Machias River Wigwams Program
Think you have to choose between earning money and having a fun summer? Think again!
*Note: Any dates below are for the 2016 Program. Dates will be updated for the 2017 Program when they become available.
Downeast Salmon Federation (DSF) and Cobscook Community Learning Center (CCLC) are working together to
offer a two week summer experience for teens interested in outdoor
careers. Teens will be part of a co-ed youth crew, camping out at the
Wigwams Rapid on the Machias River and working with professionals doing
trail work and salmon habitat restoration. Paddle, swim, gain skills,
and finish the summer with a $200 honorarium in recognition of your
The Wigwams Rapid is a classic salmon fishing site recognized by guides and anglers and used from past to present by the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The Downeast Salmon Federation owns the historic fishing camp situated there, along with the portage trail and a few tent sites. Remote and beautiful, it is an easy place to appreciate the charms of Washington County.
Who Should Apply?
We seek mature, hardworking teens who have a desire to be outdoors and part of a team. Ideal participants are interested in having an experience that is more comprehensive than a regular summer job. A desire to learn and work together is valued above an extensive work history. Participants should be ready to fully embrace the here-and-now by leaving cell phones and other electronics at home. We are actively seeking applicants from Maine's Native American tribes and other Washington County communities.
During weekdays teens will work with their on-site leaders in three major areas: salmon habitat restoration, trail work and interpretive signs, and improvements to the camp. Trail tasks could range from planting native plants for erosion control to litter clean-up to building nature trails. Teens will work with DSF and CCLC staff and Project SHARE to improve salmon habitat by removing remnant dams and adding large wood to rivers and streams. There are also opportunities to help with scientific data collection.
Teens will sleep in tents at the Wigwams camp. The camp building will be a common space where we will cook meals, play cards, listen to guest speakers, or make music together. Conditions will be rustic but comfortable, and there is no electricity or phone. Bathing will be improvised and privies are a short walk away from the living area. After the day's work is done there will be time to swim, fish, make artwork, or relax, and the crew will make hearty meals together every evening.
Weekends will feature short trips to paddle and explore other areas of the watershed. Trips will be planned based on student interest but examples of weekend activities could include climbing Tunk Mountain, a field trip to the Machiasport petroglyphs, or overnight solo experiences. This will be an unforgettable way to be immersed in the outdoors.
When does it happen, and when do I have to apply?
The 2016 program starts on Sunday, July 10th and ends on Sunday, July 24th. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis, so please apply early before the program fills up!
For any questions about the Wigwams program, contact Michael Giudilli at 207-733-2233, or use the form below to be in touch!