Over the past four days, Hurricane Island hosted almost 300 people! Our guests all came from different group programs, and ethnic backgrounds riding the waves from the east coast, all the way to Polynesia, and some across the pond from Europe. The spirit of Hurricane was shared with the Hawaiian vessel, Hokule'a as one of their educational stops on their east coast leg of a multi-year journey. They stayed with us for a glorious two nights sharing their wisdom of celestial navigation, culture, and some good eats. The Nature Conservancy International Board came onshore for their retreat to make a few connections within their organization and waded into some group problem solving. Today, we are running around with roughly 100 people from the Vinalhaven Land Trust who scurried up our docks for a fun, short day of learning about our trails, off-the-grid energy systems, research, and history. Our research crew was waiting on the docs—spat bags in hand—eager to share their knowledge of scallops and local fisheries. Our guests asked many questions, which not only benefits group and personal knowledge, but also allows us to better understand how the public receives our studies and other work within marine fisheries.
As fast paced and blurry as these events may come, Hurricane Island has been elated to share the magic we experience each and every day with such bright, friendly faces. Hosting is a big part of the educational elements we standby at the Center for Science and Leadership. In order to lead, one must host. One must make their team feel comfortable and included. In order to do science research, teams much reach out to the public through checking specific regulations, gathering ideas based on what communities find challenging about the experiments, and using these challenges to find the best fitting solutions to these questions and concerns. Our open enrollment programs on island (currently High School Marine Ecology) benefit a great deal from our adult program visitors. Students have the opportunity to mingle over morning coffee and pancakes with professionals in fields they may already be curious about. They are expanding their knowledge through diversity, and becoming educated on skills that they may have not previously been exposed to. Hurricane is one itty-bitty Mecca for collaborative learning and leadership building through experience.
Through all of the set-up-sweat, Hurricane Island staff community members are happy to host visitors and discoverers in hopes that they may teach us, as much as we hope to teach them. Learning is best done through collaborative experience; we plan on continuing to offer these amazing experiences to our students, friends, and visitors as more hosting opportunities continue to arise.