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The Harvard-Kent Boat Launch of 2024

Summer has officially begun, and the boats have hit the water! On the warm and misty Friday morning of June 7, the Harvard-Kent Elementary School sixth graders put their newly built boats to the test. This will be Community Boat Building’s 10th year collaborating with Harvard-Kent Elementary. 


The students arrived at the dock in Charlestown at 10 a.m, and one by one, each team of students began marching down to begin their launch. All the way back in September, the students had been split into six boat-building teams. All six teams had creative names for themselves and their boats. Each team has been learning and working hard to build and design their very own boats with the goal of successfully setting sail in June. Each team had complete creative control when it came to how they wanted their boats to look, and their names. 


Prior to the student’s launching their boats, Community Boat Building team members and teachers briefly lectured them on water safety, how to properly launch the boats, and how to properly row. Before they knew it, the students were putting their hard-work and learning to practice. Students were also given the opportunity to elaborate on the details of their boat and constructing process. One team decided to name their boat “Cream Cheese”, and made sure to paint their boat the color of a bagel in accordance with their chosen theme.

Pictured Above: Team “Bouncing Bagels” launching their boat: “Cream Cheese”


Since it is boat launching tradition to smash and pour a fresh bottle of champagne over a new boat, sparkling water was used here as a kid-friendly alternative. One member of each team was selected to initially crack open a fresh bottle of sparkling water, and then each member took turns pouring the water on the bow of their boat. 


For many of these kids, this was going to be their first time on a boat, ever. The energy in the air was vibrating with excitement and anxiety. As the boats descended into the water, high-pitched shrieks followed by laughter echoed into a symphony across the bay. Teams continued to take turns rowing their boats until around 12 p.m, when they left to have lunch at a nearby park and celebrate the amazing achievement.




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