Downeast Salmon Federation and Cobscook Community Learning Center present the Machias River Wigwams Program

Machias River – Past, Present and Future

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.

The Work:

During weekdays teens will work with their on-site leaders in three major areas: salmon habitat restoration, trail work and interpretive signs, and assisting archaeologists who will be digging at the site. 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. The archaeological segment will have teens assisting archaeologists sifting large quantities of soil that were previously disturbed but still contain artifacts.

Camp Life:

Teens will sleep in tents at the Wigwams camp. The camp building will be a common space where they 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.

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.

When does it happen, and when do I have to apply?

The program will start on Friday, July 5th and finish on Friday, July 19th. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis, so please apply early before the program fills up.

Contact Maria McMorrow

Download Application

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