This weekend, 12 children, ages eight through 12, from an urban community in Boston will travel to Dartmouth to participate in two days of games, outdoor activities and interactive workshops in the 12th consecutive Tucker Foundation North Country Weekend.
The children will spend Friday night in Cutter-Shabazz Hall, and Saturday night in a Dartmouth Outing Club cabin.
Throughout the weekend they will engage in a variety of activities including a ropes course, horseback riding and a field trip to the observatory, all of which were planned by Dartmouth students and organizations.
The children will also attend an interactive language workshop given by French Professor John A. Rassias.
The Dartmouth performing groups Sheba and Femme Fatale will perform for the children and then give some instruction in dance and singing on Friday evening.
La Alianza Latina will prepare a breakfast for the participants, and the '99 Class Council is organizing a Saturday afternoon soccer game on the Green. Following the game will be a barbecue sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
The purpose of the Weekend is to "provide an opportunity for inner city youth to experience the outdoors and interact with volunteers from the college," said Sara Clash, volunteer coordinator for the Tucker Foundation. "We hope to bring a diversity of people together for a fun time."
The program is made possible by the Albert N. Pelz Memorial Fund.
Pelz '74, "made a strong commitment to disadvantaged and at-risk youth and it is in the spirit of carrying out Pelz's vision that the North Country Weekend is undertaken," student volunteer Chad Berkowitz '00 said.
The fund provides $500 each year to fund two weekends, one in the fall and one in the spring.
Throughout the weekend, the children will be supervised by a number of student volunteers, who have already made arrangements for funds, food and transportation.
The volunteers will also be supervising and interacting with the children during the program.
"A central theme of this weekend is promoting the development of the children's self-esteem," Berkowitz said.
Another theme of the weekend is acquainting the children with the resources and opportunities colleges have to offer.
For example, the goal of the student stage performances is to "provide our guests with interactive introductions to Dartmouth's numerous campus activities," Berkowitz said.
Volunteers for the weekend are looking forward to the children's arrival.
"The volunteers have been wonderful. They are all extremely enthusiastic," Clash said. "It should be an incredibly rewarding program."
The weekend is sponsored by La Alianza Latina, the Afro-American Society and the Tucker Foundation.