Posts Tagged ‘service projects’

A Coloring Book, Then a Smile


By D.R.Richards

Coloring for the first time, Amantani Island, Peru

The simple act of giving a child a coloring book on the high mountain island of Amantani on Lake Titicaca, where we have been taking small groups for years, bridges our cultures. It also helps reach out by giving a little something back. By no means is it as big as building a school, or other major project that other more established organisations are doing in Peru. As mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a  smile,” and in this case a coloring book, then a smile.

We at Mountain Spirit Institute believe that to truly connect with others in our world, when we travel its good to reach out in anyway you can. Reaching out  might be that smile, the  coloring book,  or listening well to the people you’re visiting rather than building them what you think they need, a good lesson from Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea. Of course listening well implies you need a good interpreter or hopefully have studies the local lanquage, and I don’t mean Spanish.  Next time you travel, load up on some coloring books and colored pencils. Leave the chocolates at the city, and take some paper and pencils instead. The local kids will love it, and you’ll smile too.

Meet Project Laundry List

Effective: being put on notice.

Effective: being put on notice.

I first met Project Laundry List founder Alexander Lee in Manchester at a Going Green Expo a few years ago. I noticed he was passionate about his mission.  Since then his passion to make line drying of clothes legal and acceptable has taken off.  The mission of PLL is
“making air-drying laundry acceptable and desirable as a simple and effective way to save energy.”

Recently they have received a significant grant for purposes of strategic planning. They plan to strengthen their focus and deliver on their  mission.
Vermont just passed its Right to Dry legislation. PLL expects to see a  more states pass “right to dry” legislation this year. Lee is writing a book about laundry and planning Project Laundry List’s first Clotheslines Across the Nation Tour (Sept. 7 to Sept. 17).  Lee asks people to help him make drying legal and acceptable when he writes in his most recent newsletter –  “Will you step up to the line?”
Why, we ask?

Drying Rack

Drying Rack

Dryers use ten to fifteen percent of domestic energy in the United States!

Ten top reasons to dry:
10) Save money (more than $25/month off electric bill for many households).
9) Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?
8) Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment.
7) Conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change.
6) It is moderate physical activity which you can do in or outside.
5) Sunlight bleaches and disinfects. (more…)

Sunapee/Outward Bound Program:New Webpage

MSI's New Webpage on Sunapee's OB Program

MSI's New Webpage on Sunapee's OB Program

The MSI/Sunapee High School/Outward Bound Scholarship Program, now in it’s fourth year gets a new webpage. There is a host of information: past recipients, donors, an overview and goals of the the program and where to find out more. The program is gaining some traction both with students, the community and with Outward Bound’s scholarship department.  Thanks to former Recruiter and Scholarship coordinator Charlie Reade who helped MSI’s Executive Director R. Richards set up the program, a number of students have had a trip of a life time.

Image: Brian Baily-Mountain Yoga

Image: Brian Baily-Mountain Yoga

On the webpage are pics from Brian Baily’s Rock/Backpacking course in Colorado, and Hanna Baade’s sea kayaking program on the coast of Maine. Baade was the first recipient of the scholarship which was first supported by Sugar River Bank. More recently, Rotary International (New London, NH) and other organizations are aiding the effort.

The program is one of MSI’s first “service projects”, aimed at giving back to the community in which MSI is incorporated, and the director’s hometown. In all aspects of MSI, we incorporate a service component, whether it be a board meeting, a program to Peru or at the administration level. Again this inspiration comes from Outward Bound and Kurt Hahn in the first place.

On Rappel: North Cascades, WA, USA

On Rappel: North Cascades, WA, USA

You can check out the web page, and who knows, you may even be inclined to jump on the bandwagon and donate!

Donations can be sent to MSI’s office at:

Mountain Spirit Institute
POB 626
Sunapee, NH 03782