Maine High Adventure, BSA (MHA) is an accredited program of the Boy Scouts of America operated by the Katahdin Area Council. MHA offers extended backcountry trek opportunities to Boy Scout and youth oriented groups. Currently a seasonal program, MHA facilitates summer canoe and backpack adventures in the north Maine woods. The group size for our trips is 6 to 11 including one or two adults. The trip length is also flexible. 8 days is the most popular length trip. The minimum length of stay is 6 days. MHA provides all trail equipment, trailfood, shuttle transportation, and a trained staff member (Guide/trip leader) who accompanies each crew of participants throughout their adventure.
The program at Maine High Adventure emphasizes four major aspects: 1) education – teaching and practicing safe backcountry travel skills; 2) youth leadership development – after a day of complete orientation and instruction, the MHA program is designed to shift leadership of the crew over to the youth of that crew, specifically working through a youth “crew leader” selected by the group. The MHA “Guide”, who accompanies the crew, all other MHA support staff, and the adults accompanying the crew take a secondary role in leadership as much as possible. In the event of additional technical instruction (ie. whitewater canoeing), safety, or medical emergency, the MHA staff member again assumes leadership. In the event of disciplinary situations, the adults within the group are tasked to help resolve the problem; 3) group process (teamwork) – the MHA program places great emphasis on developing teamwork or group process throughout the trek experience; and 4) natural and historical interpretation – our staff is well trained to interpret the unique natural environment and history of the area we travel though. This is a major function of the MHA Guide after the initial day one orientation process.
The Maine High Adventure, BSA program operates, during the summer months, out of a base camp located on Grand Lake Matagamon, which is at the northeast corner of Baxter State Park, and 27 miles NW of Patten Maine. The facility and area is rich in lumbering and sportsman history. The base provides a great jumping off point and return base for the participant groups. The base camp is accessed by boat and there is limited electric power. It is a unique opportunity, in the 21st century, for staff and participant alike, to experience a remote and challenging lifestyle.