BRUNSWICK — Teens to Trails is introducing the Life Happens Outside Challenge for Maine middle and high schools, to foster an appreciation for the outdoors and its multitude of wellness benefits.

The challenge takes place Saturday through Friday, Oct. 23-29, and is designed to get students active and connected to the outdoors. Arcadia, a climate crisis-fighting tech company, is providing a $1,000 reward to the three Maine middle and high schools with the highest amount of outdoor time proportional to their school size.

To participate in the challenge week, students will track and submit their activity online. All outdoor activities, at home or at school, count towards earning points, from exploring a local trail with friends to biking to doing homework outside. Teens to Trails will calculate the winners based on total hours divided by school population, so large and small schools have equal chances to win. The three schools with the most hours — one from northern Maine, one from central Maine and one from southern Maine — will be awarded $1,000 to further outdoor access for their students.

“We are so excited to offer the Life Happens Outside Challenge to Maine middle and high schools, and are thankful to Arcadia for making this fantastic opportunity possible,” said Alicia Heyburn, executive director of Teens to Trails, according to a news release from the nonprofit. “We cannot wait to see the outdoor activities teenagers select, and hope that the time outside will bring a revitalized appreciation for the benefits of fresh air and time to just be in nature.”

To celebrate the challenge, Arcadia is giving Maine residents $50 toward their power bills when they sign up for community solar at

Schools interested in participating in the challenge can visit Registration is free, and schools will receive promotional materials to help spread the word.

Student outdoor hours must be submitted via a provided Google form by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29. Winners will be announced Thursday, Nov. 4.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: