UNION — Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit applications to participate in the sixth annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. The program includes a nine-day field experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for Aug. 2-10. The application deadline is Feb. 8.

The program embodies the central mission of FBSP to promote education about the values of wilderness preservation at Baxter State Park. Thanks to the support of generous donors and collaboration with Baxter State Park and the Chewonki Foundation, Friends of Baxter State Park is able to offer this program at no direct cost to the students.

Ten high school sophomores and juniors have an extraordinary opportunity to spend eight nights immersed in the finest example of wild country in Maine. In Baxter State Park, they share in an experience that is becoming rare. Beyond the amazing personal experience, the participants also learn a very important message to share in their schools and communities: wilderness preservation is an essential value for humans as well as for all other species that rely upon this land.

Accompanied by experienced wilderness leaders from the Chewonki Foundation, participants work with a variety of specialists as they backpack from one end of Baxter State Park to the other, camping at different sites, including three nights in the backcountry at Russell Pond. Understanding wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history and recreation instills an appreciation of the wild lands of Baxter State Park.

For more information about the application process see www.friendsofbaxter.org or contact Friends of Baxter State Park at [email protected] or write to PO Box 609, Union, ME 04862.

To learn more about Baxter State Park, go to www.baxterstateparkauthority.com. To learn more about Chewonki, go to www.chewonki.org.

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