Teens to Trails Grants-to-Clubs program awards 18 high school outing clubs. Financial grants totaling $8,400 and equipment awards valued at approximately $950 will help strengthen outing clubs across the state.

Outing Clubs at Messalonskee High School, Gardiner High School, Monmouth Academy, Madison Area Memorial High School, Carrabec High School, and Maine Academy of Natural Science were among 18 Maine high School outing clubs to receive grants this year.

The Messalonskee club plans to use their award to fund trips and the purchase of club supplies. Bryan Quiqley, Outing Club advisor at Messalonskee said, “We would not have a club without Teens to Trails. Last year we got a grant from (Teens to Trails) and that’s what got us off the ground. We have no school funding. This year’s money will be used for more gear and to attend (Teens to Trails’) Spring Thing program, and we have 60 kids in the club! We loved rafting and hanging out with kids from other schools around the state, some of them are
still in touch,” according to a Teens to Trails news release.

The Gardiner Outing Club received funds to make their successful “Hurried Hikes” series available to more students. Advisor Sharon Gallant said in their grant application that her club has learned “some potential members can’t attend (outings) on the weekend.
In response to this issue, my Outing Club members will be offering “”Hurried Hikes”” down to Cobbossee Stream during study halls throughout the day. During the fall, students will walk down and in the winter, we will snowshoe down.” Grant money will be used to purchase snowshoes for this program, according to the release.

Monmouth Academy students will use their grant to purchase an Outing Club group water filter and to partially fund a trip to the Allagash. The filter will allow the students, who are in charge of planning all of the trips, more flexibility in planning outings where students won’t have to carry all of the drinking water for the trip, according to the release.

While the Madison school’s club was able to use funds from the Drug Free Communities Grant to help reduce participation fees, advisor Stephany Perkins, said that the club’s greatest barrier to offering trips is the high cost of transportation and that the $500 grant award would be used to cover transportation costs for trips outside of the immediate area, according to the release.

Carrabec High School’s advisor Tammy Long plans to use their club’s award funds to take the group on a winter overnight at Maine Huts and Trails, according to the release.

Maine Academy of Natural Sciences grant award will primarily be used to purchase equipment. Planned uses include purchasing supplies to maintain and repair six trail bikes that the school currently owns. The MEANS Outdoor Club would like to take on the task of keeping the bikes repaired and in safe working condition so that students can use them throughout the year. In addition, they will also receive some gear from the Teens to Trails gear donation program, according to the release.

Other Outing Clubs that received assistance this year include: Brunswick High School, Cheverus High School, Dirigo High School, Fryeburg Academy, John Bapst Memorial High School, Mountain Valley High School, Mt. Ararat High School, The New School, Old Orchard Beach High School, Sacopee Valley High School, South Portland, and Spruce Mountain High School.

For more information on the Grants-to-Clubs program, Teens To Trails and Outing Clubs, visit www.TeensToTrails.org.