Photo Credit: Kimberly Bailey-Shaw

Accepting applications for the 2022 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program

Participants in the 2021 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program

[January 19, 2022]

Deadline extended to February 15, 2022. An incredible adventure awaits a group of ten high school students in Baxter State Park this summer! Every August, we invite students from across Maine to take part in our Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. Participants will spend an extraordinary nine days backpacking from one end of the Park to the other, accompanied by leaders and educators from the Chewonki Foundation. The goal of this program is to cultivate and inspire the next generation of Maine's wilderness leaders. 

Since 2009, Friends of Baxter State Park has offered the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program at no cost to participants. The program is open to sophomores and juniors currently enrolled in a Maine high school, as well as Maine homeschool students in those grades. There is a competitive application process with a deadline of February 15, 2022. Applications must be submitted online. Ten participants and six alternates will be selected in March, and notified by early April. 

Participants will study wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history, and recreation. They will climb Katahdin, volunteer with a Ranger, learn field ecology skills from a botanist, paint with a professional artist, and much more. Participants have described this program as “life-changing” and “the best learning experience I’ve ever had.” The program also includes readings and assignments in preparation for the field experience. After returning home, each participant will give a public presentation in his or her community.

To learn more or apply for the program, please click here.