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Winter Intensives Newsletter

Winter Intensives 2023

Art, Athletics, Architecture

Casco Teaches

Fiber Arts & Jewelry Making

Ghosts, Mothers and Myths


Learn to Rock Climb

Learn to Swim



Snow Shoe Overnight

Winter Adventures

CBHS 1st Quarter Honor Roll


Art, Athletics, Architecture

For Art, Architecture and Athletics we started off the week by taking a trip to the Maine Celtics current stadium, the Portland Expo. We met the architects, players, managers and other people affiliated with the Maine Celtics who walked us through all the rooms and spaces the players use and explained the strengths, weaknesses and new additions that would be ideal for a new Expo. We wrote down a list of what the players needed for a new stadium. When we came back to Casco, we split into groups of 4-5 and started brainstorming a rough sketch of the new stadium, including possible alternative locations. We then learned how to use the 3D modeling software called Sketchup, and after we measured a room at home, we took those measurements and modeled a 2D floor plan of the room in Sketchup. We got straight to working on the stadium. Some people started designing it in Sketchup, and we had most final drafts done at the end of the day. We also worked on the new stadium on paper, adding new rooms and important necessities, and got an overall idea of the stadium.

Thursday, we made presentation boards to show the architects. The boards would include a site plan, a floor plan, an inspiration board and other details. After lunch, the architects came, and we presented our designs for the new stadiums, and wrote down the strengths of each groups and things to work on. On Friday, we merged groups from the groups that did not pass architects approval. The architects were here all day, helping us put together our projects. At the end of the day, we had a pizza party to celebrate the work we had done this week. Finally, on Monday, we finished the final three boards for our proposal for a new Maine Celtics stadium, that will be presented against other schools in this contest. You can view the movie trailers of our three proposals here

Written by Ted Simpson

Casco Teaches

During the Casco Teaches Intensive, our temporary teachers began their journey to become the educators of the future. On their first day, the students worked to answer the guiding questions of "What makes a great lesson?" and "What makes a great educator?" by reflecting on their past teachers and how they positively affected them as students. They wrote stories of when they experienced exceptional teaching and spoke in groups about what made that teacher so impactful. They made lists of what makes a teacher great academically and personally and spoke on the importance of equity and patience.  After this, they all began to get ready for their internships. In these internships, each student shadowed a different teacher for two full school days. These teachers taught a variety of classes and grades and overall the students visited ten separate PPS K-12 schools. Here the students learned various teaching techniques, classroom setups, and lesson plans to help prepare them for their final two days. After returning to Casco Bay the students spent their final day preparing for and teaching their lesson plans. The students' chosen topics

consisted of the anatomy of hammerhead sharks, how to change a tire, examining the poetry of Mary Oliver, and many more. Every student took a personal lesson out of this intensive. Sophomore Jo Ellis said, "The intensive definitely showed me how rewarding a job in education can be, and they made me really want to pursue that." Working in a classroom was beneficial for every student, from students that learned that their passion is to teach, to others who learned the value of patience and planning.  You can learn more about where each student interned and the core of their teaching philosophy here. 

Written by Sophia Chouinard

Fiber Arts & Jewelry Making

The fiber arts and jewelry making intensive consists of knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving, jewelry making and more. Over the week, students created clothes, bags, pillows, quilts, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. We learned how to use sewing machines and other crafting tools. Special guest Becky generously donated her time to help us learn how to weave. Students were able to learn a variety of useful skills and were able to expand their crafting knowledge. One student even said, “this intensive re-ignited my passion for crafting!” 

Check out more photos from the Fiber Arts & Jewelers Intensive here!




Ghosts, Mothers & Myths

Ghosts, Monsters, and Myths was a spine-chilling intensive that focused on everything spooky. We not only consumed and analyzed horror content, such as short stories and movies, but visited haunted locations as well. The first day of the intensive, we went to our local Evergreen Cemetery and completed grave rubbings, where we transferred names and dates from graves onto papers and wrote two-line scary stories based on what we found. The next day, we toured Victoria Mansion, using photos to inspire longer creepy tales. The culminating project was writing a 3-5 page spooky story set somewhere in Maine using the elements of horror that we learned about throughout the week. We set out on a writing adventure traversing the mountains, towns, and waters of our beautiful state, and now you, too, can delight in the spookiness that ensued! You can find all of the stories on our Google Map, linked on the exact locations where they take place. Enjoy, and don’t forget to turn the lights off!

Written by Venice Melcher


This week I had an internship at WMPG, a community radio station at the University of Southern Maine and Acadia Recording Company in downtown Portland. During the one day I was at WMPG, I learned about radio and what it takes to get music and commentary on air. I also learned about the wiring behind broadcasting radio and how to edit and record my own audio. Finally I learned a lot about DJing, and I got to practice it myself as well.

For the rest of the week, I interned at Acadia Recording Company, a recording studio that records and mixes music, voice over, and podcasts. The studio was booked with a kids story podcast, so I watched while my host, an audio engineer, ran the recording for the whole week. I helped with setting up and learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes. I also helped with soldering circuit boards that will be used to make guitar pedals. Lastly, I met with a mastering engineer and learned what mastering involves. 

Overall, my internship was extremely informative, inspired a new passion for radio, and furthered my interest in making music.

Written by Mayim Feinberg


Learn to Rock Climb

Many students were pushed outside their comfort zone this week. Most students in this intensive had never rock climbed before. When faced with the challenge at the start of the week a good number of students were daunted by the intimidating rock wall they faced before them, but by the end of the week it was a different story.

On Tuesday we went over to Evo rock gym and were given time to just explore the gym. Then we were given belay lessons for the remaining time. On Wednesday we started with a stretch at Casco and then went over to Evo to climb for the remainder of the day. On Thursday we took a rest day due to torn up hands and tired muscles.  We took a yoga class in the Path’s dance studio led by Sheila Sullivan, the program director for Sea Change Yoga. After that we went back to our room and watched The Dawn Wall, an epic film about persistence and friendship on the most challenging rock climbing route in the world.  On Friday we started the day with another stretch and then drove down to Salt Pump where we explored a new place to climb and pushed our hardest to conquer as many new boulder problems as we could to end the week. On Monday we started with a stretch again and went over to Evo for our last day of climbing. This intensive was a refreshing way to take a break from the stressful environment that school pushes upon us. It taught us how to be more mindful, how to climb up our own wall we make for ourselves, because after all, climbing is not just going up a wall, it's a way of life.

Written by Zeke Podolsky

Check out more students scaling walls here!

Learn to Swim

The beginning of this week started with two different grades but all different experiences, ranging from “I’ve never swam before” to “I can’t wait to dive into the deep end!”. This was the start to our week-long swimming adventure! Everybody started with their own personal goals but overall, the goal was to swim. Students in this intensive met for 5 days in the Stevens Square Pool whose workers kindly let us utilize. Throughout all those days, we’d had wonderful teachers and lifeguards kindly volunteering their time and effort to help encourage and elevate each of the students' swimming skills. Not only were we students learning to swim or improve our skills, we had also had the chance to create and share children's books. These books were designed to help encourage and boost the confidence of younger grades to swim. We read these books to second graders ages 8-9 at Talbot elementary school. This week was an amazing experience where we’d learned lots, built a stronger community, and even got to share all of our new knowledge!



We’ve spent the week in the Philosophy Intensive asking questions about a variety of big questions. On the first day, we had SMCC professor Rich Pitre come in to discuss truth and the role of beauty in our lives. Our question of beauty continued the second day at the Portland Museum of Art, where we explored the role of ugliness, as well as the beautiful, in contemporary art. On day 3, Ms. Doane came in and we learned about political philosophy by comparing the philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, and deliberated regarding the pros and cons of the citizen referendum process. Day 4 was an introduction to ethics and we performed skits about different approaches to ethical decision making. For final products some created art projects and others wrote personal statements regarding a key philosophical question.

More wisdom from our students here...

Podcasting Intensive

In Podcasting this week, we created original podcasts on a topic of our choice. We talked with experts; Theo Balcomb and Nora Saks, who gave us insight into the world of podcasting. We also visited the Salt Institute inside MECA and worked off-campus at USM. At USM, on an “Audio Scavenger Hunt,” we had to record certain sounds, some of which were clear, like ticking. Other sounds were trickier, like the color red or betrayal. In terms of the actual creation of the podcast, we started by brainstorming ideas and storyboarding with our groups. We then created scripts and started recording. Mainly, you don’t use the first track you record or even the fourth. Over three days, we recorded and recorded some more, trying to reach near perfection, just for about five minutes of audio. You don’t want it to sound scripted or like you are reading something, but you also don’t want it to sound like you went into this with no idea what you’re doing. Monday was mainly devoted to editing and cleaning up the tracks. Some of us will submit our podcasts to the 2023 NPR Student Podcast Challenge.

You can check out the podcasts created during intensives week here: Student Podcasts 2023.

Written by Ajax Borland & Nathaniel Ryder

Overnight Snowshoeing

During Intensives week, sixteen students and three teachers got the awesome opportunity to stay at The Birches Resort in Rockwood for four days and three nights. Upon arrival Wednesday, spirits were low that this group would actually be able to snowshoe because there was not much evidence of real Maine winter weather at Moosehead Lake. Thursday morning greeted us with almost six inches of fresh powder. While there weren’t many snowshoes on the morning loop, we got to see 3.5 miles of beautiful snowy forest. Winter requires flexibility, so when the roads were not on our side Friday morning, our team of nineteen pivoted very smoothly. After a morning spent pushing cars up roads and shuttling students back and forth, we hiked a 2.5 mile loop past a yurt (if you could call it that), then spent the night in with stories, games, and burritos. All our meals were budgeted, planned and prepared by students themselves throughout the trip (including a delicious red lentil soup that Mali was the executive chef for). Each dinner was preceded by a chow circle where we shared readings from Lao Tzu, Mary Oliver, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and others. Huge thanks to PAG for funding the trip, numerous members of the CBHS community for supplying snow shoes and boots, PATHS for loaning the Green Van, and Ms. Hampton for lending us the awesome Hampton Mobile that was a quintessential shuttle Friday morning. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support and excellent driving of Ms. McCray, Mr. McNally, and Ms. Howland. Photos are courtesy of Lucas, Greta, Meredith, Amin, Afnan, and Zeinab.

Check out more photos from the Snowshoeing Intensive here!

Written by Lucas Richards

Winter Adventures

The Winter Adventures intensive was so much fun! We engaged in a lot of activities. We went to cool places and did cool things. We started out the week with ice skating at Falmouth Family Ice. The ice skating was challenging for many of us, but we got better! The next day we went on a hike at Wolfe’s Neck Park. While we were there, we saw two bald eagles sitting together in a tree! We also saw giant rocks, pretty green moss, and the ocean. On Thursday we went indoor rock climbing at Salt Pump. At first, climbing was scary, but we got through it! On Friday we went to Mt. Abram. Most of us went skiing, and the rest went snowboarding. Most people had never been skiing or snowboarding before, but everyone did great and had a blast. The snowboarders fell a lot and it hurt, but they now are confident boarders who don’t fall! On our last day we walked around Mackworth Island, and then went back to Falmouth Family Ice and did some curling. Curling was cool and kind of hard. It was a great intensive! You can check out more photos from our adventures here

Written by Medley Okorie and Rzan Elfadil Elfodol

Honor Roll

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