Photo Credit: Ken Jordan

Friends launches new Baxter Youth Conservation Corps

[May 10, 2017]

After several years of planning, Friends is excited to launch our new Baxter Youth Conservation Corps (BYCC) in July 2017. The BYCC is a job training and service learning opportunity for youth from the Katahdin region of Maine. This program gives youth the opportunity to work with professional leaders on trail projects in Baxter State Park. The program will also incorporate a group hike, workshops with a variety of outdoor professionals, and other special learning opportunities.

Youth participants will gain valuable training, job skills, and work experience in a spectacular wilderness setting. Participants will also earn an hourly wage (currently $12/hour) and may also receive community service hours for potential school credit. A total of 10 youth positions are available for 2017.

Students currently enrolled in one of the following Katahdin region high schools are eligible to apply for the program:

Stearns High School
Schenck High School
Katahdin High School
Southern Aroostook High School
Mattanawcook Academy
Homeschool students residing in one of the school districts listed above

Friends is currently accepting online applications, with a deadline of June 1, 2017.

In 2017, the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps will involve a two-week (80 hour) term of service scheduled for July 10 – 21. Program hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Youth participants will meet at a central location in Millinocket at 8:30am each morning, and then ride together in a van into Baxter State Park. Students will work under the supervision of two experienced adult leaders. The work day ends at 5:00pm daily, and students will then be transported back to the meeting location in Millinocket. All training and safety equipment will be provided.

The 2017 crew will focus on the south end of the Park, with a workplan focusing on trails in the Katahdin Lake area. We hope to add a second 12-person team in 2018. That team would focus on the north end of the Park, offering an easier commute for youth from the Sherman-Patten-Stacyville region.

Our goals are to provide a meaningful donation of trail services to Baxter State Park, support the personal and professional development of Katahdin region youth, and help provide positive solutions to the economic crisis facing the Katahdin region. We anticipate that every dollar we invest in the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps will provide several dollars worth of benefit to the Park and the communities of the Katahdin region.

This program has received generous grant support from the Maine Community Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and LL Bean. Many thanks to these organizations for supporting Baxter State Park and the future of the Katahdin region!