20 Years Bringing Lubec School Kids Outside
Twenty years ago, in the Quaker Meeting House in Lubec, Melissa Lee sat for an interview with MCHT’s Director of Stewardship, Jane Arbuckle.
“I remember Jane asked me what I would do, as a Maine Coast Heritage Trust staff member, to be a good member of the community,” recalls Melissa. “I said I would probably go down to the teachers room at the school at lunchtime and see what they had to say.” Soon after she joined MCHT’s Stewardship staff, Melissa did just that.
One of the teachers, Tina Wormell, had an idea for an outing club for Elementary School students, and Melissa—and MCHT—were on board.
Since the Lubec Outing Club began in 1999, between 50 and 75 percent of the student body at Lubec Consolidated School has participated in any given year. Melissa and a teacher co-leader have brought kids outside up to sixteen times a year in all kinds of weather, to do all kinds of activities—ranging from hiking MCHT preserves and other local conserved lands to kayaking to downhill skiing.
“Seeing a kid go from zero to skiing is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever seen,” says Melissa Lee.
Tina Wormell now serves as principal at Lubec Consolidated School. Over the years, she’s been an important advocate for the Lubec Outing Club. “We don’t have movie theaters and shopping malls around here, we have incredible places to go outside,” says Wormell. “I want these kids to realize what they have around them. I see kids become bigger risk takers, and developing an appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife.”