Outdoor Club Approved Moose River Canoe Trip

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JAY – The Spruce Mountain High School Outdoor Club received permission from the Regional School Unit 73 Board of Trustees on Thursday, April 28 for a canoe trip on the Moose River in Jackman.

“It is a repeat of a trip we did last yearsaid sporting director Marc Keller. Four staff members, his daughter — who is a student at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington — and 15 SMHS students attended, he said.

The cost of the trip is $75 per student.

“We started here on a Saturday, cooked meals,” Keller said. “Kid should know the equipment he would use, did some canoeing on dry land.”

The group left on a Monday last year and walked because there wasn’t much water in the river, Keller said. “A lot of faults that we would normally run, we didn’t get a chance to do.” It looks like there will be more water this year, he noted.

This year, participants will spend Saturday, June 25 at school, depart June 26 and return June 29, Keller said.

“I remember you talking about it last year,” director Phoebe Pike said. “It’s such a wonderful experience for the kids. I think it’s wonderful to bring children into nature, to have fun, to create experiences and memories. I love this idea.

Principal Patrick Milligan was at the school during training last year. “It was absolutely brilliant,” he said. “It was canoes out in the field, kids sorting their gear, packing their food and putting it in smaller bags.

“It wasn’t just a canoe trip, it was an adventure like getting ready for an episode of Bear Grylls,” he noted. “I really appreciate the effort that goes into it. It’s not just that we canoe. It’s a whole thing.”

SMHS principal TJ Plourde said he will return this year.

“This is an ongoing activity that children can continue and teach their own children,” said board chairman Robert Staples.

The trip is open to incoming freshmen and is a good opportunity to become part of the school, Keller said.

Director Joel Pike asked if there was a mechanism in place for students who don’t have the money for the trip.

Last year, a woman reached out, wanted to sponsor a student, Keller said. It wasn’t necessary back then, but it’s an option this year, he noted. A statewide program, Teens to Trails, has twice provided Keller with $500 to purchase equipment and the remaining money could also be used, he added.

Students are aware that help is available if needed, Keller said.

It looks like you have a pretty solid roster, said manager Andrew Sylvester.

In other business, Vice President Robin Beck thanked the three school district communities for passing the district budget. “If you want to attract people with money, you have to have good schools,” she noted.

Transportation Director Norma Jackman said the district could use bus monitors because it doesn’t have one.

Two-year contract renewals have been approved for:

• Section 504 Coordinator, Tina Collins

• Michael Glynn, Principal of Spruce Mountain Elementary School

• Curriculum and Technology Coordinator Chris Hollingsworth

• Marc Keller, sports director of the SMHS

• SMHS Director TJ Plourde

• Carolyn Luce, Principal of Spruce Mountain Middle School

• Patrick St. Clair, Principal of Spruce Mountain Elementary School

• Cherie Parker, Director of Special Services

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