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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

The 6th grade experienced several rights of childhood on their hike with Urban Blazers. They learned to search for the perfect stick to toast marshmallows and make (what were for nearly all of the students) their very first ‘smores. The ‘smores were well earned after hiking through the Andorra Woods section of the Wissahickon Valle in a newly reclaimed meadow. Some climbed on a 400 year old cucumber tree while others built the campfire with long time Urban Blazers and St. James School volunteer Rachael Kosbab and Urban Blazers volunteer and Environmental Educator Rachel Blustein.

Several 6th graders were so excited to make the perfect ‘smore that they volunteered to make them for Mr. Todd and the Urban Blazers volunteers after the students ate their limited of one ‘smore and one toasted marshmallow. The highlight of the hike was when Urban Blazers Executive Director, Eric Dolaway, presented the sixth graders with the 2nd year Urban Blazers shirt. This was a great moment of pride for the students as they know that Urban Blazers shirts must be earned and their 2nd Urban Blazers shirt is particularly difficult to earn. Each student earned his or her shirt by living up to the definition of a true Urban Blazer: One who persists when challenged; conquers fear;explores with enthusiasm; respects all; and embraces adventure to succeed.

At the end of the hike, the 6th grade wished long time Urban Blazers/St. James volunteer Rae Kuhn good luck as she studies abroad in China for the spring semester. Before leaving, Rae asked the students what they would like for her to bring back from China and several students recommended that she bring back the St. James School motto, “Enter to Learn. Go Forth to Serve.” written in Chinese.  We all thought this was a great idea