Working as an Outward Bound instructor for several years on Thompson Island in the Boston Harbor, I had the opportunity to facilitate a wide cross-section of courses with a wide array of groups. Instructing a course of recently drafted Boston Bruins players, however, would have been right up there with the best I'd ever done.
“If you set out to design the perfect outdoor education spot,” Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center President Arthur Pearson told me some time ago, “it would be Thompson Island. And then you’d say that it could never happen.”
Sitting a mile or so from downtown Boston, Thompson Island is a pretty remarkable place. Groups can tent out, work through team challenges in a low-ropes course, or explore a salt marsh. But the highlight for most visitors is climbing the 65-foot-high Alpine Tower. And judging from the videos below, the same seems to have been true for the Bruins.
Earlier this summer, Bruins rookies and team prospects made the journey from the dock at E.D.I.C. in South Boston, about a half mile past South Station, out to Thompson Island, the historically education-centered harbor island that looks peacefully back across the sea to the JFK Library, UMass-Boston, and the perrenially congested traffic sitting on Route 93. As with most day courses, the hockey players began with various team challenges in the Low Ropes Course (especially the 15-foot wall), before moving to the other end of the island, and tackling the Alpine Tower climbing structure.
The Bruins organizaton posted two videos of the day. Check them out below.
And high ropes. A very cool video shot with a climbing helmet cam:
From the top of the tower, you can look back across the Boston Harbor, to Back Bay and downtown. And with the right kind of eyes (to paraphrase Dr. Hunter S. Thompson), you can even see the ice rink at the Boston Garden.