Thomaston – On December 13th, seniors from the Trekkers’ Leadership Program participated in a two-day training at the Kieve-Wavus Leadership School in Nobleboro. Trekkers, a non-profit, outdoor-based mentoring program connects young people to caring adults through opportunities like the Leadership Program. Through experiential learning and the guidance of six adult mentors, these senior Trekkers participated in the first session of their second year of training in this Trekkers’ program.
Trekkers’ newly expanded Leadership Program runs over the course of two years. Three training weekends are offered to 11th grade students, followed by three training weekends when they progress to the 12th grade. Last weekend was the first leadership weekend of the year for these seniors. Building on the skills they learned as juniors, the group focused on facilitation. Students spent time talking about how to facilitate for a group and about what makes a good initiative. Through group discussion, reflection, games, journaling and team-building activities, these seniors learned skills that will make them effective leaders as students and as adults in the future.
The Leadership Program is led by Executive Director, Don Carpenter, who says, “As we move into year two of our expanded Leadership Program, we are excited to see the students begin to understand how to facilitate, lead team-building activities, and deal with various group dynamics. Students are beginning to put the confidence they gained in year one into action in year two.” Students participating in this program will have the opportunity to use their new skills by volunteering as student leaders on Trekkers expeditions. These expeditions range from 3 to 14 days in length, and provide many ways for student leaders to act as role models, mediators and mentors for the younger Trekkers.
The expanded Leadership Program is part of the growing organization’s plan to build leadership skills and increase the number of student leaders in the years to come. Historically, 46% of Trekkers students participate in the Leadership Program and become peer mentors for the younger students. The expansion of this program is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation’s Knox County Fund.
Trekkers is a non-profit outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. As a preventative, community-based program, Trekkers brings students and adult mentors together to build meaningful relationships over a period of six years. This model, in turn, creates a safety net for local youth who are civically engaged and oftentimes return to Trekkers as adult volunteers themselves. Trekkers serves the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston.