EXPLORaider Group Travels to Boston

March 26, 2013

Since 1997, Mount Union students and faculty members have been taking an annual multicultural retreat known as EXPLORaider (formally The Multicultural Retreat) during which the participants experience a cultural diverse trip set in a major metropolitan city in America.

This year, assistant professor of communication Dr. Randy Clark, 10 Mount Union students and faculty members Dr. Ivory Lyons, professor of philosophy and religious studies; Rich Jackson, assistant dean of students and director of multicultural affairs; Ashley Ross, assistant director of multicultural student affairs and Jessica Douglas, director of Exceptional Beginnings/First Year Programs, all attended the retreat.

“Students really loved this trip — they really loved Boston, the culture, the environment, the collegiate atmosphere and the artistic atmosphere of the city,” Clark said. “Students really developed some great bonds and friendships.”

The group explored the city of Boston, MA from Saturday through Thursday and stayed in the Boston Hotel Buckminster, located in Kenmore Square at the entrance of Boston University. For many of the students who went, it was their first trip to Boston and their first time flying. The 2013 EXPLORaider trip was a series of firsts as many of the students and faculty members did not completely know one another before departing.

“Some were apprehensive about coming on the trip because they didn’t know anyone,” Clark said. “Most students met [with others] twice prior to the trip to get to know one another and to share information about planning the trip. For me, it was grand to see how many new friendships started. I did not know many of the students who came on the trip, but I feel like I got to know a few more students on campus really well.”

Not only did the students and faculty bond in Boston, but they also learned how to navigate the bustling metropolitan city as well.

“A lot of students had never used the train system before, so that was new for them. By the second day we were there, they were all over the place with no hesitation whatsoever,” Clark said.

The group got to their series of destinations including Fenway Park, Samuel Adams Brewery, the New England Aquarium and the famous bar Doyle’s by taking the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Not only were the explorers busy taking the MBTA through the city, but they attended a Boston Celtics basketball game, took a trip to the Bunker Hill Museum and a tour of the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned active warship in the United States.

This year, the EXPLORaider adventure was arranged by senior Shannon Timperio, a senior communication major of Madison, OH for her SCE project. Timperio managed all of the social media aspects of the trip. She was also in charge of making travel arrangements and selecting the group’s sightseeing attractions. This year, the theme of the trip was “A City of Champions” and Timperio researched popular Boston attractions and planned them accordingly to the theme.

“For us, because Boston is the one city in the U.S. that has the most sports championships in the four major sports, we tried to immerse ourselves in that,” Clark said.


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