I am a professor at Dartmouth and the Executive Director of a large research lab called the Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation (DALI) Lab. Every year I bring my students and members of the lab to Cobb Hill. Saturday night 20 students and staff came for dinner, blueberry picking, and s'mores by the fire pit. It couldn't have been better. Once again Cobb Hill, and all we do and aspire to do, were inspirational to a group of young people from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of the students are international, others are from big cities, one is here for the summer doing an internship in my Lab as part of a program to help college students who come from under-represented groups (African American, inner-city mostly). Some had never tasted such fresh food (beans picked that day, local corn) and others had never picked a fruit off a bush before (blueberries were a huge hit). All spend too much time at a computer or plugged in, and were deeply moved by sitting by the fire under the stars and moon, in the quiet of the evening, talking and laughing and staring. Effie and all the farm animals are always a highlight!
Before coming to Cobb Hill, our Lab hosted 20 high school students who do a program through the Children's Aid Society, called YES (Youth Employment Summer). It was founded by a Dartmouth alum. One of their field trips is to come to Dartmouth. The lab staff did a "Hack-tivity" with the YES high school students (a hands on creativity and innovation exercise). They left the Lab asking where this "magical wonderland" of a place (the DALI Lab) came from. They were so excited, super bright, and totally into it. As the DALI students/staff left Cobb Hill, they were saying the same thing, "Where did this magical wonderland come from?"
Great day. It was re-energizing for the students and for me. Sharing this place--our own version of magic and wonder--with others is a great way to re-appreciate all we have created together. It is a lot of work and it is well worth it.