BELFAST — Friends of Baxter State Park is accepting applications from Maine high school sophomores and juniors to participate in the eighth annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program.

The program includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for Aug. 6 to 14. The application deadline for the program is Monday, Feb. 8.

The program offers 10 high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to spend nine days immersed in an example of wild country in Maine. Accompanied by experienced wilderness leaders from the Chewonki Foundation, participants learn from a variety of specialists as they backpack from one end of Baxter State Park to the other.

Participants study wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history and recreation. They hike with a geologist, volunteer with a Ranger and paint at Katahdin Lake with a professional artist. These experiences help inspire and challenge emerging young wilderness leaders.

The program includes readings and assignments in preparation for the field experience. After returning from the park, each participant gives a public presentation in his or her community.

Friends of Baxter State Park offers the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program at no cost to participants.

Only students who are currently enrolled as a sophomore or junior in a Maine high school are eligible to apply online. Ten participants and six alternates will be announced in March.

FMI:, Friends of Baxter State Park at P.O. Box 322, Belfast, ME 04915.

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