Although Centennial summer began with showers, a bit of rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Downeast Maine Explorers as they arrived at Chewonki on Opening Day. As the eleven girls gathered from near and far, they put up their tent sites like pros, set about getting to know each other, and did the “duffle shuffle” in preparation for their upcoming departure. A first night tradition at Chewonki is to gather around a campfire. This year the girls and their trip leaders held their own campfire to welcome and celebrate one another through song, story, and introductions. It was a fitting ritual in which to recognize and honor the journey that awaits them. After an early breakfast, the next day was filled with final trip preparations. Besides checking their gear and supplies, each girl and trip leader made a prayer flag created as both homage and commitment to the values each was important to build and sustain their trip community. They also created luminarias that will be kept back at camp to light the path to their final camp fire on Hoyt’s Point at the end of session.
Sunny skies greeted the Downeast Maine Explorers as they departed for their trip on Thursday. They set their base camp in Camden Hills State Park, hiked Mt. Megunticook and Bald Rock, and took a boat trip to Monhegan Island where they hiked for the day. Today they transition to Machias Lake where they will put in, paddle, and portage through the Downeast Lakes for the next seven days. Afterwards, they will transition to Acadia National Park where they will pick up fresh supplies for the last week of their trip before returning to Chewonki and their final camp fire. Great adventures await the Downeast Explorers and great memories are being made as they explore the wilderness of the beautiful state of Maine.
–Nancy Kennedy, Visiting Director of Girls Program Development