MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE and Teenagers to Trails Companion to Enhance Outside Alternatives for Maine Teenagers; Colleges Can Apply NOW


A new partnership between the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Teens to Trails is encouraging teen schools to apply for $ 500-1500, which includes training and start-up support for school excursion clubs.

WAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students), a program of the Maine DOE, offers young people from Maine meaningful opportunities to interact with their peers online or outdoors. Teens to Trails is a Maine organization whose mission is to connect high school students with life-changing outdoor experiences. “We are excited about this partnership,” said WAVES project manager Sarah Woog. “Teens to Trails is a Maine-based nonprofit with a proven expertise and passion for getting teens outside! Teens to Trails and WAVES share a common goal of increasing the engagement of teenagers in Maine with the outdoors. Together, we’re excited to use the resources of our organizations and work with schools to bring all Maine students the opportunities they deserve. “

“In 2020, 53% of Americans participated in outdoor recreational activities, the highest rate ever,” said Alicia Heyburn, director of Teens to Trails. “Outdoor spaces have become places of refuge for making safe contacts, improving physical health, and connecting with friends and family. Schools play an important role in continuing this positive trend by redefining the learning environment and using nature to support the social and emotional wellbeing of students. The partnership between Teens to Trails and WAVES means schools have trustworthy support to invest in making nature welcome and accessible to all students. “

Teens to Trails and the Maine DOE would like to support an excursion club at your school. School educators can apply on behalf of their school with the consent of their school management. It’s easy to use and the rewards are immense. The applications are checked continuously, the last application deadline is September 17th.

Eligible schools:

  • Serve Maine Teens;
  • Have school leadership support;
  • Have a school staff / faculty member as a club advisor;
  • Commit to participating in two Teens to Trails programs in the first year;
  • Can demonstrate how funding improves access to nature for young people who would otherwise not be able to get involved.

Schools that receive funding can count on the following support:

  • The funds can be used for a club advisor scholarship;
  • Access to the Teens to Trails Club Hub for tips on running a sustainable club;
  • Professional Development Day for Outdoor Club Advisor;
  • Free summer white water rafting tour for club advisors to network and have fun;
  • Materials for the recruitment of outdoor club beginners;
  • Opportunity to attend four outdoor weekends with clubs from across the state;
  • Spring and Fall Trip Lotteries to win pre-planned adventures;
  • Access to equipment to keep students warm and comfortable;
  • Continuous support from teens to Trails employees, including support planning for sustainability.

Please submit your application as early as possible to secure funding and start planning for your school’s outing club! Find out more here and apply.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact [email protected] – WAVES and Teens to Trails will be in touch shortly!

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