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Outing Club receives grant
DIXFIELD- The Dirigo High School Outing Club was recently granted $500 by Teens To Trails, a statewide nonprofit organization to help motivate teens to get outside.
“This has been a great boost in our club,” noted Karolyn Buotte, club supervisor/English teacher. “We have a great group of teens who are ready to put the money to good use.”
T3 was able to award more than $9,000 to support 18 outing clubs throughout the state, including four new programs. The grants were made possible by the generous support of L.L. Bean, The North Face Explore Fund and other private contributors.
The DHS Outing Club is comprised of mostly juniors and seniors and they have four upperclassmen officers who serve as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president. This year, those positions are held by Seth Tacheny (S), Silvia Lutick (T), Sawyer Smith (VP) and Kate Bonney (P).
The teens have gone on hiking expeditions along the Appalachian Trail for both day and overnight stays, they work together during the fall months to keep in shape for sports by running, playing soccer, hiking, mountain biking and various other activities.
In the winter months the teens snowshoe and ski various mountains throughout the area, including Mt. Blue, Whitecap, Bald and Zircon.
The group has hopes to be able to purchase rain/wind gear and tents for their outings, as the tents they currently use are regular tents and weigh too much to be packing up a mountain. And, with everyone not owning their individual rain/wind gear, this will allow the club to have a first-come first-serve sign out routine for gear that is available.
When asked why they decided to become involved in the club, Montana Sawtelle noted, “My sister did it when she was in school and really enjoyed it. We live in the mountains, I love it there and I wanted to experience it through school, too.”
Sawyer Smith added, “My parents have always done a lot of outdoor activities with me in my life and I wanted to do more of it through school. It’s a great time.”
The group organizes various fundraisers to help support their efforts and has hopes to continue fundraising in order to have t-shirts printed up for everyone in the group.
They are also planning a culmination trip for the end of the year, with rafting being the most popular choice among the students.
Teens to Trails is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization engaging Maine teens in the outdoors. Its goal is to establish an outing club in every Maine high school community.
For more information on Teens to Trails and the grant program, visit www.teenstotrails.org.