by Mellisa Watson
Project Stewardship offers a way for young people to get involved in becoming effective participants in their own learning, livelihoods and successes. This program provides rich learning experiences through outings and workshops- one of each given per month. Alongside several volunteers, myself included, the Project Stewardship group met up at the Malcolm House on Old Jericho Turnpike. Here we began to tour a Quaker settlement that has been around since the 1700-1800’s. Our tour guide was none other than Justin Ellis, a volunteer turned intern- as well as a young historian in the making. As we surveyed each historical site, he gave us a detailed retelling of each property’s yesteryear. Our group was able to explore the Malcolm House, the Elias Hicks House, the Old Quaker Church and Cemetery, and, afterwards, we were able to enjoy scrumptious dessert at the Old Jericho Cider Mill. All throughout the tour, we were engrossed in every facet of historical material that Justin had vocalized. He was a true champ, answering all the questions we threw at him, ensuring we’d all had an unforgettable experience.
One of the major aspects of meetings with Project Stewardship is the feeling of exposure. This program has enabled young individuals who have the desire to delve deeper into an issue that is truly meaningful, to keep an open mind about whatever they might find. Through these programs we- members and volunteers alike- glean so much because we’re exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking. Every outing or workshop is guaranteed to instill new knowledge on important topics and foster a desire to go forth and soak up as much information in that area of interest as possible. We each walked away from the tour having been exposed to places that are rich in history knowing we had normally believed them to be regular establishments. We were able to stand in the place where Quakers had once stood, glance upon the houses, church and cider mill they once visited often, and got a good glimpse at their final resting place. I hope that the Project Stewardship group will have another outing similar to this one so that we can acquire more knowledge on areas that we all call home.