Brendan Schauffler and Jen Szantyr of Oxford SACC hold a check from the Second Nature Adventure Challenge (SNAC).

NORWAY — Local community members rose to meet the Second Nature Adventure Challenge – to get active outdoors over the summer for some healthy fun and to generate $6,000 in cash donations to local out-of-school care programs.

Between July 4 and Labor Day, 280 people recorded outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, biking, swimming, paddling and more, using a user-friendly SNAC Activity Tracker. Many of these folks were outside several times, and often with family, friends and groups, meaning the total number of outdoor adventures recorded was 1,855! This exceeded the goal of 1,500 adventures, and meeting the goal resulted in Maine West contributing $6,000 ($2,000 each) to three local out-of-school care school programs to help pay for supplies, equipment, and transportation needed to help kids enjoy outdoor adventures.

Beneficiaries of the Summer 2022 Second Nature Adventure Challenge included:

  • Bethel Area: Mahoosuc Kids Association
  • Oxford Hills: Oxford SACC
  • River Valley: Western Foothills Kids Association

“We know people sometimes need a little extra incentive to make time to get out and enjoy healthy outdoor activities,” said Brendan Schauffler, facilitator of the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative and
program coordinator for the Challenge. “To provide that extra incentive, the Second Nature Challenge encourages people to combine their enjoyment of nature and outdoor activity with interest in giving back to the community—like supporting local youth programs to get kids out to enjoy nature as well.”

In the past two years, more than 800 Second Nature Challenge participants have completed more than 3,000 outdoor activities and secured $24,000 in contributions to help area non-profits address food insecurity and help get kids active outdoors.

Oxford SACC is excited to be chosen as a recipient of the SNAC funding,” said Program Director Jen Szantyr. “Our program serves over 150 children in Pre-K–6th grade. This funding allows us to include outdoor learning, field trips to explore local trails and State Parks and curriculum that delivers successful informal educational opportunities that positively impact the health of our youth.”

The Second Nature Adventure Challenge is a project of Maine West (—a partnership of local and regional organizations working to enhance community well-being in western Maine through increased collaboration across the economic, education, health and conservation sectors.

Maine West works across the Oxford Hills, River Valley and Bethel-Mahoosuc areas of northern Oxford County, to provide network-based, collaborative programming in three areas: Active Communities, Broadband Access and Adoption, and Educational Attainment and Aspirations.

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