WCCC Students Share World-Class Local Expeditions

March 27, 2017

The senior students of Washington County Community College’s Adventure Recreation program have been on a series of major expeditions over the course of their two years at WCCC, all of them within drivable distance. To highlight their expeditions, the students gave a slideshow presentation at the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono on March 12th.

Presenting at a tradeshow is among the requirements for the senior capstone class in Adventure Recreation. The five seniors – Abbie Kemmerer, Phil Atwood, Kayla Carter, Curtis Paradis and Zach Murray – decided to make their presentation about the program in general and how all of the expeditions have been within a three-hour drive from Calais.

Those who hike the Appalachian Trail have many hurdles in front of them. One of the most daunting segments of the entire trail is the “100-mile wilderness”, a stretch in Baxter State Park bereft of any amenities. The students spent four days hiking the wilderness to gain a familiarity with its rugged landscape.

Baxter State Park was also the site for a second trip – a seven-day winter expedition to Mount Katahdin. The experience was enlightening and valuable for the students. “There are so many different variables to plan for with a winter expedition,” said Paradis of the trip. The trip was cut short due to heavy rains.

Maine is nothing if not known for its waterways, both along the coast and within the interior. Appropriately, two of the trips involved traveling by boat. On one adventure, the students spent five days traveling down the St. Croix River from Forest City to Vanceboro by canoe. On another trip, the students left Stonington and spent five days traveling by sea kayak, camping on various islands and stopping to hike on trails.

Lastly, the students spent four days testing their rock climbing skills in Acadia National Park. The park offers an abundance of cliffs and mountains to climb with varying degrees of difficulty.

“These are world-class expeditions that people from all over the world come to participate in,” program director Scott Fraser said.

The Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show is attended by hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts from around the state. The students also anticipated attending the Governor’s Conference on Tourism the following week, but poor weather interfered.