February 23rd 2010
For the last four months six students who attend UrbanPromise after school program in South
Camden along with four mentors having been building two, full scale replicas of the sleds used by
North Polo explorers Matthew Henson and Robert Perry to reach the North Pole.
Students meet every Tuesday & Thursday afternoon with their mentors in the basement of the Camden
Seaport and Maritime Museum on Broadway in South Camden. As the sleds take shape, the students are learning about power tools like saws, drill, jigs, steam boxes, and materials like dowels, wood glue, oak, hickory and steel. (There is a statue of Matthew Henson in front of the museum because part of the church fellowship hall was built with ballast stones from the Kite one of the ships used by Henson and Perry to sail to Baffin Bay off the coast of Greenland to make their assault on the North Pole.)
In early March, the students and mentors will join an experienced sled dog owner and musher, to hitch a team of 7 dogs to the sleds and run them across the snow. Who could imagine that young people of South Camden would be engaged in such a courageous adventure enjoy this journey, not to the North Pole but to a place of learning, understanding, mutual encouragement and great fun.
Students will be meeting on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons from 3:30-5:30pm throughout February to complete the building of the sleds.