Outdoors

“Teens To Trails” Announces Grants for 18 High School Outing Clubs

Posted Dec. 24, 2012, at 8:10 a.m.

EDGECOMB, MAINE / December 24, 2012 – Teens To Trails or “T3” is pleased to announce this year’s Outing Club grant recipients from 18 high schools across the State including four brand new teen Outing Club programs. Grant awards were made to:

Ashland Community High School

Brunswick High School

Biddeford High School

Bonny Eagle High School

Bucksport High School

Cape Elizabeth High School

Central Aroostook Jr-Sr High School

Cheverus High School

Dirigo High School

George Stevens Academy

Hall-Dale High School

Machias Memorial High School

Maine Central Institute

Marshwood High School

Monmouth Academy

Mt Ararat High School

Portland High School

Thornton Academy

“High school Outing Clubs are the most effective way we have found for engaging teens in their natural world, with the potential to make fun safe outdoor experiences accessible to every Maine student,” said Carol Leone, Teens To Trails Founder. These schools were awarded support funds totaling almost $9,000 from Teens To Trails to help more teens get active outside. These grants were made possible by ongoing support from L.L.Bean and generous grants from The Davis Conservation Foundation and The North Face Explore Fund.

Since the inception of the Grants-to-Clubs Program, T3 has awarded 69 grants in support of Maine high school Outing Club programs thanks to the support of Maine businesses and foundations as well as many heartfelt personal donations. This year, assistance with transportation costs helped to eliminate one huge hurdle these schools face in getting their students outdoors. In addition, these grants allowed Outing Clubs to purchase needed outdoor gear & clothing, obtain safety training for leaders, cover recreational fees, and ensure trips are accessible to all students regardless of their financial situation. “We’re excited to use this T3 grant to help our Outing Club grow!” says Megan Fowler, who is leading a newer Outing Club at Ashland District School. Outing Club Advisor at Hall-Dale High School Deb Large proclaims that these funds will help them tackle their goal to hike “a mountain a month!” Biddeford High School’s Outing Club is in its second year. Along with introducing many teenagers to the outdoors for the first time, “the Outing Club is an opportunity for students to be involved with pro-social fun activities, have adult mentors, develop positive relationships, learn leadership skills, develop skills in lifelong sports, and make a difference in their community. It is a win-win-win-win-win-win,” writes Britton Wolfe, Principal at Biddeford High School. Teens To Trails is thrilled to be able to give a boost to these amazing individuals who, as Dirigo’s Outing Club Advisor Karolyn Buotte sums up, “believe that young people need to be outside often!”

With increasing research confirming that positive outdoor experiences are critical to the overall health and well being of young people, these Outing Clubs need to be encouraged and supported. “It is our goal to establish an Outing Club in every one of Maine’s high schools,” said Leone. “The Grants-to-Clubs program helps Outing Clubs get started and stay active.”

About TEENS TO TRAILS:

Teens To Trails is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all-volunteer organization engaging Maine teens in the outdoors. T3’s goal is to establish an Outing Club in every Maine high school community, thereby promoting fun outdoor adventures, healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship. For more information on the Grants-to-Clubs program and Teens To Trails, visit www.TeensToTrails.org.

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