Over spring break, eight students and OSL’s Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Benjamin Lamb went on the Meaningful Mystic Spring Break Out Trip. The students engaged in meaningful work that revolved around environmental sustainability and climate change through a historical lens in Mystic, Connecticut. During late night conversations, they reflected on the issues at hand and deepened their understanding of their impact on the environment and their responsibilities to advance environmental sustainability. They explored the Mystic Seaport, met with the Executive Director of the Williams Mystic program, had dinner with a Williams alumnus in the area, and spent time at the local Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Meaningful Mystic was an opportunity for growth, giving back, and general development of thought, commitment, and community.
They volunteered at the Denison Nature Preserve‘s Giving Garden, which provides organic vegetables to people who are experiencing food insecurity. They also visited the Wildlife Sanctuary and learned about the DNS’s conservation efforts. Moreover, they helped with small projects, such as building wooden sheds to help protect the trash and recycling bins of the Williams-Mystic students. They also helped develop different ways to increase engagement within the youth of the Mystic Seaport Sailing summer programming. They developed a short comic about invasive species, a recycling poster, and came up with ideas for an interactive, hands-on project about pollution and the consequences on the environment.
In addition, the students were environmentally conscious in all their decisions and actions to minimize their carbon footprint (reduced their car usage, stayed in energy efficient cabins, cooked their own food, and separated their compost, recyclables, and trash).