MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE and Teens to Trails Partner to Increase Outdoor Opportunities for Maine Teens; Schools Can Apply NOW


Through a new partnership between the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Teens to Trails, schools serving teens are encouraged to apply for $500-$1500 which includes training and start-up support for school-based outing clubs.

winter hikingWAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students), a program of the Maine DOE, provides meaningful opportunities for Maine teens to engage socially with peers online or outdoors. Teens to Trails is a Maine organization whose mission is to connect high school students to life-changing outdoor experiences.
“We are thrilled by this partnership,” said WAVES Project Director Sarah Woog. “Teens to Trails is a Maine-based non-profit with proven expertise and passion for getting teens outside! Teens to Trails and WAVES have the shared goal of increasing Maine teens’ engagement with the outdoors. Together, we are excited to leverage our organizations’ resources and work collaboratively with schools to give all Maine students the opportunities they deserve.”

“In 2020, 53% of Americans participated in outdoor recreation, the highest participation rate on record,” said Teens to Trails Director Alicia Heyburn. “Outdoor spaces became places of refuge to safely socialize, improve physical health and connect with friends and family. Schools have an important role to play in continuing this positive trend by redefining the learning environment and using the outdoors to support the social and emotional wellbeing of students. The partnership between Teens to Trails and WAVES means that schools have trusted support to invest in making the outdoors welcoming and accessible to all students.”

Teens to Trails and the Maine DOE are eager to support an outing club at your school. School-based educators, with their administrators’ consent, are welcome to apply on behalf of their school. The application is simple, and the rewards are immense. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the final deadline to apply is September 17.

Eligible schools:

  • Serve Maine teens;
  • Have the support of the school principal school administration;
  • Have school staff/faculty member as club advisor;
  • Commit to participating in two Teens to Trails programs in the first year;
  • Are able to demonstrate how funding will increase access to the outdoors for teens who may not otherwise engage.

Schools who receive funding may expect the following support:

  • Funds may be used for a club advisor stipend;
  • Access to Teens to Trails Club Hub for tips on running a sustainable club;
  • Professional Development day for outdoor club advisor(s);
  • Free summer white water rafting trip for club advisors to network and have fun;
  • Back-to-school student outdoor club recruitment materials;
  • Option to join four outdoor weekends with clubs from around the state;
  • Spring and Fall Trip Lotteries to win pre-planned adventures;
  • Access to gear to keep students warm and comfortable;
  • Ongoing support from Teens to Trails staff, including support planning for sustainability.

Please submit your application at your earliest convenience to secure funding and begin planning for YOUR school’s Outing Club! Find more information and apply here.
Please reach out to with any questions or feedback – WAVES and Teens to Trails will be in touch shortly!