“I didn’t really know what to expect – leaving the camp that I had loved each summer for the last five years – to live in tents, climb mountains, raft down rapid rivers, and scale rock faces by the ocean.” – a MWA camper
Each summer, eight 14-year old boys are selected from the Birch Rock community to take part in the Maine Wilderness Adventure Program, a three-week endurance challenge that puts a boy’s confidence to the test. The program, which runs during the second session of the camp, asks boys to hike difficult parts of the Appalachian Trail, scale cliffs in Acadia National Park, raft down the rapids of the Allagash River and camp out, living out of backpacks for the entire trip.
“Last summer, it was the rain that almost did us in! It rained almost every day during our hiking, boating, and climbing trips. I don’t think my socks were dry for more than a day at a time. And yet, it was the best summer adventure I ever had!” – a MWA camper
Living out of a backpack for three weeks can be a major challenge. But, boys at 14 – especially those who have been at Birch Rock – a wilderness camp in Waterford Maine – for the last few summers and have heard others talk about this program – look forward to this camp rite of passage with great excitement.
“It was a chance for me to get away from the daily camp structure and commune with nature on a very up-close and personal level. At camp, we had done camping trips that last a few nights. But, I was pleasantly surprised by how well we all took to our new, camping lifestyle. It was like we were on a special trek that no one else knew about. All of us, I think, really bonded and got close on the trail.” – a MWA Camper