The Outdoor Insider

Maine Outdoor School's Quarterly E-Newsletter

Issue #11
July 2019

Maine Outdoor School exists because we believe that personal and community resilience in rural Maine is essential to the resilience of society as a whole. We believe that resilient, flourishing communities are rooted in the careful study of our history and natural surroundings by lifelong learners of all ages, backgrounds, and occupations.

 
New MOS Bumpah Stickahs

New MOS Bumpah Stickahs

Building a Living Willow Shelter in Jonesport

Building a Living Willow Shelter in Jonesport

Great Wass Trash Cleanup

Great Wass Trash Cleanup

Fly-tying at the Dorcas Library

Fly-tying at the Dorcas Library

 

Co-Founders' Note:

Since MOS is so attuned to the school year, summer has actually allowed for a bit of reflection and catching up on paperwork, which actually feels great! This past quarter has probably been MOS’s most exciting quarter yet. We led a lot of programs for nearly 600 people from Pre-K through adulthood (see Tracks below for details) and launched some new offerings, including:


The other fun highlights of this past quarter included being featured in The Ellsworth American (here) and in this article in Maine Terrain. Both illustrate a bit of the MOS story, our goals, and experiences so far.

Enjoy these long, warmer days!

~Hazel and Joe

Tracks:

TracksImage_HoCropped.png

Community Commendations:

Donna Kausen with her boat full of trash! Photo courtesy of Jon Keller.

Donna Kausen with her boat full of trash! Photo courtesy of Jon Keller.

Organizing a shore clean-up requires considerable logistics. It’s one thing to get a school group to collect the trash within the confines of a school day, it’s another to go back and do some further consolidation and bagging, and it’s yet another to figure out a way to get all that trash off the shore--a nearly impossible task for even a group of eager hikers to accomplish. We needed a boat to load up the trash at high tide.

This quarter, our Community Commendation goes to super-volunteer Donna Kausen, who not only captained her boat to the different trash caches along the shores of Great Wass Island, but also got four other people and one other boat to help with the job! Thanks to Donna for her incredible help wrapping up this project with us!

Biomimicry:

Groundhog. Photo Courtesy of Ettore Ballochi.

Groundhog. Photo Courtesy of Ettore Ballochi.

Summer, with its long days matched with all its outdoor recreation opportunities, gardening and lawn chores, and normal day-to-day responsibilities of work and domestic life, always feels like a whirlwind. Put in the wise words of Bilbo Baggins, I often find myself feeling “thin, sort of stretched, like butter spread over too much bread.”

Recently I took a momentary break from checking off items from my to-do list to enjoy the juicy ripeness of a fresh peach. I preemptively went over to the kitchen sink knowing full well that I would have peach juice dripping down my face. After a large, satisfying, and completely messy bite I stood there appreciating the fruit and looked out over the hawkweed that dotted the yard to find that I was being watched by a rotund rodent--a woodchuck. While I have no idea what, if anything, was going through this woodchuck’s mind, it certainly was soaking up the late morning sun as it grazed on clovers and dandelion leaves. It made its way from plant to plant in a relaxed fashion while still pausing vigilantly between mouthfuls to scan for predators. The ‘chuck seemed relaxed, mindful, and present in the season’s bounty.

So this quarter, you could take a note from the woodchuck’s playbook: be present, mindful, and relaxed as you try to make the most of the summer.

 

Resilience Tip: 
People who spend more time in natural environments as children have better mental health outcomes in adulthood.
(Learn more in Psychology Today here.)

 
 

What's Upstream: 

First off, we’ll be teaching teens about nutrient cycling and its relationship to agriculture as a small part of a Healthy Acadia program.

We'll also be sprinkling in some guided trips and planning for the school year, which will be here before we know it! Our school year calendar is getting busier by the moment, so if you’re hoping for a MOS program this fall, please reach out to get it scheduled ASAP!

We also hope to be fulfilling more bumpah stickah orders (wink, wink)!

All MOS programs are fully customizable and suit learners of any age. Visit our website our contact us to learn more.

 
To stay in touch with us and receive more frequent updates, follow us on social media (links below) and visit    our News page   .

To stay in touch with us and receive more frequent updates, follow us on social media (links below) and visit our News page.