LL Beans Healthy Hometowns Banner - Empowering Communities to embrace a healthy active, outdoor lifestyle - year round.
Teen Leadership Expedition Summer 2014

Teen Leadership Expedition Summer 2014

July 8th - 13th, 2014
Join the Adventure Initiative this summer for a week on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, one of Maine’s most legendary waterways. Learn to negotiate this incredible whitewater river via kayak while also exploring the surrounding trails and peaks on foot. Working as a group you will explore this rugged landscape by day, and base camp along the banks of the river by night. Spaces are limited, apply today!...more

Click here to find out more and apply now! — Deadline JUNE 13, 2014!
Emera Maine is a proud sponsor of Maine Winter Sports Center's Healthy Hometowns Program.

About Healthy Hometowns:

Since its inception in 1999 the Maine Winter Sports Center has been dedicated to creating a healthier, more active, outdoor lifestyle throughout Maine. Healthy Hometowns, the community development division of MWSC, meets this challenge by providing resources such as equipment, curriculum, and training to volunteers and professionals across the state. Internationally recognized as one of the top youth development programs in the world, Healthy Hometowns seeks to build the active, outdoor culture of Maine with an emphasis on accessibility, sustainability and quality.

We work in four critical areas to achieve success:

Leadership Development - Every community needs ambassadors for a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle. These are people of all ages passionate about creating greater opportunity within their communities. Through programs like the Adventure Initiative, Arooskis Nordic Program, and regular leadership development opportunities, Healthy Hometowns is dedicated to educating, supporting and inspiring community leaders.

Program Development - If we want the youth of Maine to be excited about continuing an outdoor recreation heritage we need to ensure they have opportunities to be effectively introduced to outdoor play. Healthy Hometowns provides equipment, curriculum, and leader training to schools, clubs, recreation departments and other organizations throughout Maine.

Club Development - Experience has shown us that the most successful communities have a strong collaboration between schools, recreation departments, businesses and citizens. Our model of multi-sport, community-based clubs brings together these entities that can effectively find solutions to the unique challenges facing their local outdoor community.

Trails & Facilities Development - Enjoying the outdoors starts with having a positive experience. The quality and accessibility of recreational trails play a pivotal role in shaping this experience. Healthy Hometowns is dedicated to the development of sustainably built, public access trail systems. We provide guidance, training and support in the development of these resources.

Healthy Hometowns Program Guide:

Along with the information provided online, an overview of Healthy Hometowns can be found in our Program Guide, available for download here.

Getting Started:

Interested in developing greater opportunities for healthy, active, outdoor lifestyles in your hometown?
Healthy Hometowns seeks communities willing to do the following:
  • Develop a community team with representatives from multiple community organizations which include but are not limited to schools, recreation departments, clubs, local business, and the student population
  • Develop Healthy Hometowns programming for youth and adults
  • Make a multi-year commitment to grow this programming
  • Develop local sponsorship for program funding
  • Send leaders to Adventure Initiative workshops
  • Develop & maintain non-motorized trails with free public access
To get started, contact our staff. Healthy Hometowns Coaches will work with you and your community to do the following:
  • Conduct a community inventory
  • Develop a Community Team
  • Develop and prioritize an action plan
  • Realize that plan

Northern Maine
Mike Smith mikes@mainewsc.org
Director of Healthy Hometowns

Central Maine
Lauren Jacobs lauren@mainewsc.org
Healthy Hometowns Coach

Western/Southern Maine
Josh Firmin josh@mainewsc.org
Healthy Hometowns Coach

Steps to Success:

Step I: Make Contact
Creating a Healthy Hometown starts with a phone call or email to our staff.

The call can come from a teacher or principal who would like to offer students a valuable lifetime activity, a community member who wants to get youth and adults more active, or anyone who has aspirations of promoting a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle and seeks to empower their community in the process.

Step II: Take Inventory & Create a Community Team
Creating a Healthy Hometown starts with a phone call or email to our staff.

Healthy Hometowns Coaches will help take an inventory of the resources necessary to get the project off the ground. We will also help steer the process of addressing the following items:

Who else is interested in the project? Having the right support team is critical to the ultimate success of the project. Key figures include community members with expertise in the fields of education, business, health and medicine, recreation, earthworks and construction.

Are similar programs currently being offered in the community? We can help grow existing programs or build one from the ground up.

What resources are currently available? Identify trails, facilities, equipment and other resources that exist in your community and can be utilized.

Step III: Create an Action Plan
The community team will schedule a follow-up meeting with a Healthy Hometowns Coach to develop an action plan based on the information collected in the inventory. The meeting should involve all those interested in the project and include a visit to the site where any potential programs would occur. Because every community is different, the action plan will be tailored to each individual project.

Step IV: Bringing the Plan to Life
Healthy Hometowns is a partnership between Maine Winter Sports Center and the project organizers in each community. Healthy Hometowns coaches will remain in close contact throughout the implementation of the action plan. It is important for each community however, to acknowledge and embrace the need for each program to be “owned” by the community.

The Maine Winter Sports Center’s Healthy Hometowns division is a resource. We offer services such as equipment, trail design expertise and shared best-practices, but ultimate success comes when the community puts these resources together with their own passion for making a difference.

Implementation of the action plan will be followed by an annual assessment. Our coaches will work with the community to identify successes, look for areas that need improvement, and explore other year-round activities that can be added within the Healthy Hometowns model.

Throughout the year Healthy Hometowns runs programs, trainings, and workshops geared towards developing the strength of local outdoor communities. Important dates are posted here each season. Check back regularly for updates.

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