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Three Girl Scouts earn Junior Maine Guide Certification


Girl Scouts of Maine (GSME) announces that three Girl Scouts - Payton Spearin of East Millinocket, Rachel Davis of New Gloucester, and Laura Dumas of Gray, have earned their Junior Maine Guide certification this summer.

Sponsored by Maine Summer Camps and the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Junior Maine Guide Program (JMG) is a long-established wilderness camping skills program, designed to foster enjoyable, safe and healthy outdoor living experiences for youth ages 9–18.

The program, unique to Maine, was created in 1937 as an act of the State Legislature, in an effort to promote the use of the Maine wilderness for recreation as well as to train new generations of youth to adopt use practices that conserve the environment.

“The Junior Maine Guide program really puts candidates to the test,” said Mary Ellen Deschenes, Chief of Outdoor Operations, Girl Scouts of Maine. “They face numerous obstacles, and many do not pass the rigorous final text camp. It is a very notable achievement, and we’re very proud to have three Girl Scouts from Camp Natarswi earn it this summer.”

To be successful in completing the Junior Maine Guide, candidates are encouraged to first complete the Junior Maine Woodsman and Maine Woodsman programs (or equivalent outdoor-based programs), which are all offered at Camp Natarswi.

The JMG program allows participants to practice 21 specific outdoor skills over three weeks. These skills include axemanship, canoeing, shelter building, first aid, cooking, encampment, hiking and backpacking, Leave No Trace, and more.

The final test takes place during a rigorous, five-day encampment at the Stephen Phillips Preserve in Rangeley, ME, where JMG candidates must demonstrate a high level of skill of outdoor skills. They also must prove their knowledge of Maine wildlife, wilderness regulations and environmental concerns.  

Girl Scouts in Maine have been earning their Junior Maine Guide certifications since the program began back in 1937.  Girl Scouts of Maine’s Camp Natarswi in Baxter State Park is one of only nine camps in Maine that offer the Junior Maine Guide program.