AMC offers outdoor education to Piscataquis County youth

The Appalachian Mountain Club, an outdoor organization with chapters spanning from Maine to Washington, D.C., has recently turned their attention to the young people of Piscataquis County.

Clint Hensley, courtesy of AMC

As part of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, AMC has recently named Bowdoinham native Clint Hensley the organization’s new Piscataquis County Education Programs Coordinator. From AMC’s Greenville office, Hensley will spearhead expanded efforts by AMC to help young people in Piscataquis County learn about and connect with the wilderness in their own back yards.

“It’s vitally important for kids to be engaged in outdoor activities, and the local woods, mountains, waters, and trails provide ideal settings for fun and discovery,” said Hensley in a recent AMC press release. “Outdoor experiences enhance the growth of young people across all three developmental domains: intellectual, social and physical. I’m thrilled to be working with AMC and local educators to help local kids learn about, explore, and enjoy the outdoors.”

Hensley will work in the region to provide programs for schools, community organizations and families, building on AMC’s Moosehead Area Schools Project, which AMC developed to offer outdoor experiences for every student in the county at least three times during their school career.

Hensley has been designated as the on-the-ground coordinator for the new AMC Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project. The program is designed to assist local educators in incorporating engaging, place-based education into ongoing curricula through both day and overnight programs and to provide youth and their families with fun, outdoor learning experiences. Place-based education immerses students in the heritage, landscape, and culture of their communities, and creates a unifying foundation for teaching traditional school subjects while expanding the classroom into the schoolyards, public lands and special places of a region.

Interested teachers or school administrators can contact Hensley at (207) 695-3085 or chensley@outdoors.org for more information. He is based out of the AMC’s office at 15 Moosehead Lake Rd. in Greenville, Maine.

About Hensley

Hensley, a certified Wilderness First Responder, holds a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, and a master of education degree in environmental education from Western Washington University-Huxley College of the Environment, in Bellingham, Wash.

After pursuing higher education and working for the Peace Corps in Romania, Hensley is pleased to be back in his home state, working with community members, teachers and students.

About AMC Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project

The AMC Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project is funded by the family of Malcolm Hecht, Jr.

The effort is part of the Maine Woods Initiative, AMC’s approach to land conservation that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region. The initiative supports local forest products jobs and recreation, creating new multi-day experiences for visitors and attracting new nature-based tourism to the region. More information on the Maine Woods Initiative can be found at www.outdoors.org/mwi.

About AMC

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is America’s oldest conservation and recreation organization. With more than 100,000 members, advocates, and supporters in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.

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Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.