Island Updates

Campus Visit: Thompson Island

Post by Emily Peckham Gannon, Development Administrator

On October 30, 2014, we made a trip out to the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (TIOBEC). Our trip planning really began years ago, when various directors and advisors urged us to take a look at what TIOBEC was doing on a similarly-sized island in the urban setting of the Boston Harbor Islands. Advisor Andrew Bendheim, Board Members Peter Willauer, Chris Carrigan, and Ben Willauer, and Executive Director Barney Hallowell have each had rich histories with TIOBEC over the years.

 Ready to depart South Boston for Thompson Island

Ready to depart South Boston for Thompson Island

Our host, Arthur Pearson, Executive Director of TIOBEC, met Hurricane staffers Barney Hallowell, Emily Gannon, and Alice Anderson at the dock to board their transport boat, the M/V "Outward Bound." As we steamed out to Thompson Island from the port in South Boston, we passed container ships, islands with old forts and asylums, and Logan Airport—reminding us how similar our journey from a busy port to an island is, yet the sheer scale of Boston is a stark contrast. The Boston skyline is visible from many parts of Thompson Island, yet there is a peaceful wildness to it.

 Emily, Olga, and Alice enjoy a campus walk and some beautiful fall foliage

Emily, Olga, and Alice enjoy a campus walk and some beautiful fall foliage

Upon arriving on Thompson Island, we rode all over the campus with Arthur. A portion of the island is in conservation with a salt marsh that includes monitoring equipment, and the old homestead foundation is there. It was fascinating to see the old root cellar and a cemetery that the staff and friends of Thompson Island have been rehabilitating. We saw wild turkeys, hawks, and students in two programs that were taking place on Thompson Island, both with engaged in leadership activities at high ropes courses, and we spent a wonderful afternoon touring with our new friend Olga Feingold, Program Coordinator at TIOBEC.

We enjoyed dinner in the dining hall with participants of the overnight programs and TIOBEC staff. It was a perfect cap to an amazing day on Thompson Island before we retired to comfortable rooms in the Headmaster’s House, one of the beautiful old brick buildings on the campus that remains as a solid reminder of Thompson Island’s storied history as a school. We had a wonderful visit and look forward to continued sharing of ideas between our organizations. Thank you, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center!

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