Photo Credit: Billy Fay

Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program

Our flagship program for youth, the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program is designed to cultivate and inspire the next generation of Maine's environmental leaders. Friends of Baxter State Park has offered this program annually since 2009. The program includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park. This 200,000+ acre preserve serves as an outdoor classroom as participants backpack from one end of the Park to the other, working with a variety of specialists and Park staff to understand the wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history, and recreation. Alumni of the program continue to describe the MYWLP in superlatives such as “life-changing”, “amazing” and “unforgettable.”

Graduates of the 2015 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program

How to Apply

Current Maine high school sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. The annual application deadline is February 8. Ten participants and six alternates are selected in March. The program begins in April when participants receive required reading materials and other assignments. They then participate in online discussions and do individual research before going to the Park. The field experience of the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program takes place in early August each year. After the trip, participants give public presentations to share their experience in their schools and communities.

Thanks to support from generous donors and members of Friends of Baxter State Park, there is no direct cost to the students. Trip leadership and logistics are provided by the Chewonki Foundation, one of the most highly respected environmental education organizations in the United States.

Apply Online

The application deadline was February 8, 2017, and the application period is now closed.

Submit a letter of recommendation for an applicant to the 2017 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program.

Questions?

Please contact Friends of Baxter State Park at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (207) 975-3787.

Participants in the 2013 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program on North Traveler mountain. Photo by Will Greene
Participants in the 2016 MYWLP on the summit of Katahdin. Photo by Charlie Caldwell
Barry Dana, former Chief of the Penobscot Nation, teaches native skills to participants in the 2013 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. Photo by Ivy Enoch