Film screening and potluck will launch new initiatives for Vineyard Voyagers

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Vineyard Voyagers sponsor a number of outdoor adventures — Courtesy Vineyard Voyagers

Vineyard Voyagers, Inc., an Island nonprofit which brings outdoor expeditionary learning to Island youth, will host a film screening, potluck, and presentation of new projects on Sunday, June 5, from 5 to 8 pm at the West Tisbury Free Public Library.

The film is “Mother Nature’s Child,” which plugs the benefits of children getting outdoors and experiencing nature. The film explores the concept of “nature deficit disorder” in an age of technology and “stranger danger,” while examining the impact of outdoor activity on the health and development of toddlers, children, and adolescents. The documentary includes interviews with Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods”; Brother Yusuf Burgess, who works with inner-city teens in Albany, N.Y.; David Sobel, author of “Children’s Special Places” and “Childhood and Nature,” and leader in the field of place-based education; Yale Professor Stephen Kellert; Nancy Bell, director of the Conservation Fund in Vermont and New Hampshire; Misha Golfman, director of Kroka Expeditions in Marlow, N.H.; Vermont teacher Rob Hanson, who regularly incorporates outdoor nature connection in his sixth grade public school curriculum; Jon Young, California tracker and author of “Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature”; Pearline Tyson of the Parks and People Foundation; the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation in Baltimore, Md.; and Amy Beam, founder of Beyond the Walls in Washington, D.C. The film runs 57 minutes.

In addition to the film screening, the gathering will include a zero-waste potluck meal. Guests should bring their own place settings, along with a dish to share.

The dinner will be followed by a presentation of Vineyard Voyagers’ five new learning projects. These include the upcoming launch of learnmv.org, a “community learning resource network”;

“Look Both Ways,” a living history adventure on land and sea investigating the past, present, and future of our island; “Wanderbus,” a mobile learning environment to support young Vineyarders in their self-directed exploration of interests and passions; “MVoutdoors,” which will offer outdoor expeditions for young people on land and water, both on-Island and off-Island, with possibilities of hiking, skiing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, caving, and rock climbing, and “At Home in the Woods” a cooperative nature-based education model for children ages 2-7.

Vineyard Voyagers has sponsored outdoor adventures and projects for young people on Martha’s Vineyard for two decades, including sail-training voyages on the expedition vessel Mabel, and youth rowing on the pilot gigs Grace and Cassie.  

For more information on Vineyard Voyagers and associated programs, contact Sidney Morris at 774-563-0200 or sidney.morris@gmail.com.