SAMANTHA SCULLY '09
Samantha Scully '09 had no idea that a student digest post could change her life. Sandwiched between posts about lost ID cards and student activities was information about applying to the Japan America Student Conference (JASC), a prestigious cultural exchange program.
JASC was founded in 1934 and is one of the longest-running student exchange programs.
"The program was started by university students from Japan and America who knew relations between the two countries were strained, and hoped that a program would help," said Scully. Scully, a history and Asian studies major at Bowdoin, saw the program as a "great step" in furthering her studies in Japanese history.
This summer, Scully was elected to the Executive Committee of JASC after participating as a delegate the previous year. As a part of the Executive Committee, Scully worked to set up forums and book events and speeches for the conference's Japanese and American candidates. She collaborated with 31 other Japanese and American students to run this summer's conference that focused on the theme, "Students Redefining Their Role Through Insight and Action."
"What we wanted was for students to really talk to each other through different forums on subjects like corporate responsibility and ethics," said Scully. "The big point is to try to hit these themes home and make sure students really understand and work with them."
"Sometimes you struggle because you have stereotypes about the other country that you have to grow from. The program is nothing like a regular classroom experience. It's a study in and of itself," she added.
Pete Wadden '09
Pete Wadden '09 spent several days of his summer on board a 48-foot yacht in the Newport Bermuda Race 2008. The historic ocean race is a 635-mile trek starting in Newport, Rhode Island, traversing through the Gulf Stream, and ending in Bermuda.
Wadden participated in the race with several Bowdoin alumni, and his crew of nine completed the race in less than four and a half days.
"I was primarily a helmsman for the race and also worked the mast when we were doing sail changes and other maneuvers," he said.
"Some of the highlights included flying fish jumping onto our boat and hitting crew members, and a whale surfacing about two boat-lengths off our bow when I was on the helm," said Wadden. "The whale came close enough that I had to steer around it, and it then proceeded to follow us for over an hour."
Despite windy conditions and sailing for twenty-four hours a day, Wadden found the race to be "an absolute blast."
"I have done a lot of sloop sailing on the Great Lakes but no other offshore racing like this. It's really an experience," he said. "There is no wilderness that can compare to the open ocean."
Charles Warren '10
Few people can say that they have truly explored the wild outdoors the way Charlie Warren '10 can. A veteran Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) member, Warren spent 42 days this summer leading a group of six, 14-16-year-old boys on a canoe trip through the remote 'Little North' region of Northwestern Ontario.
Camp Keewaydin, a summer camp for boys that was started in Maine in 1893 and moved to northern Ontario in 1901, is known for adhering to tradition in wilderness expeditions. Warren has attended the camp for nine summers and led trips during three.
"It was really exciting to be able to lead this sort of trip," said Warren, who co-led the adventure with a 42-year-old historian. "My co-leader and I had to decide on everything from what food to bring to what routes we were taking. I spent most of last semester with my head buried in about 32 maps."
The trip, which began on June 27 and lasted until August 9, was arranged not only as a wilderness exhibition for a group of experienced canoeists, but also as an opportunity for campers to explore the remote Arctic regions around the Otoskoin river and discover new canoe routes and land for an additional campsite.
"We found some potential locations for a campsite and were able to lay out new routes, but we were also successful in that we charted territories that could not be traveled. It was really an adventure," said Warren.
Along the way the group encountered wildlife such as moose and bald eagles, went fishing, cooked all of its own food, visited an Anishinabe First Nation reserve, and learned a good deal about life in the wild.
"We tried to let the guys do a lot of things themselves because ultimately the trip is about learning something, but it was also about having an enjoyable summer," said Warren. "I'm certain we achieved that."
Charlie will present a slideshow of his trip at the Bowdoin Outing Club on Tuesday, September 16 at 7 pm.
Connie Chi '11
Connie Chi '11 was so moved by her experience participating in a mission trip to the Ukraine last year that she returned this summer with 13 college students from her church's youth group. The trip lasted a week and took place at a youth camp in the town of Odessa, which is located in southern Ukraine.
"The camp is called the 'light & salt' Camp based on the Bible verses Matthew 5:13-16," said Chi. "Churches from all over Ukraine gather together for five days to get to know each other and God."
Chi said her youth group's main mission was to support the missionaries who are already there, and serve the Ukrainians in any way that they could.
"We were really there to serve them, which was a great experience," said Chi. "For instance, the most memorable moment of the trip for me was the last night when the staff washed the feet of 300 campers based on the model that Jesus provides in John 13. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the power of serving others."
Chi said that the language barrier was a challenge, but it forced the group to communicate in other ways.
"We learned to communicate using smiles and hugs, and by the end we were like family. The people are the reason I came back this summer and why I'm going back next summer."