BETHEL — Mahoosuc Pathways and the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond are teaming up for the second consecutive year of leadership training for 10 high school students.

Gabe Perkins, an employee of Mahoosuc Pathways, said the two organizations are paying 10 students to get leadership training by helping Mahoosuc Pathways build trails on local public conservation lands in August.

The project, called the Oxford County Conservation Corps, began two years earlier, Perkins said, after Mahoosuc Pathways began looking for a way to get students involved in building and maintaining local trails.

“The idea sort of began with Mahoosuc Pathways, and the UMaine 4-H camp was just a natural partner,” Perkins said. “We raised some money and found trails that needed work.”

Perkins said Mahoosuc Pathways was able to get funding through the town of Woodstock, the Davis Conservation Committee in Bethel, the Sunday River Charitable Foundation and the Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden fund.

The 10 students receive a week of leadership training at the camp before visiting the trails.


“Last year, we worked on trails at Mt. Will in Bethel,” Perkins said. “This year, we’ll be returning to Mt. Will, and will work on some trails at Puzzle Mountain, Woodstock Elementary School and Overset Pond.”

The students previously took classes with the University of Maine 4-H camp, Perkins said.

“This year, there was a little competition to see which kids would get the job,” he said. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for younger students to get some experience in the working world, and to do something for the community.”

The Good Food Store has donated food for the students’ lunches.

Perkins is looking for the program to continue in the future.

“I hope to see this thing continuing,” he said. “We’re always looking for new kids and new trails to work on.”

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