Seated at his desk in the Ed and Connie Greaves Education Center, EdGE Director Isaac Marnik builds registration forms for this year’s summer camp schedules. “We expect to return to pre-pandemic attendance, so we’re opening in full force,” he explains. On April 19, Maine Seacoast Mission will open registration for enrollees.
Come summer, EdGE will offer five weeks of camp to students in kindergarten up to 8th grade. Summer camps will run from June 27 and July 29. “This year, the program is trying something different,” Isaac says, “We’re excited to offer three locations for EdGE families and students. The intent is to make camps more convenient to get to.”
Two existing afterschool partners will host camps, including D.W. Merritt Elementary in Addison and Milbridge Elementary. Maine Seacoast Mission welcomes a new partner through the University of Maine at Machias. Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias is closed this summer for construction, so the University has graciously offered use of its grounds.
Managed by the Mission’s EdGE Site Coordinators, part-time afterschool staff, and community members, Isaac explained, EdGE staff, and the program as a whole, always likes to offer a variety of adventures and subjects for students to enjoy.”
Activities will engage students physically, mentally, and creatively through STEM-based topics as well as the arts. Over the summer, campers will have multiple opportunities to visit the ropes course on the Mission’s Downeast Campus in Cherryfield. “Students have different options and experiences throughout the day. It’s a great time,” he continued, “We’re looking forward to a great summer.”
Summer camps are $30.00 per student per week with available scholarships. Students sign up by the week and register for as many weeks as they wish. EdGE summer camp registration opens April 19 on the EdGE web page.
Families who live in Columbia, Columbia Falls, Addison, Jonesport, and Beals should select D.W. Merritt Elementary School for their student’s camp location. For students in Harrington, Cherryfield, Deblois, Beddington, and Milbridge, families should select Milbridge Elementary School as their child’s camp location. Students attending Rose M. Gaffney Elementary in Machias should attend the University camp location.
CHERRYFIELD, ME – Maine Seacoast Mission welcomes Karen Bailey as our new EdGE Youth Development Coordinator for D.W. Merritt Elementary School in the Town of Addison. Karen, a D.W. Merritt teacher, has worked with the Mission since 2005. As EdGE Youth Development Coordinator at D.W. Merritt Karen will focus on EdGE’s after school program, and on developing relationships with EdGE families.
Mission Downeast Director Melvin Adams said, “When I first met Karen at the EdGE Cherryfield summer camp, I saw her passion, love, and enthusiasm for working with youth. She is committed to, and believes in, youth in the Downeast Community. We are excited. Karen is the perfect fit for this next chapter at the school,” Adams said.
MILBRIDGE, ME – Mission Family and Community Resource Coordinator Stephanie Moores sent these photos of Alan and Brisa from Milbridge “enjoying the snow and showing off snowmen they created for the January Family Engagement activity,” Stephanie said.
MACHIAS, ME – Ada Raye sent these photos from the Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School EdGE after-school program. Ada said “Snowshoeing and building snowmen were a hit for this group of first graders. They asked if we could do it again next week. Yes we can! What a wonderful way to spend a day!”
CHERRYFIELD, ME – Mission Family and Community Resource Coordinator Stephanie Moores sends an update from D.W. Merritt Elementary in Addison, ME.
Audrey, a quiet student who enjoys art and K’nex construction toys, is January’s Student of the Month.
Stephanie says, “Audrey is very helpful to staff, students, and does a wonderful job of helping everyone feel included and special. She always goes above-and-beyond in everything she does. Audrey is patient and kind and a joy to have in the EdGE program.”
CHERRYFIELD, ME – Downeast youth participating in EdGE Journey explore the outdoors and their communities to develop the tools needed to successfully transition to high school and through higher education and career pathways. Journey Program Manager Dakin Hewlett shared what’s coming up for the students’ cohorts, grades 7-12 as well as invites volunteers to serve as Adult Mentors.
Journey’s Winter Plans
This winter, students went bowling to strengthen personal relationships with one another. During winter break later this month, each cohort will go to the trampoline park in Bangor. This is a chance for cohorts to get outside, engage in some athletic activity, and of course, have fun together.
11th grade students will also participate in a series of three Healthy Acadia workshops focused on youth restorative justice practices in which individuals learn how to reestablish relationships with one another. Once students complete the workshops, we intend to provide space for them to teach what they have learned to younger cohorts. Also in March, 11th grade students will visit Husson University. They will tour the campus, learn about the school’s programs, and discover post-secondary opportunities.
Dakin adds, “Each Journey cohort participates in about two core meetings a month to further their group and individual goals, continue to build relationships with each other and staff, plan future trips, and develop leadership skills through hands-on activities. These core meetings will be the adult mentors’ most consistent monthly opportunity to engage the students.”
Cohort dinners at the Weald Bethel Community Center provide opportunities for the group to cook and share meals together, and strengthen and build community within Journey.
Calling Adult Mentors
The Mission currently seeks Adult Mentors to volunteer in the Journey program on the Cherryfield campus. Adult mentors help students build a positive, personal network amongst their peers and in the community. Adult role models also help Journey youth create the tools for a successful transition to high school, higher education, and careers.
Beginning in 7th grade, the EdGE Journey program provides Downeast students six years of mentoring with professional staff, community members, and older peers. While on local and distant adventures, Journey’s volunteer adults foster healthy relationships with students, helping them to grow and access opportunities sometimes unavailable to them. As role models, adults can demonstrate how to build life skills and establish a support network.
Interested in joining Journey? Adult Mentors show a willingness to learn, have good listening skills, and are open to cultural differences. They also exhibit patience, a sense of humor, and commitment.
To learn more, contact Journey Program Manager Dakin Hewlett at [email protected] or (207) 598-1048. To become an Adult Mentor, apply now via the Mission volunteer form.