Week two found Adventures for Girls participants paddling rivers and lakes, hiking through woods and over mountains, and exploring the coastline of Maine — all the while acquiring skills necessary both for traveling in the wilderness and learning about living in their respective trip communities. While base-camping at the Hermitage, an area of old growth forest, the young women on the Maine AT discovered a penchant for writing “wilderness raps” and identifying wildlife before loading packs on their backs and beginning to log the miles from the East Branch to Cooper Brook and Antlers before settling in for some rest days at Fourth Debsconeag. They are loving life on the trail and enjoying each other’s company. When I met up with the Maine Woods Explorers at Big Eddy, they had already completed their hikes up Doubletop Mountain, Blueberry Ledges, and had a reintroduction to canoe paddling. We shared mail call, chocolate chip cookies, and lots of laughs as the girls regaled me with their funny accounts of being “in the field.” Although it was a misty evening, sunny skies the next morning beckoned them to the St. Croix River where they will spend the next seven days paddling and watching out for eagles, osprey, and the elusive (and huge!) old turtle. After leaving Camden Hills, the Downeast Maine Explorers traversed the byways of Scraggly and Juno lakes, perfecting their “j strokes” and their roles on “crew” before traveling to Acadia National Park – currently celebrating its 100th anniversary. As we spent time together during their last resupply, the girls recalled being surprised by the bugs (the amount, not the type), the beauty of the landscape, and how much they enjoyed the company of each other. We shared brownies and fresh cherries and many laughs while they finished writing their letters to home and setting up their tent sites. While in Acadia, this group looks forward to discovering tide pools, summiting Cadillac Mountain, and taking in the breathtaking scenery on a bike ride. In a few short days, our adventurers will arrive back on campus for a final banquet and closing campfire where they will share about their trips through song and skits. We look forward to hearing more about their travels and lessons learned about nature, each other, and themselves as we celebrate their return. See more photos of Adventures for Girls on our Flickr page.