Friendships Made On The Ropes: Summer Camp Brings Hartford Students Together
By Stephen Dunn
July 31, 2012
Daniel Johnson, 13, wearing a helmet and a harness attached to a belaying rope, balanced on a wire cable 40 feet above the ground and froze. His goal was to try and reach the other end of the cable high in the treetops, but he could go no further. So he started yelling. His team from the Hartford Open Choice program, standing on the ground below him, looked up and knew what had to be done. They shouted out instructions and cheered when he made it across.
The team-building exercise at the Riverfront Recapture ropes course at Riverside Park in Hartford was part of the Science Everywhere summer camp. The 200 Hartford children at the camp, who all attend suburban schools as part of the Open Choice program, had never met each other, even though they are all Hartford residents. The many challenging exercises throughout the day forced them to work together and solve problems, creating new and lasting friendships with students from their community.
When a visibly shaken Daniel finally landed on the ground, he ran over to Alton Williams, the Riverfront Recapture instructor who held the belaying line, and gave him a tight hug. It took a while for him to let go.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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