To teenagers from a teacher:

It’s a whole new world for high school students these days. Teachers are bombarding you with remote-learning lessons, you are suddenly isolated from your friends, and your social media “news” feeds are shouting gloom and doom with every ping and ring-tone. On top of this, you have lost your school athletics and any normal exercise routine. Could there be a better remedy for the stress and uncertainties than a little time outdoors?

We are lucky to live here in Maine. Time outdoors has not been cancelled! Take a walk down your road. A late-season snowshoe might still be possible for some. Find a local land trust trail. It does not have to be a grand excursion. It can be as simple as a 10-minute sit-down on the back steps to listen to the birds or gaze at the moon. Ask your teacher to design a lesson that involves being outside, such as nature journaling or physical activity. Design your own! Whatever you choose, do something outside each day.

And please, take care. Rescue personnel are needed for the pandemic, so stay out of the back country and avoid risky situations. On top of the new physical distancing norms, remember your bike helmet, your reflective gear, and your tick repellent. Stay off the late season ice, and tell someone where you are going. Grab a hat and a sweatshirt, and go for it. You will feel better, your appetite will be better, and you will sleep well tonight.

 

Ralph Keyes

science teacher, Wiscasset Middle High School

board member, Teens to Trails


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