“Teens To Trails” Announces Grants for 11 High School Outing Clubs | Community Spirit
T3” is pleased to announce this year’s Outing Club grant recipients from 11 high schools across the State including four brand new teen Outing Club programs. Grant awards were made to: Biddeford High School, Cony High School, Deer Isle-Stonington High School, Deering High School, Dirigo High School, Maine Central Institute, Maine School of Science & Mathematics, Portland High School, South Portland High School, The New School and 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 $5,000 from Teens To Trails to help more teens get active outside. These grants were made possible by ongoing support from L.L.Bean and a generous grant from The Old Bug Light Charitable Foundation.
Through the T3 Grants-to-Clubs program, 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 gear, extend their activity season to include winter months, and ensure trips are accessible to all students regardless of their financial situation. “We believe that an outdoor experience is an excellent way of developing mind, body, and character of students at our school. We look forward to seeing students continue to challenge themselves and to grow through exposure to the outdoors,” writes Ira Waltz, Principal at Deering High School. Britton Wolfe, Principal at Biddeford High School has started a new Outing Club this year because “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.” Alex Mitchell, who oversees the Thorton Academy Outing Club explained that “gear purchased (with grant funds) can be used for years to come and help the club maintain a solid presence in the school in the future.” Since the inception of the Grants-to-Clubs Program, T3 has awarded over 50 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
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.