AUGUSTA — The Cony High School Outing Club is one of six Maine high schools to be awarded a Teens to Trails grant.

Each year the Brunswick-based nonprofit offers high school outing clubs across the state the chance to win a $500 grant to use towards trip planning, gear and safety skills and training for club leaders. Brenda Weis, a Wellness teacher and outing club advisor at Cony, applied for the grant in January in hopes of building up gear for future camping trips, as well as renewing her Wilderness First Aid certification to safely lead her club, according to a news release from Teens to Trails.

Cole Hamner, a student at Cony High School in Augusta, recently took part in an ice fishing excursion with the school’s outing club. Contributed photo

Cony students typically raise money for their outing club via an apple pie fundraiser, as well as a bottle redemption collection, but were unable to do so last fall because of COVID-19 restrictions, which makes winning a $500 grant like this one especially meaningful.

Weis, who has led Cony’s Outing Club for 19 years, said the grant provides a wonderful opportunity for her students.

“With the support of the Teens To Trails grant, opportunities are provided that allow my club members to learn skills and gain knowledge that they can use for a lifetime. Being awarded monies to purchase a tent, sleeping bag, and having a portion of my WFA course paid for will contribute to future fun and safety for my students,” Weis said in the release.

Jessyca Nadeau, right, a student at Cony High School in Augusta, with Shawn Johnson during an ice fishing excursion with the school’s outing club. Contributed photo

Through the support of L.L.Bean, Teens to Trails is able to offer financial grants to help strengthen outing clubs throughout the state. Executive Director Alicia Heyburn is thankful for the ongoing support of Teens to Trails donors, whose generosity enables the organization’s mission to create life-changing outdoor experiences for high school students.

“Our Grants-to-Clubs program offers a chance for us to turn the tables, as we get to write the checks,” Heyburn said, according to the release. “We are so pleased to help the Cony Outing Club and the great experiences Brenda Weis offers her students.”

Since 2008, Teens To Trails has awarded more than $73,000 in grants to Outing Clubs through the Grants-To-Clubs Program.