First Days at Arcadia

by
Cathy Shrady, Director

Well ahead of schedule, in the middle of the afternoon on Monday, August 24, (we didn’t expect them until dinner time), the 2015 Arcadians paddled to the front dock of Arcadia, their yurt village home for the semester! This was a record early arrival and clearly everyone had survived the grueling final portages and paddle of Dead Creek to arrive none the worse for wear from their expedition! A pair of loons paddled close to shore and welcomed them with their haunting calls. Another first- I’ve never seen the loons boldly so close to shore. It really seemed as if they were deliberately welcoming the group.

Now a fledgling community, and no longer a group of strangers, the students and Assistant Directors, cleaned gear, unpacked and moved into their yurts and by that time dinner was ready! As is tradition, dinner was prepared by three ADK Semester alumni, Lizz, Kealey and Emma.  We enjoyed a feast of ratatouille and salad made from fresh vegetables from SLU’s Sustainability Semester farm, “almost vegan” chocolate chip cookies (one egg in the whole batch) and blueberry pie made from Maine blueberries picked by Lizz,. The roast chickens from a local farm were taking too long to cook so we had them for lunch on Tuesday.

After dinner, the newly arrived students enjoyed the sauna, a wash and dunk in the lake and early to bed. Most of them slept so soundly they did not hear the loons serenading on the lake.

Our wonderful 2014 Arcadians cooked a breakfast of banana pancakes and zucchini muffins for the crew to give them energy for a morning of orientation to the site: the composting toilet, the kitchen, etc. And after lunch of soup, and green beans with cashews, roast chicken and soup we practiced some first aid (see photos).

Students had their first class on Wednesday, and are already working in cook groups, exploring the surrounding area via canoe and the many trails and settling in to the routine of life as an Arcadian.

From here on, all of the weekly updates will be by the students themselves. The subject of the first update will be their expedition. In a couple of weeks photos and biographies (written by their peers) will appear on the website. We encourage you to follow their adventures through these weekly updates!