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In Your Corner, All the Time

Kents Hill sees school differently. We are not just another college preparatory school. We are preparing students for a lifetime of endless possibilities.

About Kents Hill

30%

Day Students

30

Clubs

40+

Cultures Represented

70%

Boarding Students

Grades

9-PG

19

States

400

Acre Campus

10

Average Class Size

28

Teams

34%

International

200

Students

55/45

Male/Female

Prepared for Anything

Knowledge

Our supportive and personal academic program ensures that students are well prepared and confident to meet the opportunities of higher education, the realities of the future of work, and the obligations of global citizenship.

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Skills

Learning is real and relevant. Critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication take center stage in each course as students tackle real-world problems. 

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Character

Together, students explore their own values, engage with people who think and behave differently, and use their voice for good. 

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Reflection

We believe that goals and growth are far more important than grades and test scores. Time is built into in our day for students to "pause" and reflect on where they are and where they are going, and share this learning with others. 

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Interactive Map

Legend

Sugarloaf Ski Resort
Colby College
Hallowell, Maine
Sunday River Ski Resort
Bates College
Augusta State Airport
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Freeport Outlet
Bowdoin CollegeE
Portland, Maine
Boston Logan International Airport

90 minutes

to Sugarloaf

40 minutes

to Colby College

20 minutes

to hallowell, maine

90 minutes

to sunday river

40 minutes

to Bates College

20 minutes

to augusta state airport

90 minutes

to the center for maine contemporary art

45 minutes

to L.L. Bean & the freeport outlets

40 minutes

to bowdoin college

60 minutes

to portland, Maine

3 Hours

to Boston Logan International Airport

Grounded in Maine, Connected to the World

The Kents Hill experience is both local and global. Our 400-acre campus - including a skiing and snowboarding center, miles of wooded trails, and pristine lakefront access - provides each student with the space to learn and play beyond the classroom. Internships, community engagement, and global experiences are no longer an add-on, they are an important part of the Kents Hill experience.

Explore Kents Hill

Built on Belonging

We believe that as a community we can make our school, and the world, a better place. Get a sense of what life at Kents Hill is really like by following us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Kents Hill Today

Celebrating Academic Excellence

Take a look back at our end-of-year academic awards. We celebrated our seniors as well as our underclassmen. Dr. Priest, Dean of Academics, said, “I’m really happy to celebrate (the) award winners--God knows they deserve it--but I’d also like to regard this event as a celebration of Kents Hill itself. It’s been a good year.”

Senior Awards

On Friday, May 27th the Kents Hill community came together to celebrate the Class of 2022. Head of School, Chris Cheney welcomed everyone and invited seniors who have been at Kents Hill for one, two, or three years to march in. Mr. Cheney then invited the four-year seniors to take their reserved seats in the front row. Four year seniors were welcomed with a standing ovation for their impact on The Hill over the last four years.

 

Banner Award

Voted on by the senior class, it goes to the student, in their opinion, who has best demonstrated their class core value. This year's graduating class’s core value was Friendship. The 2022 recipient of the Banner Award is Kevin M. ’22.

James Hansen Award

This award was given to a senior who, in the judgment of their classmates, best demonstrates the enthusiasm for life and love of Kents Hill that Mr. Hansen personified. The 2022 recipient of the James Hansen Award is Jackson M. ’22.

Mainely Character Scholarship

This special award was presented by Sue Leighton, Curt Mildner, and Anne Cass from Mainely Character. Mainely Character Scholarships are awarded based on an applicant’s character. They do not consider academic achievement, athletic prowess, musical ability, artistic talent, or financial need.

The four aspects of a student’s character are considered when making an award.

Courage: Taking risks and following your own conscience with fearlessness.

Integrity: Being truthful and trustworthy to oneself and others.

Responsibility: Conveying an attitude of commitment and conviction.

Concern: Demonstrating compassion and caring attitude towards others, and helping them achieve their best.

A 2022 Mainely Character Scholarship recipient is Jackson M. ’22 



 

Grades 9-11 Academic Awards Celebration

 

On May 2nd the entire Kents Hill community gathered one more time in the Bodman to celebrate Grades 9-11 academic achievements. This celebration marked the formal end of the school year for all students except seniors.

 

Dr. Priest, Dean of Academics, opened the ceremony by discussing the difficulties students face with academics during COVID-19. He said, “We’re delivering that alternative well. I’m really happy to celebrate today’s award winners--God knows they deserve it--but I’d also like to regard this afternoon’s event as a celebration of Kents Hill itself. It’s been a good year.”

 

First-Year Awards 

The Crystal Chase Award is given to a first-year who combines a serious commitment to academics with enthusiastic involvement in all aspects of school life. It is awarded in the memory of Crystal Chase, Class of 1899. The 2022 recipient of the Crystal Chase Award is Jonah J. ’25.

 

The Warren E. Thamarus Award is presented annually to a first-year who, through their character, scholarship, and dedication, best exemplifies the educational philosophy of Mr. Thamarus: to do your best. The 2022 recipient of the Warren E. Thamarus Award is Ben S. ’25.

 

The Kents Hill Award for Academic Achievement is given to four first-year students for educational commitment, growth, or improvement. The first-year recipients of this award are Will P. ’25, Trevor B. ’25, Ashley C. ’25, and Avery R. ’25. 

 

We typically welcome at least a few new teachers every year, and in my view, this too is part of the special sauce: part of the unique culture of teaching and learning that makes Kents Hill a good school. Today’s faculty speaker is not a new teacher per se, but she was new to Kents Hill this year.

 

Sophomore Awards 

The Glenn Dana Award was established by the Class of 1974 in memory of their classmate, Glenn Alexander Dana. It is awarded to a student who demonstrates academic and athletic promise, respect for others, and a zest for life. The 2022 recipient is Sarah M-R ’24.

 

The Stuart Payne Robinson Award is given to the student who accepts the moral and intellectual challenges of life without fear and gives of self whenever called. The 2022 recipient of the Stuart Payne Robinson Award is Tanner C. ’24.

 

We also give the Kents Hill Award for Academic Achievement to four sophomore students for their educational commitment, growth, or improvement. The four sophomore recipients are Gabrielle L. ’24, Eli R. ’24, Anna R. ’24, and Lily J. ’24. 

 

Kents Hill School also honors several Distinguished Scholars every year. Each Distinguished Scholar award is given to the student from his or her class who has the highest grade point average. Our 2022 Distinguished Scholars are: from the first-year class, Sarp Y. ’25; from the sophomore class, Morgan T. ’24; and from the junior class, Kaila D. ’23

 

Junior Awards

The Rensselaer Medal is given by Kents Hill’s Math and Science Departments and is awarded to a junior with an outstanding record in Math and Science. This year’s winner of the Rensselaer Medal is Kaila D. ’23.

 

The Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award is presented to the junior who has demonstrated excellence in Science. The winner of the 2022 Bausch and Lomb Award is Austin W. ’23.

 

The Eric Nesler Plote Award is awarded to a junior in memory of Eric Plote, Class of 1989, who became a leader of this school community through his own determination, perseverance, and goodwill. It gives me great pleasure to give the Eric Nesler Plote Award to Aidan B. ’23.

 

The Jennie Flood Kreger Award was established in 1937 by Jennie Flood Kreger. It nominates a junior who is outstanding in character and scholarship. The 2022 recipient of the Jennie Flood Kreger Award is Clara E-L. ’23.

 

The William W. Dunn Award is awarded in memory of William W. Dunn, Headmaster of Kents Hill School from 1942 to 1965, whose lifelong interest was to develop in every student the desire to achieve his or her individual potential and to serve the community. The 2022 recipient of the William W. Dunn Award is Sage M. ’23.

 

The International Student Award is given to an international student in the senior or junior class who is a respected leader in the school and who has made significant academic and social contributions to the school community. We’re giving two International Student Awards this year. One of them is going to a senior, who we’ll announce at graduation, and the other goes to George P. ’23.

 

Traditionally, the Cameron Dow ’12 Scholarship was awarded to a male boarding student rising into the 12th grade who, like Cameron, was quietly altruistic, a loyal and respected friend, had compassion for all living things, and possessed innate wisdom and courage beyond his years. This year the Kents Hill faculty made two changes to this award: we decided to give the Scholarship to two students and we decided to disentangle it from its original single-gender designation. This year’s recipients (plural) of the Cameron Dow ’12 Scholarship are Holden Hall and Naomi McGadney.

 

The Phi Beta Kappa Award is awarded to a junior who is striving to go on to higher education and who has demonstrated intellectual curiosity and achievement beyond the classroom. The 2022 winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award is Cordell P .’23.

 

College Book Awards

 

The Smith College Book Award is awarded to the young woman in the junior class who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership, and a concern for others. The 2022 winner of the Smith College Book Award is Naomi M. ’23.

 

The Williams Book Award is given to a junior who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school. The 2022 winner of the Williams Book Award is Phoebe S. ’23.

 

The Dartmouth College Award is awarded to a member of the junior class with outstanding personal character, intellectual promise, and exemplary citizenship. The 2022 recipient of the Dartmouth College Award is Rose J. ’23.


The Yale Book Award is awarded to a member of the junior class with outstanding personal character and intellectual promise. The 2022 recipient of the Yale Book Award is Alex C. ’23.

Read More about Celebrating Academic Excellence
Reflection in Action: Spring 2022 Learning Exhibition

On Friday, April 29th students participated in our Spring 2022 Learning Exhibition. Kents Hill School’s 4D Curriculum Framework places heavy emphasis on meta-learning; students frequently engage in both academic- and character-based reflection.

On Friday, April 29th students participated in our Spring 2022 Learning Exhibition. Kents Hill School’s 4D Curriculum Framework places heavy emphasis on students frequently engaging in both academic- and character-based reflection. Students reflect on the learning that transpires in their classes and, on a larger scale, as part of such school-wide experiences as our semester examination sequences. The Learning Exhibition is a culmination of this work.

Invited guests included teachers, students, administrators, and visiting families who circulated through the Bodman Performing Arts Center and other spaces and participate in a series of conversations about the examples of student work on display. Student projects featured in the Spring 2022 Learning Exhibition included the following: 

 

CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN ART AND SCIENCE

“Advanced Studies in Ceramics and Sculpture”

Teachers/Course: RJ Jenkins and Dylan Gifford, AP 3D Studio Art

Presenters: Phoebe Simpson, Ali McArdle

 

“Wiring a Cardboard House in Physics Class”

Teacher/Course: Maryke Moreau, Physics

Presenters: Clara Eve Landry, Ernest Irnazarov

 

“Coding for Movement: Robotics Projects”

Teacher/Course: Dan McDonald, Robotics

Presenters: Carson Palmer, Wesley Dumas, Kunseo Yuk, Nico von Gaudecker, Tenma Komine, Theo Dimopoulos, Justin Tremblay

 

“Table Design and Fabrication”

Teacher/Course: Jordan Gehman, Woodworking and Design

Presenters: George Papadopoulos, Will Stinson, Seth Chernik

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INVESTMENT, AND PERSONAL FINANCE

 

“Original Business Plans: ‘Path’ and ‘Peer 2 Peer’”

Teacher/Course: Dr. Wilson Onu, Principles of Entrepreneurship

Presenters: Andrew Boston, David Hauptvogel

 

“Bulls and Bears: Stock Portfolio Management”

Teacher/Course: Peter Hodgin, Economics

Presenters: Jakub Kloboucek, Holden Hall

 

“Identity Theft Awareness Campaign”

Teacher/Course: Mike Hannon, Principles of Investment

Presenters: Mya Tabbernee, Connor Langan, Jack Curran


 

A WORLD OF WORDS

 

“Building Vocabulary: The New York Times 15-Second Video Challenge”

Teachers/Courses: Adam Chabot and Martha

Fortier, selected English classes

Presenters: Danny Zhang, Antoine Gevry

 

“Publishing Original Student Work in Juxtapose”

Advisor: Adam Chabot

Presenters: Sarah Down, Haylie Solt, Nora Castonguay

 

“Introducing Kents Hill School: Spanish Video Projects”

Teacher/Course: Dr. Michael Brackett, Advanced Spanish

Presenters: Jackson Melendy, Alanna Bachelder, Anna Xiao Font Pous, Matt Welton

 

“The Art of Conversation: A Real-Time Discussion of Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends”

Teacher/Course: Lisa DiIorio, Multicultural Literature

Presenters: Ms. DiIorio’s Multicultural Literature Class


 

APPLYING ADVANCED CONCEPTS IN PRECALCULUS

 

“Unwrapping the Unit Circle and Radian Measure: Making the Abstract Concrete’”

Teacher/Course: Dr. Amanda Simmons, Honors Precalculus

Presenters: Dorothee Kuehne, Chelsea Gaiero, Johanna Spory

 

“Sinusoidal Models”

Teacher/Course: Dr. Amanda Simmons, Honors Precalculus

Presenters: Austin Weiss, Shray Mulle, Gavin Saucier

 

“Indirect Measurement with a Created Tool”

Teacher/Course: Dr. Amanda Simmons, Precalculus

Presenters: Anna Rohde, Rosalie Klingler, Ella Shilkin

 

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SPACES

 

“Grounded in Maine, Connected to Slidell: The 2022 Mission Trip”

Advisor: Jeff Munson

Presenters: Aidan Beatty, Rose Jenkins

 

“Seeds of Peace: Using Dialogue to Explore the Nature of Conflict”

Advisor: Ben Priest

Presenter: Kaila Danielson

 

“Learning Through Volunteering: My Summer at MaineGeneral Health”

Advisor: Ben Priest

Presenter: Amita Nanda

 

“Building an Online Retail Business”

Advisor: Martha Fortier

Presenter: Chance Ferrell

 

PERSPECTIVES: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL

 

“Decades of Change: Advanced Placement U.S. History Projects”

Teacher/Course: Kim Nanof, AP U.S. History

Presenters: Jessica Sanborn, Alex Cephas, Nicole Akaho, Eli Reynolds

 

“Learning Diplomacy Through the Model United Nations”

Teacher/Course: Peter Hodgin, A Global History of the UN

Presenters: Charlotte Precourt, Katie Arner

 

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Original Student Website”

Teacher/Course: Emilie Arseneault, Francophone Culture

Presenters: Annie Audet, Jack Bonnefond, Noah Katz

Read More about Reflection in Action: Spring 2022 Learning Exhibition
Grounded in Maine, Connected to Slidell

After two years away from the mission field due to COVID-19, the team has arrived in Louisiana. 

Many have heard the story about how we got here.  When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the devastation was unprecedented, and the Readfield United Methodist Church and KHS put together a joint team to come aid the disaster recovery effort. Slidell was where we were assigned to by the folks coordinating disaster relief services down here. This is the 15th trip and that has to count for something.

Sunday, March 6, 2022  

Grounded in Maine, Connected to…

Slidell! 

Jeff Munson: After two years away from the mission field due to COVID-19, the team has arrived in Louisiana.  I drove in this morning after a 1700-mile road trip (very relaxing) and the rest of the group is landing in various stages in New Orleans and will be driving to the Epworth Center over the course of the afternoon.  We will meet up tonight for the first time as a complete team and reflect on why we are here as well as go over the routine for the week and discuss our expected jobs.  Time to get busy.

Many have heard the story about how we got here. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the devastation was unprecedented, and the Readfield United Methodist Church and KHS put together a joint team to come aid the disaster recovery effort. Slidell was where we were assigned to by the folks coordinating disaster relief services down here. We arrived the following March and were part of a huge initial group that formed what became in future years The Epworth Project. With the exception of three years in Mississippi, we have returned every year we could to help perform home repairs for myriad reasons. It is awesome to be back here this year and I feel like we are starting all over again. Still, this is the 15th trip and that has to count for something.

As I was driving down, I kept asking myself, “why?” This is about as far from Maine as we could be in the U.S. and still be east of the Mississippi River.  And yes, there are organizations much closer to home who could use our assistance, and financially it is a stretch (although we have never turned anyone down for inability to pay for the trip). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this place is exactly where we need to be. I’ll start with the obvious reason: we are needed. Epworth depends on volunteers to aid their battle against endemic poverty and without the volunteers, the organization fails. KHS/RUMC has been invested since the beginning and it feels right to return. As a training ground for future mission workers, there are fewer places better equipped as a facility to sustain groups and there is plenty of work on a wide variety of tasks; it’s the perfect place to teach skills. And selfishly, it is 80 degrees and sunny here right now and that’s hard to find in March! So, yeah. Slidell.

I know this is going to be an awesome week and it will be done before we know it. I look forward to hearing from other voices as the week progresses and I’ll be sure to keep the updates coming.  Time to get to work!

I’ll finish this post with a shameless plug for the John Munson Community Engagement Fund which helped support the members of this trip.  If you would like to help provide support for future community engagement trips, such as this one, please visit our website and select Community Engagement Fund!  Thank you in advance.


Monday, March 7, 2022

Jeff Munson: The first workday is always a little weird.  It takes a couple of days to get into the routine, and Monday has start-up pains.  Everyone was up bright and early and excited to see what we were going to be up to.  We met with our construction manager, tom, and went over the tool lists and job descriptions for the two jobs.  We have split the group into two teams of seven. Group one is working on replacing ceiling damage from a leaking roof and ran into problems when the drywall was installed in a rather unorthodox fashion.  Group two is working on an exterior wall and floors in a home with severe termite damage that has left no good points for attaching new wood.  These two jobs will be finished in a day or two and then we will move on to more tasks.  The best part of the first day is the orientation from Epworth Director, Jim Fatic. We were bought up to speed on Epworth’s statistics and then we received an amazing talk about poverty.  His talk this morning gave us a lot to think about during the day and we used it as the basis for our evening reflection.  I’ve asked two of the students on the team, Charlotte P. '22 and Aidan B. '23 to write a little about their experiences.

Charlotte P. '22: For the first time since sophomore year, I woke up before 7 a.m., and yet, I was wide awake. I couldn’t wait to have the opportunity to help change someone’s life. This morning, Jim talked to all of us about the importance of what we are doing—and that we are accomplishing far more than fixing a ceiling. Poverty for many isn’t defined by a lack of money, it’s defined by the consequences of such: sadness, anger, shame, and hopelessness. We all have the chance to give someone their hope back and reassure them that they matter.

Today, we experienced some interesting engineering, a few shared crowbars, many jokes, and stories. Our homeowner opened up about her life, from her newborn great great-grandchild to her escape from Katrina—she trusted we would listen, so she shared. I never thought I would be able to connect with someone seemingly so different, but I was so wrong. We all have so much more in common than I ever imagined.

I am so glad I came—I have already learned so much about myself, and been able to give back in a major way (despite the setback when we discovered that the ceiling was glued to the roof). I can’t wait until tomorrow!

Aidan B. '23: Personally, I’m not new to honest hard work. I’ve always found something satisfying about taking down something old and replacing it with something new; it just feels right. This mission trip, however, felt different in the sense that the point of this trip is not simply to fix walls or build flooring, but rather to give hope. You see, one thing that is often overlooked about poverty, even by me until recently, is the sheer hopelessness of it all, the crushing, cyclical nature of never having enough to get by. This hopelessness is the reason so many people don’t speak up more or aren’t more willing to ask for help; they’re ashamed to be in this situation. However, the mission seeks to break this cycle by showing these people that all is not lost and that there are still people in the world who care about them. I have heard plenty of stories of this effect, and the fact that I finally have the chance to help those less fortunate is such a gift to me. I am proud to be here, and I am so glad that I finally have the chance to spread hope to those who need it most.

 

I can add nothing to that, so more from the Bayou tomorrow!

- Jeff 


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Ms. Pickett: Today was the second day on the job. Yesterday, Jeff Munson warned us that on Tuesday it would feel like we had been here working forever. Amazingly, everyone, today agreed that that was, indeed, the case. On the worksites, both groups worked with newfound knowledge and confidence that wasn’t present yesterday. Group one spent the day putting in ceiling insulation and beginning to hang the drywall. Group two installed insulation in the floor and successfully framed the outer wall, including space for a window. Both groups engaged with their homeowners and started to learn more about the people they were interacting with. Both groups returned to the Epworth Center tired but smiling. At dinner and during reflection there were so many laughs and stories to tell. It felt easy to engage in the community to its fullest extent. We continue to learn, independently and as one. 

Ms. Arsenault: I’ve learned so much on this trip so far. I’ve learned how to use a drill, how to put insulation in the floor, how to use a nail gun, a slap stapler, a skill saw, a Sawzall, a miter saw, a speed square, and a T square. I learned tricks from Jeff Munson and Tom on how to get things to fit just right. Most importantly though, I’ve learned that things don’t matter, people do. Our homeowner was more curious today about the work being done. The first day she seemed a little shy and didn’t really know how to engage with us. Today she kept peeking out to see the work being done. In speaking with her I learned that she grew up in Mississippi and has lived in her house for over 50 years. Clearly, her home means more than just a house. It’s where her children grew up and where her great-grandchildren visit her. This is a place of memories. Outside, there is a rusted purple tricycle upside-down next to her house. Today it’s easy for us to see it as an unusable object to be thrown away, but at one point, it was a happy moment for someone in this home. What I’ve learned the most is that seeing someone isn’t just about seeing them today at that moment, it’s about seeing them for all of the moments that came before this. 

 

Ava N. '23: Today was the second day on the job for Ms. Aubrey, working on her ceilings after water damage and a refusal from the insurance company to help fix it. Through the beginning of this journey, I can already say my horizons have been broadened in numerous ways, from my physical abilities to my mental comprehensions. In the physical aspects, I have left today’s efforts with increased knowledge on how to use nail guns, install insulation, and screw drywall to ceilings. In my day to day life, I’m yet to have used these skills, but I now know they’re in my back pocket for whenever I need them. With my benefitting of others, I’ve noted the benefit I’m rewarded with myself. This point, I want to elaborate on by entering what I’ve learned intellectually. I see the interest in serving others, because the good upon others reflects inward, leaving me with a general positive outlook. This positive outlook leaks into my day to day life through multiple ways, a greater one of which being gratitude. I’m beyond thankful for what God has blessed me with, and I now better comprehend how to share the wealth of my own. This good fortune has more value in my inner mind, and its importance for me is similar to that of the next person. Treat others how you want to be treated, a saying my parents would recite to me. The true nature to this is more present now than ever. I see the need, I connect with the need through conversations, and I’m doing my best to fulfill that very need. At the beginning of this trip I was told we were saving people, not houses. I’ve come to terms with how true that really is. 

Josie H. '23: Only two days in and this trip has been more than I could’ve asked for. The experiences and skills I’m navigating already will last a lifetime. I am much more comfortable with the chop saw, and the nail gun which are both super fun to use. It is amazing to work for hours on end and then look back at all the progress made. I also really enjoy the aspect of collaboration required throughout this trip. I have learned how work tools alone, but also how to work with others to get something bigger done. On the site I have learned so much about the physical labor part of helping people in need, but also the emotional impact it has on everyone involved. Our homeowner is an incredibly sweet woman who is talking more and more every day. Yesterday we never saw her son, and today he came out multiple times to express his gratitude. These are the things that stick with me. I am so happy to offer my help, and it makes it all worth it when we can notice little things like this. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2022    

Jeff Munson: Wednesday is, I think, the hardest day.  It is the time of the week when everyone starts to realize how tired they are and so an early-to-bed night is in order.  It is also the day when all of our jobs should have been completed by our initial timelines, but all of the unknown problems, the delays waiting for supplies, the slow pace while teaching happens, and myriad other factors have caused both teams to fall behind.  It’s not a horrible thing, and in the grand scheme of things, the teams are doing well and are definitely having a positive impact on the homeowners, which is, of course, the whole point.  In our orientation, Jim Fatic told us it didn’t matter if we finished our jobs or even drove a single nail.  The mission of Epworth is people – the home repair is actually secondary. Tomorrow is Thursday, or what we have come to know as Urgent Care day.  I can’t believe how quickly this week is coming to an end. 

Scott T. ’23: So far, my experience in Slidell has been one to remember. Although I’ve had lots of fun experiences, I’ve also been faced with lots of challenges in learning new skills and working under the pressure caused by limited time. However, whenever I get down on myself I remind myself that even if I am not moving quickly enough or I am too much of a perfectionist, I am still helping someone in need and I am still making a difference. I have learned many new skills including mudding, using a jack, installing drywall, and being safe on ladders but something that always crosses my mind is what Jim Fatic said to all of us on the first day which is that we are not simply here for drywall – we are here for people. That is another thing that has really resonated with me and has been something I have thought about whenever I get down or my productivity rate decreases. Although I haven’t heard too many stories from homeowners yet, I am really going to try to connect with my homeowner tomorrow before it is time to say goodbye. So, to conclude my blog, I am really happy with the progress we’ve made as a community, and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to help others in need because I realize that I would like to do more volunteer work to give back for all that I have been given in life.

Rose J. ’23: Three days in on this trip, and to be honest, this adventure was nothing like I expected. I’m currently working at Miss Audrey’s house, who is the absolute sweetest lady, who is so generous and friendly to everyone! I have learned so many new skills while also becoming more confident in myself, and I am not afraid to ask questions, as well as jump into any new project without fear! Today, we finished putting the drywall on a ceiling: a slanted ceiling for that matter, which made it a lot more challenging but fun! We also took on a new task, putting mud over the screws and seams on the drywall with tools that look like palette knives that one would use for painting. Being someone who loves painting, I was so excited to harness my artistic skills and wasn’t afraid to get muddy while learning a new skill. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to spend time collaborating with my classmates, while most importantly, making a difference in the life of an absolutely wonderful woman. The thing that will resonate with me the most on this trip is right after we met Miss Audrey, we stood in a circle holding hands while she prayed over us, and at that moment, I felt the feeling of the purest form of peace and love. I knew God was working through every one of us that very minute, building community, fostering generosity, and most importantly, sharing His unconditional love, which is something I will always cherish.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Chuck and Susan Baker: It is workday 4 in Slidell and as the team trickles out of the bunk rooms it’s pretty evident that most or all are feeling the effects of the previous days' hard work.   For team Baker, our workday begins back at Miss Audrey’s house.  We arrive cautiously optimistic that we will be able to master the technique of spraying a mixture of paint and popcorn on the ceiling.  We are also very excited at the thought of the Louisiana-style chili dogs that Miss Audrey has promised to make for us today.  (They turned out to be as awesome as expected.)  Painting the ceiling turned out to be one of the easiest and quickest projects of the week!  

Miss Audrey is an amazing person, deeply religious, caring of family, and pure joy to talk to.  She is exactly the kind of person that makes these trips so very rewarding.  She is obviously grateful for our help and does as much as she can to give back. Hence the chili dogs. Did I mention they were awesome?  Yes, I love Louisiana food especially home-cooked and authentic and Miss Audrey’s food has both qualities.  

Our work this week resulted in Miss Audrey having a bedroom with a new ceiling, insulation, and fresh paint.  We worked hard to make it safe and beautiful because she deserves to have it that way.  After we complete the work and prepare to say goodbye everyone becomes emotional and Miss Audrey tears up as we present her flowers to thank her for her kindness. Some of us tear up as well.

 

 

Danielle Eid ’21: Thursday, supposedly one of the hardest days of the trip, turned into the most wholesome, for me at least. Not only did I learn how to use an electric saw, position and use a nail gun, assemble railings for stairs, and how to properly mud drywall, I heard a phenomenal story. We had completed our first home a little after noon and Ms. Betty, the homeowner, was nothing short of pleased. She had continuously expressed her gratitude throughout the week and had such a sweet attitude, so I knew I had to hear her story. Ms. Betty is a breast cancer survivor… I had learned that she also had lost both her daughter and sister to cancer, one had lung, and one also had breast. Now, going back to what Jim had said on Monday, he had told us that once we had heard some of these homeowners’ stories, we should come to learn that we had so much more in common with them than some of us may assume. I had already known that, since we are all human, but in this particular way, I was able to have the most engaging, thoughtful conversation with Ms. Betty about both of our journey’s/impacts with cancer. 

Around seven months ago, I had lost my mom to lung cancer. When I had learned from the grapevine that Ms. Betty had survived her cancer story, I knew I had to have a chat with her. She has the same amounts of tenacity and perseverance that my mother had… they had both refused for their lives to be put on a timer, and accepted every single type of treatment that was proposed to them. They knew that not only it could have helped themselves in their journeys, but they considered the lives of others that were to follow behind them. What had really kept the both of them going, however, was their positive attitudes. Ms. Betty had a sentence painted on her wall to the right of her front door, saying, “To Get To The Rainbow, You Have To Deal With The Rain,” and I couldn’t agree more.


Friday, Mar 11, 2022

Jeff Munson: A mission trip has a strange effect on time and we’ve alluded to this phenomenon in other posts.  On Tuesday, Alecia wrote, “Today was the second day on the job. Yesterday, Jeff Munson warned us that on Tuesday it would feel like we had been here working forever. Amazingly, everyone, today agreed that that was, indeed, the case.”  Today is Friday, and at reflection tonight, the team agreed that it seemed like we just got here. We had an amazing week and got a great deal of work done. We worked on three different homes, completing two assignments and making significant progress on the third during the final day. There were no trips to urgent care, everyone learned new skills, we listened to stories and built community with our hosts and with each other, and, most importantly, we let three homeowners know that they were cared for and not forgotten. We wish we could stay another week! 

 

Epworth by the numbers:  Since 2005, Epworth Project/North Shore Disaster Recovery Inc. has had about 64,000 volunteers from all 50 states and 43 countries work on approximately 3500 homes.  They are the only standing disaster recovery center still operating in the area, and they currently have approximately 745 homes on the waiting list (the most since Hurricane Katrina), and are expecting another 3-400 applications as relief money from Hurricane Ida claims becomes available soon. All of the work is done by volunteers, and without them, they would shut down.  The center has struggled the past two years to get volunteers to come, but the pipeline is beginning to open back up and we certainly plan to return in 2023!


In our reflection last night, I asked everyone to take some experience from the week (a project, something that was learned, something that happened, anything, really) and write a Haiku about it (a short 5-7-5 syllable verse) – a moment of Mission Zen, if you will.  So, to close out this mission trip and our blog series, here is the 2022 version of Haiku from the Bayou, written by Ava N. ’23, Ms. Arseneault, Charlotte P. ’22, Scott T. ’23, Daniel G. ’23, Ms. Pickett, Aidan B. ’23, Susan Baker, Chuck Baker, Jeff Munson, Ian Halberstadt, Danielle Eid ’21, Josie H. ’23 and Rose J. ’23.)

 

Came back to the South

Seeing, fixing the damage

That so changed my life.

 

Caring and generous

Told some amazing stories

I love Ms. Audrey

 

We work for others

To help ease the suffering

And see their smiles grow

 

Time with Ms. Audrey

Taking down insulation

And chili dogs, too!

 

A sunny voyage

As people constantly pray

Homes in need repaired

 

Drywall, mud, sand, paint,

Ceiling, mud, popcorn, paint

Light fixture rewired

 

Louisiana

A place I have learned to give

And pass on Christ’s gift

 

We stand in sunlight

Looking at a gaping hole

And the bedroom there 

 

Regular work day

Then Ian went through the floor.

Ouch! That really hurt.

 

We all work as one

To finish the job given.

Every person wins!

 

Ms. Betty is brave.

She beat the impossible,

Cancer didn’t win.

 

Fixing homes is good.

Bringing hope is rewarding.

Twenty Twenty Two!

 

And that's a wrap on Slidell 2022!

I’ll finish this series with one more shameless plug for the John Munson Community Engagement Fund which helped support the members of this trip.  If you would like to help provide support for future community engagement trips, such as this one, please go to https://www.kentshill.org/engagement/give and select Community Engagement Fund!  Thank you in advance.

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