Last week I got to take a group of campers to support one of my favorite organizations, the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA). MITA is an organization that stewards and provides access to over 240 islands that make a trail stretching almost the entire coastline of Maine. I have led many sea kayaking trips to islands that MITA takes care of and today we had the chance to give back. Fifteen of us in two boats, including one provided and skippered by former Newfound-Owatonna maintenance director, Pete Whitchurch, headed out to Stockman Island.
We spent the morning circumnavigating the island picking up plastic bottles, lobster buoys, parts of lobster traps, and other flotsam and jetsam. Along with the trash, the boys found sea glass and other beautiful shells. We also learned about the Leave No Trace ethic, which is so important for these islands who see many visitors each year.
After a sack lunch, we hopped back in the boats and went over to Jewell Island. Jewell is the island farthest our of Portland harbor. During World War I and World War II it housed troops who were the first defense for Portland. The boys got to explore broken down barracks, two spotting tower which offered great views of Casco Bay, the old base of one of the artillery guns and the tunnels where the ammunition was stored. All in all, it was a great day out on the ocean with some new experiences, some daily good done, and lots of fun for all.
- Reid Charlston, Owatonna Director