Wilderness program seeking applicants

BELFAST — Friends of Baxter State Park offers its seventh annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. The wilderness experience is scheduled for Aug 8-16.

The program offers 10 high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to spend nine days immersed in the wild country in Maine accompanied by experienced wilderness leaders from the Chewonki Foundation. Participants learn from a variety of specialists as they backpack from one end of Baxter State Park to the other.

Participants study wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history and recreation. They hike with a geologist, volunteer with a Ranger, stargaze with an astronomer and paint at Katahdin Lake with a professional artist. These experiences help inspire and challenge emerging young wilderness leaders. Participants have described this program as “life-changing” and “the best learning experience I’ve ever had.”

The program includes readings and assignments in preparation for the field experience. After returning from the park, each participant gives a public presentation in his or her community.

Thanks to the support of generous donors, Friends of Baxter State Park is able to offer the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program at no cost to participants.

There is a competitive application process to be accepted into the program. Only students who are enrolled currently as sophomores or juniors in a Maine high school are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted online at www.friendsofbaxter.org by the deadline of February 8. Ten participants and six alternates will be announced in March.

Visit www.friendsofbaxter.org or contact Friends of Baxter State Park at P.O. Box 322, Belfast, ME 04915.

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