Explore Baxter State Park

Nearly a decade ago, Friends of Baxter State Park approached Chewonki to invite us to collaborate with them to develop and lead a leadership program for Maine youth. Friends of Baxter State Park invites current, motivated Maine high school sophomores and juniors to apply for a leadership program that includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park. This 200,000+ acre preserve serves as an outdoor classroom as participants backpack from one end of the Park to the other, working with a variety of specialists and Park staff to understand the wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history, and recreation.


Applications are due in February of each year. Ten participants and six alternates are selected in March. The program begins in April when participants receive required reading materials and other assignments. They then participate in online discussions and do individual research before going to the Park. The field experience of the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program is tentatively scheduled for early August. Final dates will be announced in January after reservations are secured from Baxter State Park. After the trip, participants give public presentations to share their experience in their schools and communities.

Thanks to support from generous donors and members of Friends of Baxter State Park, there is no direct cost to the students. Trip leadership and logistics are provided by Chewonki.

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