Update from Emma Carlson, Program Director of Summer Wilderness Trips I’ve done a lot of hiking and paddling in the rain. As a younger person, I could be grumpy about rain—it felt like an annoying interruption, literally a “wet blanket” over my fun. As I grew up and spent time outdoors with wise teachers, I came to see rain differently. Now I think of it as an opportunity to test my wilderness skills: Do I remember how to tie the tarp up so it sheds water? Can I unpack and repack my gear without getting anything wet? And I see rain as a way to be more at one with the natural world, blurring the boundaries between my mind and body and the environment around me. Okay, I’m wet–and so is everything else around me. We’re sharing the same elements. I’m part of nature in a way I’m not indoors or even under an umbrella. On Monday here in Wiscasset, the rain made it look as if someone was pouring a bucket of water down my window. I thought of our bold adventurers, and smiled. Yes, most were probably getting wet, but their gear is in a waterproof bag and they’ve got the equipment and skills to reach their campsite and get dry. All’s well in the rain. Today? We’ve got a perfectly clear blue arc of sky. That’s summer in Maine! The three 10-day Debsconeag Adventurers headed off on their canoe trips last Friday. They hiked from camp out to Nahmakanta Lake, where two groups are based, while the third group will camp and paddle at Pollywog Pond. All 22 girls participated in packing trip food while their leaders gathered equipment. They measured macaroni, counted bagels, washed lettuce and tomatoes, and organized everything by meal–in record time: one hour! The Allagash Canoers have been paddling their way toward Allagash Lake, where they will pick up fresh supplies on Wednesday. It’s hard to convey the beauty of this lake, where no motorized craft of any kind are allowed. I’m sure the girls are enjoying the almost palpable sense of peace. After hiking up the cliff trail to feast on blueberries last week, the Debsconeag Explorers are currently in the midst of a 4-day hike around Nahmakanta Lake and back to camp. They enjoyed the luxury of joining the Appalachian Trail just outside camp and followed that till they reached one of the Debsconeag Backcountry trails that will bring them “home.” The Nahmakanta Explorers began hiking in Baxter State Park and took a day hike up Doubletop; they had great views of Mount Katahdin from the top. This view gives you a good sense of the immensity of Percival Baxter’s vision for a great park in the North Woods. Afterwards they drove to Abol Pines on the Appalachian Trail, left their van, and began backpacking back to Fourth Debsconeag. Enjoy the weather—whatever it is, wherever you are! See more photos of Chewonki’s Adventures for Girls trips on our Flickr page.