Bonfires have always been a place for sharing.
Across history and cultures, people have gathered around bonfires to share food, warmth, and stories.
We may think of these fireside connections as a simple chance to step away from our modern world, but anthropologist Polly Wiessner says that when humans come together around a campfire, we have always been sharing much, much more…
Wiessner’s research indicates that as people gather to relax by the fireside, conversation of daily tasks and economic concerns decrease and are replaced by the sharing of personal stories. The conversations that result “put listeners on the same emotional wavelength,” Wiessner explains. She notes how throughout history (and still today) fireside sharing “elicited understanding, trust, and sympathy, and built positive reputations for qualities like humor, congeniality, and innovation.”
It’s easy to see how this type of sharing can positively impact our families, friend groups, and communities long after specific individuals have left the glowing embers of their bonfire behind. But fireside sharing on Thompson Island makes an even larger impact.
Event rentals on Thompson Island provide a vital source of funding for the hands-on science education that we offer to Boston Public School students free-of-charge. As you’d expect, the cost to offer these opportunities to students is substantial, but the weddings, corporate outings, clambakes, and bonfire gatherings we host help cover the cost and allow us to share the freedom of possibility and new skills for life with students who are eager to grow.
Bonfires have always been a place for sharing…
And with Thompson Island, your next bonfire could spark change in the life of a local student.