Meaningful Mystic

I think we learned in ways that were much different from the ways we learn at Williams. Here we learned by talking not to scholars but to people who have work experience with things like farming and teaching middle-schoolers about the environment.”

Destination: Mystic, Connecticut

Trip Organizers: Benjamin Lamb ([email protected]) & Jessica Munoz ’19 ([email protected])

The Experience

Students worked both in a historic seaport and a nature preserve located in Mystic, CT. They worked at the Giving Garden in the Denison Nature Preserve to help plant vegetables, which were then given to communities that face food insecurity. They also helped with the Wildlife Sanctuary and Coogan Farm at the nature preserve, where they learned the importance of sanctuaries and conservation. The students assisted Mystic Seaport Sailing Center in developing a method to quantify and reduce the environmental impact they have on the water, and helped with some small projects that Tom Van Winkle from Williams-Mystic prepared for them.

Participant Quotes

  • We were able to do meaningful work at Mystic. We learned about sustainable farming, how to reduce our carbon footprint, brainstorm ways to teach youth of environmental issues, and how to help with food insecurity. We also had conversations about all of these issues which helped deepen our understanding.
  • I was able to learn about sustainability in a hands-on way and got to meet interesting people in the community while also becoming closer to Williams students and Ben Lamb. I was also happy that Ben facilitated many reflective sessions during the evenings with journals and great prompts. These exercises helped guide me towards an insightful experience.
  • “I was able to physically work with people towards a common goal at the end of the day. This is an interaction which is rare at Williams, because we are so often worried about our own workloads, which are necessarily different and unique to our interests and our goals. It was nice, for once, to put 100% into a project and know that everyone on my team was thinking about that same goal, because we didn’t have to worry about our other workloads.”
  • I’m much more aware of the environment and my impact on it now. I also really enjoyed speaking and working with Craig Floyd, and he inspired me to be extremely dedicated to my own passions.