well it worked and how we worked together fantastically. The second time today when I really felt like we were all a team was when we first had a slight altercation with the straw activity and were able to discuss the issues rationally after completion. So yes, this program is about helping Historic Bethlehem, but I tend to feel like the heart of the program is at making lasting bonds with a close group. Any thoughts?

~Sam S. '15

Day One Thoughts

Reflections from Day One of The 1742 Experience

For the first time in my life I stepped foot on the Moravian campus as a fulltime freshman student. After receiving my key, losing my key, finding my key, and then locking my key in my newly decorated dorm, I was finally able to reconnect with the reason behind my early arrival: The 1742 Experience. The 1742 Experience extends beyond volunteer work for incoming freshmen by incorporating tours of historic Bethlehem as well as shedding light on the importance and significance of giving back to the community. The first day somewhat reminded me of the first day of kindergarten. As a group, we could pinpoint the other members yet we were all so reluctant to have any real conversation besides the obvious “where are you from” or “how’s your dorm.”  If our anxious yet awkward freshman swagger wasn’t enough to distinguish us, we were all wearing matching shirts that we received shortly after signing in. I’m quite happy to report that all of that subtle awkwardness was short-lived thanks to our group leaders Sasha and Kyle. 

Our first exercise was an ice-breaker where we said our full name, where we were from, and our favorite ice-cream flavor. In addition we had to do our favorite dance move. Although it may have felt like the end of the world in the beginning to dance with no music as people you hardly knew stared at you, it ended up loosening everyone up. Shortly after this, we set out on foot to New Covenant Church. Our first community service act was to stuff backpacks for children in need at the local schools. The entire project took us fifteen minutes to complete at the most once we had a system in place. I was not surprised that all of us immediately took on our roles as leaders and worked efficiently to get the task done with time to spare. After all, that was one of the reasons why we were picked for The 1742 Experience. It’s safe to assume that we are all emerging leaders that will, at some point or another, be giving back to the community. As everybody sat around a table, we were finally able to get to know each other on a more personal level. We learned the most random and ridiculous things about our fellow group members. Among those many facts, I was elated to discover a Steelers fan and I pitied the misguided and deceived Cowboys fan. Upon returning to the campus, we ended with another game and another chance to improve our communication. I went to my dorm that night with tired feet, an untouched cell phone, and eleven new friends.
 ~Jenna T. '15
Team Photo at New Covenant Church after packing 65 backpacks with school supplies for students at William Penn Elementary School and Lehigh Valley Child Care.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day One Thoughts from student Team Leader

Reflections on Meeting the First Year Student Participants

First-year students started the day by filling out some paper work for both Moravian and the Historic Bethlehem Partnership. After that they made their way to their dorms and begin to move everything they will need for the upcoming year. Parents, along with brothers, sisters and friends can be seen help moving these belongings. Final goodbyes where said at 4:00pm as first year students made there way to there first team building experience. 

~ Kyle D’Angelo '12 (Team Leader)

Prepping for Arrival of First-Year Students

Team Leader Training (August 20, 2011)

The first day of team leader training took place at the Center of Leadership and Service. Professional staff Katie Dantsin and Nicole Nugent walked Sasha and myself through the details of the upcoming week. Along with the details of the program we had an opportunity to test out some of the team building activities that we will have the first-year students participate in. The training concluded with a discussion of team leaders and professional staff expectations of the programs goals and how they can be achieved. Being the first year of The 1742 Experience we agreed that the most important thing to do to make sure that the program is a continual success is to communicate both the positive and the negative aspects of the program.

~ Kyle D’Angelo '12 (Team Leader)

Introduction to our Blog

Today we welcomed ten first-year students from the Class of 2015 to Moravian College's campus. These students will be participating in a new program called The 1742 Experience. The 1742 Experience is a pre-orientation service immersion program organized by the Center for Leadership and Service.

Team Photo
Sunday, August 21, 2011

This blog will be updated throughout the week with stories from the participants in The 1742 Experience.