The annual Scarecrow Stroll in downtown St. Marys had everything one would think of—decorations, ghosts, pumpkins, princesses, cartoon and movie characters, and even Captain Jack. Emily Boyle's English Composition II class represented the College of Coastal Georgia and the Camden Center at the Scarecrow Stroll on Sunday, October 20.
Boyle is an English lecturer for the College at the Camden Center. Her class is a service-learning course that explores how art can build community. The class connects readings and writings to real-world concepts and current events.
The Scarecrow Stroll, organized by KBAY 106.3 in partnership with St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association, is a signature event for the area. Families and friends stroll along the street to visit displays hosted by various community organizations, schools, and businesses, to go trick-or-treating in costume. Coastal Georgia students used the opportunity to promote and educate the residents of St. Marys about the College and the Camden Center.
For their service-learning project, students worked together to build a display that featured a Coastal Georgia student in a cornfield with mummies. Students then passed out candy and information about the College to strollers.
"The students were so kind to the kids and their families—complimenting costumes, petting dogs, and just simply being themselves," Boyle said. "Many of them said they had never attended an event in downtown St. Marys and now they see what it's all about."
The icing on the cake was the College's mascot, Captain Jack. Captain Jack high-fived kids and posed for photos, which Boyle describes as being more popular than the candy students were handing out.
"In class we talk about how literature and art affect a community. The students designed and built a display to engage with the community on behalf of the College. What's more, they built a community among themselves. Most of these students just met one another this semester, so it's wonderful to see them working together," Boyle said. "I could not have been more impressed by our students. They were clearly proud to support Coastal Georgia."
Students who participated in the Scarecrow Stroll were Jessica Allen, Justin Blackwell, Litahni Barnes, Nikki Parton, Glonger Carter, and Brandon Simon.
Other students are doing different service-learning projects within the community. Some are helping with the St. Marys Children's Theatre productions; others are focusing on visual art and assisting an art teacher at St. Marys Elementary School; and one student is promoting culinary arts at a community food event. All students will bring back their experiences to discuss and reflect on how art builds community or may cause controversy.
Boyle thanked everyone who contributed towards making the Scarecrow Stroll a success.