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#WEOUTSIDE helps asylum-seeking teens explore Maine's outdoors

A group of kids on a canoe trip is a pretty normal summer camp activity in Maine. But for most of these teens, it’s their first time in a canoe. Most of their families recently arrived in Maine from Angola, and today is a welcome reprieve from the crowded emergency shelter in Portland where they’ve been living.

Their trip is organized by a new grant-funded program #WEOUTSIDE, run by the Maine Association of New Americans (MANA). The program launched this summer to introduce asylum seeker teenagers to the Maine Outdoors. Program leader Moon Machar said the goal of the program is to help young people of color access and enjoy the outdoors.

With support from a grant from The Nature Based Education Consortium and a partnership with the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust, Machar took about a dozen campers out on a new outdoor adventure each week. In this story, Ari Snider joins Machar and the teens for a paddle on a beautiful sunny day in the Rangeley Lakes Region of Western Maine.

Learn more about #WEOUTSIDE here!

Borealis is made possible by the generous support of our Production Sponsors, The Nature Conservancy in Maine and Poland Spring.

And by our Broadcast Sponsors, Evergreen Home Performance, Conservation Law Foundation, and the Maine Office of Tourism.

Production Credits:

Written, reported, and produced by: Ari Snider
Videography by: Brian Bechard and Esta Pratt-Kielley
Edited by: Matt Nasi/BlackFly Media and Brian Bechard
Script editing by: Jennifer Rooks and Keith Shortall