Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Extra: Maine Grows the Movement

Maine Governor John Baldacci just announced Maine's new "Take It Outside!" initiative.
The purpose of the campaign is to spur government agencies and outdoor organizations to develop ways to get youngsters to overcome inactivity and spend more time outside. A Blaine House Conference on Youth and the Natural World will be held next spring to consider the ideas.

This is a good move by the Pine Tree State, which has extraordinary natural resources whether they're mountains, forests, rivers, or rugged coastline.

I attribute a lot of my interest in wilderness to experiences I had running Maine rivers like the West Branch of the Penobscot and the Kennebec and paddling lakes like Moosehead and Chesuncook when I was a teen. The program that took us to these wonderful places, called the Maine National High Adventure Area at the time, (early 70s)was run by the National Council of the BSA and it offered true a wilderness experience for 14 year old kids like me. While the National Council dropped the program some years back (A tremendous mistake in my eyes), the local Scout folks still run it much the same as before, Calling it Maine High Adventure. Here's a shot of us sailing south on Moosehead Lake towards Kineo.

We crossed the entire Lake that day in a rig of five canoes tied together with a dining fly sail in just over 3 hours. I was 17 on that trip, as I recall.

Kudos to Governor Baldacci for growing the Movement.