Outing Club Leader Meeting in Aroostook County - November 28th
On November 28th we met with a small but enthusiastic group of outing club advisors and community members from Aroostook County at the University of Maine at Presque Isle to share ideas and discuss how these clubs and organizations can best collaborate and support each other. In most cases the outing clubs at these smaller schools are run thanks entirely to the efforts of a single teacher and their recognition of the potential for growth their students have when exposed to the outdoors. We discussed the various issues that outing clubs face constantly: transportation to outing club activities, building and maintaining student interest, building community support and awareness and the amount of time that these advisors donate in most cases, to their clubs. The group unanimously agreed that working together to create joint outing opportunities for their students would be highly beneficial to all. The students, who are constantly asking for occasions to socialize with kids from other schools, would have the opportunity to engage new friends and advisors would be able to take turns organizing outings, thus taking a little bit of the strain off of their time and sharing the responsibilities. Some of the outings proposed included a snowshoe in to see the trains of Eagle Lake in the Allagash Wilderness, a hike of Haystack Mountain, an Outing Club Ski Day at Big Rock ski area in Mars Hill or a snowshoe in the hills of Aroostook State Park right outside of Presque Isle.
The group will be meeting again promptly to get the ball rolling on this collaborative the first week of December and will bring outing proposals to plan out a calendar of events for the winter and spring seasons! If you are interested in participating the meeting will take place at 4:30, Wednesday the 5th of December at the Whole Potato. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm and dedication that was brought to this meeting and we greatly look forward to hearing about the outdoor adventures that will take place up there in the upcoming year!
Participants included representatives from: Teens to Trails, Maine Winter Sports Center, University of Maine Outing Club and Recreation Studies, Girl Scouts of Maine, Mars Hill Recreation, Ashland High School, Central Aroostook High School and the Maine School of Science and Math