In order to give campers and parents an inside look at Frost Valley’s Maine AT Adventure Trip, Adventure Director Zach Eigenbrodt answered some questions parents and campers might have about the trip.
1. Can you describe the campers this trip would be well suited for?
“The trip is for high schoolers entering the ninth through twelfth grade. The Maine AT Adventure trip is a great opportunity for campers who are looking to take the next step in becoming an outdoor leader because they will each take turns being responsible for everyone in the group while out on the trail. It’s ideal for campers who are extremely passionate about being in nature and have a willingness to rough it in the wilderness. Campers should also have a high level of endurance for hiking five to twelve miles per day for 24 days carrying 30-40 pound backpacks.”
2. What prior experience or approval is necessary to register for this trip?
“Some prior experience is recommended for this trip either on another Frost Valley Adventure Trip or a similar experience. Campers should also have high endurance and a strong desire to be in the wilderness and have a primitive camping experience. If you are unsure if this trip is a good fit for your camper, please email Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk about it.”
3. Who will lead the trip? Can you speak about their qualifications/experience?
“There will be two returning Frost Valley trip leaders who have years of prior experience with our Adventure Trip Program. Our Frost Valley staff members have Wilderness First Responder certification, which is the premiere emergency medical training for leaders in remote areas. They also undergo a rigorous two-week training process at Frost Valley prior to leaving for the trip.”
4. Which trail will the campers will be on?
“Campers will hike through The Hundred-Mile Wilderness, a the section of the Appalachian Trail running between Abol Bridge just south of Baxter State Park and Monson in the state of Maine.”
5. What skills will they learn during the program?
“Campers will learn how to use a map and compass, how to pack a backpack, and back-country camping skills. They will also develop self-confidence and resilience as they backpack nearly 150 miles through the Maine wilderness. Each camper will learn valuable leadership skills as they take turns being leader of the day, during which they are responsible for waking up the other campers, and making the majority of the decisions for the group with assistance from the trip leaders.”
6. Which Leave No Trace Seven Principles© will they learn?
“In order to create as little environmental impact as possible while on the trip or camping out, campers will learn the Leave No Trace Seven Principles© including: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.”
7. What kind of meals will the campers have during the trip?
“The campers will have breakfasts that include things like oatmeal, granola, and cereals. The campers will do a lot of snacking during the day to keep their energy up. They’ll have things like tortillas with soy nut butter and granola bars. Dinner will include hot meals that include pasta and other grains, vegetables, bean burritos, and soups.”
8. What other activities will the campers participate in outside of hiking?
“Campers will enjoy beautiful vistas. The trip will be full of opportunities to develop interpersonal skills as the campers learn to rely on each other and work as a team. There will be journaling and time for self-reflection in this serene and majestic environment.”
9. Is there anything you’d like campers to know about the Maine AT Adventure Trip?
“This trip is the pinnacle experience through the Frost Valley Trips Program. Campers will be out on the trail for a month, exploring some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness regions in the Northeast. They will be challenged to step out of their comfort zones as they transverse almost 150 miles, culminating in a hike to the top of Mount Katahdin, the tallest peak in Maine at 5,267 feet. During this trip, the campers will truly discover their inner strength and resilience at a critical time in their teen years, which could have a positive impact on their lives for years to come. The amount of personal growth experienced by campers during the course of this trip will be incredible and they will leave with a profound sense of accomplishment.”
10. If a camper doesn’t meet the age or experience requirements for the Maine AT Adventure Trip, what other trips would you recommend?
“If a camper didn’t meet the age requirements or is a new adventurer, I would recommend the Adirondack Trail Builders Adventure Trip or one of the other Service Trips, or the new All-Female Leadership Trips.