After three weeks of hiking, biking, and paddling in the Maine wilderness, participants in Adventures for Girls’ Session I have celebrated the end of this summer’s expeditions. Although we appreciated the sunny skies that shone over us on Closing Day, it was still hard to accept that our time together had so quickly slipped by. Returning adventurers and their leaders have described the past week as full of personal and community accomplishments, discoveries about the world and self-discoveries, and, now, memories that I know will last a lifetime. The Downeast Maine Explorers took to Acadia National Park for the last leg of their journey, biking the park’s famous carriage trails, exploring the dramatic shoreline there, and earning their Acadia Junior Ranger badges. By the end of their trip, this group had learned new languages and new songs and had acquired a deep appreciation for the beauty of the coast of Maine and the peacefulness one can find in unspoiled landscapes. The Maine Woods Explorers were busy discovering the St. Croix River, paddling, portaging, and lining their canoes, depending on the height of the river, which rose significantly between the beginning and the end of their excursion. Along the way, they met a giant snapping turtle (and his smaller friends), lots of birds, and a snake or two, as they danced, sang, ate, and laughed from Spruce Cove to Kelly Land. After one last resupply at Abol Campground, just outside Baxter State Park, the Maine Appalachian Trail group entered the park and climbed to the top of legendary Mount Katahdin. At 5,267 feet, this is by far the highest mountain in Maine, and it’s a challenging climb. Participants met that challenge the same way they had all previous ones: with grit, grace, and great humor. Our final campfire, shared together here on Chewonki Neck, was poignant. We recounted to each other lessons learned, challenges overcome, and friendships forged, collectively weaving a story about our growing understanding and appreciation of the natural world, the ingredients we need to cultivate sustainable communities, and the experience of transformative growth. We closed Session I with gratitude for the past three weeks together, for the adventures themselves and for our fellow adventurers, who encouraged one another to discover the unique strengths, skills, and inner gifts we each have and can offer to the world for good. I wish all my adventurers a wonderful rest of the summer! -Nancy Kennedy, Director Adventures for Girls Learn more about Chewonki Adventures for Girls.