The Outdoor Insider
Maine Outdoor School's Quarterly E-Newsletter
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.
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:
MOS “bumpah stickahs,” available for $5 each and support MOS programming. Please check out our new “MOS Swag” page to order yours! It makes a big difference to get our name and logo out and about so new people learn about us and others are reminded about us.
Guided Experiences: Hazel and Joe are Registered Maine Guides, offering educational paddling adventures on inland waters, hiking, “Knit & Summits," and fishing. Check out our new Guided Experiences page for more information and our feature on Back 40 Adventures about our "Crepuscular Crawl."
Nurture in Nature: Outdoor Childcare Services This is just one more way we're diversifying to get more people outside and curious about the world around them.
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
Microadventure-focused teacher workshop in Jonesport
Built a living willow shelter with Jonesport 2nd Graders (watch the hyperlapse video of the project here!)
Led fly-tying workshops with Downeast Salmon Federation in Grand Lake Stream, at the Smelt Fry in Columbia Falls, the Dorcas Library, Cohill's Inn in Lubec, and schools in Beals, Cherryfield, and Ellsworth
3rd grade radio project during Milbridge Thursday Forays
“Nature’s Numbers” Forest Fridays with Jonesport Grades 1 and 2
Harrington Whole School Programs
"Who lives here?" Forest Fridays with Jonesport Grade 3
Allegany Nature Pilgrimage Workshops and Presentation
Great Wass Trash Clean-Up with Beals Grades 5-8 and Volunteers
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!
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.
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.