After volunteering for some of the day at the Bethel Historical Society, students on the Western Foothills orientation trip were treated to a concert by the Oxford Hills Ukulele Group. Then they were invited to play.
The next day, Thursday, the group volunteered at Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities and on Friday, they will work at the Alan Day Community Garden. Both organizations help provide low-income people with fresh produce.
The students have also gone hiking and met with a union representative from Rumford who spoke with them about the local mill and the region’s lumber industry. The group is camping in Greenwood and doing activities in Bethel, Rumford, Norway, and South Paris.
“I was incredibly impressed by how easily the first-year students and community members connected with one another and how willing our students were to join in the music-making,” said Sarah Seames, director of Bowdoin’s McKeen Center for the Common Good. Seames grew up in this part of Maine, and her dad and stepmother — organizers of the ukulele group — hosted the musical evening. “One student said that she just loved every person she had met in Maine so far.”