Katahdin Region Outdoor Collective

What is KROC?

KROC (Katahdin Region Outdoor Collective) is a dynamic group of non-profits, individuals, businesses, and government organizations with a shared belief in the profound impact of outdoor experiences on youth wellbeing and the future vitality of the Katahdin region. Our collaborative efforts result in year-round opportunities for young individuals to foster a deep connection to nature, cultivate leadership skills, and become future land stewards.

These youth programs are a collaboration of Katahdin Gear Library, Millinocket Memorial Library, Outdoor Sport Institute, Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, and the Katahdin Collaborative, as well as by numerous other regional organizations and individuals who have donated their time and resources. Thank you to all who make these programs possible.

To meet our amazing instructors for these programs, click here!

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Current Outdoor Opportunities

All summer outdoor opportunities are open to all Katahdin Region students in rising grades 6-12.

Other Upcoming Summer Programs- details & registration TBA

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Whitewater Skills Day Paddle

June 2nd – Grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Sunday June 2nd we will gather a small handful of interested students and suit up to paddle down the class II/II+ whitewater of Millinocket Stream.

We will plan to meet at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket by late morning and travel together to our put in location along the stream. Here, we will do some on-ground and in-water instruction before we begin our paddle downstream.

Transportation: Transportation for the day from Katahdin Gear Library and back will be provided.

Lunch: Lunch will NOT be provided for this trip. We ask that your child has a nutritious breakfast in the morning, and comes with a lunch, water bottle, and any snacks for the day. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: All gear necessary to safely and effectively paddle Millinocket Stream will be provided. Students will be paddling duckies (inflatable kayaks) that were purchased from proceeds of last year’s Millinocket X-Stream Canoe Race. Duckies are a perfect and fun way to be introduced to whitewater! They are lightweight, making them easy to manage and forgiving on the water.

PFD’s, helmets, and any other necessary gear to spend the day on the water will also be provided. A detailed version of gear will be sent upon registration.

Important Notes:

  • This program will only be available to students who are interested in volunteering at the Millinocket X-Stream Canoe Race, happening the day prior on June 1st. For more info on volunteering, please email Dan at dan@outdoorsi.org.
  • Due to the nature of this trip, this adventure will only be open to FIVE students so spots will fill up quickly!

If your child is interested in attending this program email Dan directly at dan@outdoorsi.org

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Gulf Hagas Day Hike

June 27th, Rising grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Thursday, June 27 we will have the opportunity to hike what is called “The Grand Canyon of Maine”, Gulf Hagas! A rocky trail known for its many scenic waterfalls, this dramatic river gorge is truly one of a kind in our area.

We will plan to meet at Katahdin Gear Library (215 Penobscot Ave, Millinocket) early in the morning, do some introductions and expectations for the day, then hit the road! It will take about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead inside the Katahdin Ironworks gate. From here, we will make our first river crossing and hit the trail! Mileage for the day depends on our group, but will likely fall in the 6-8 mile range.

Transportation: All transportation from Katahdin Gear Library, to the trailhead, and back to Katahdin Gear Library will be provided. If you are coming from the north end of the region and cannot make it all the way to KGL, please let us know and we can arrange a pickup at the Sherman Irving (18 Main Street, Sherman).

Lunch: Lunch will NOT be provided for this trip. We ask that your child has a nutritious breakfast in the morning, and comes with a lunch, water bottle, and any snacks for the day. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: While there is no specific gear needed for this trip, we ask that everybody comes prepared to be outdoors for the day; rain, shine, or cold weather. This means sneakers and socks, weather appropriate clothing (t-shirt, shorts, pants, jacket, rain jacket, etc.), shoes/sandals that can get wet, and a backpack to carry everything. If any of these items is a barrier to getting your child outdoors, let us know.

This adventure is now full.

We are however taking names for a waitlist in case of cancellations. Please email Baileigh (baileigh@katahdingearlibrary.org) if your child is interested in joining the waitlist.

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Intro to Paddling Day Trip

July 11th, Rising grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Thursday July 11th, we will take to the East Branch of the Penobscot River and explore all the different ways we can travel by water. We will have kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and duckies available for kids to try and lots of different games, learning opportunities, and even a short paddle up river to take part in!

We will plan to meet at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket by late morning and travel together to our main location for the day. We will spend the afternoon learning different skills and getting comfortable on each paddlecraft with the help of local volunteers, then end the evening with a short paddle upstream for those who are interested.

Transportation: Transportation from Katahdin Gear Library and back will be provided. If you are coming from the north end of the region and cannot make it all the way to KGL, please let us know and we can arrange a pickup at the Sherman Irving (18 Main Street, Sherman).

Lunch: Lunch will NOT be provided for this trip. We ask that your child has a nutritious breakfast in the morning, and comes with a lunch, water bottle, and any snacks for the day. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: All life jackets, boats, and other safety gear will be provided. A detailed gear list will be sent out after registration.

Please email Elise (elise@friendsofkww.org) with any questions or concerns.

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Overnight Hiking Adventure in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

July 16-18, grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Tuesday July 16th, we will set off on our first overnight trip of the summer! We will begin our day bright and early at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket, where we will discuss our day and activities ahead, as well as do a gear check as a group to ensure everybody is prepared appropriately for our adventure. This trip will consist of two moderate hikes, plus 2 nights of tent camping, all within Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Access to an outhouse will be available, but no running water.

Transportation: Transportation from Katahdin Gear Library, to hiking locations, and back to KGL will be provided. A pickup location in the northern end of the region can be arranged if desired.

Food: Food will be provided beginning with dinner the evening of the 16th, through breakfast on the 18th. We ask that your child come prepared the first day having had a nutritious breakfast, plus a bagged lunch for our first hike and any extra snacks your child may want throughout the trip. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooking tools, and all other necessary gear to comfortably spend 2 nights outdoors will be provided. If your child has a tent, sleeping bag, or any other camping gear they would prefer to bring please just let us know in the registration form or send an email. We just ask your child come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing and any comfort items they may want for our trip. A detailed packing list will be sent upon registration.

This adventure is now full.

We are however taking names for a waitlist in case of cancellations. Please email Elise (elise@friendsofkww.org) if your child is interested in joining the waitlist.

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Mountain Biking at Hammond Ridge

July 25th, grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Thursday July 25th, we will spend the day up to Hammond Ridge learning some new mountain biking skills and practicing our current skills out on the trails! The trail system at Hammond Ridge is a dynamic system with trails for all skill levels.

We will meet at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket in the morning, load up our gear, and be gone for the day. The first part of the day will be spent skill building, learning, and playing games. After this we will hit the trails for some riding!

Please note that this program is not intended to teach kids how to ride a bike from scratch. It is designed to help build skills specific to mountain biking.

Transportation: All transportation from Katahdin Gear Library, to Hammond Ridge, and back to KGL will be provided. If you are coming from the north end of the region and cannot make it all the way to KGL, please let us know and we can arrange a pickup at the Sherman Irving (18 Main Street, Sherman).

Food: Lunch will NOT be provided for this trip. We ask that participants have a nutritious breakfast in the morning, and comes with a lunch, water bottle, and any snacks for the day. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: All bikes and helmets necessary for this trip are provided. Participants are allowed to bring their own bike and / or helmet if they so choose and all equipment will be inspected by program staff. If deemed not fit for riding, participants may use KGL equipment. Please note in the registration if you will be bringing your own gear. Helmets are mandatory!

Please email Baileigh (baileigh@katahdingearlibrary.org) with any questions or concerns.

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Overnight Mountain Biking Adventure

July 30 – August 1, grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Tuesday July 30th, we will set off on our overnight mountain biking adventure! We will begin our day bright and early at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket, where we will discuss our day and activities ahead, as well as do a gear check as a group to ensure everybody is prepared appropriately for our adventure. We will go over all gear and equipment and load it into our vehicle.

This trip will consist of two afternoons of easy trail riding in the northern end of the region, plus 2 nights of tent camping, all within the Patten/Mt. Chase area. Access to an outhouse will be available, but no running water.

Transportation: Transportation from Katahdin Gear Library, to our campsite and biking locations, and back to KGL will be provided. A pickup location in the north end of the region can be arranged if desired.

Food: Food will be provided beginning with dinner the evening of the 30th, through breakfast on the 1st. We ask that your child come prepared the first day having had a nutritious breakfast, plus a bagged lunch packed for our first day on the trails and any extra snacks your child may want throughout the trip. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooking tools, and all other necessary gear to comfortably spend 2 nights outdoors will be provided. All bikes and helmets are provided unless your child chooses to bring their own. If your child has a bike, helmet, tent, sleeping bag, or any other camping gear they would prefer to bring please just let us know in the registration form or send an email. We just ask your child come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing and any comfort items they may want for our trip. A detailed packing list will be sent upon registration. Helmets are mandatory!

Please email Dan (dan@outdoorsi.org) with any questions or concerns.

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Overnight Paddling Adventure

August 6-8, grades 6-12

What to Expect

On Tuesday August 6th, we will meet bright and early at Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket in preparation for our overnight paddling adventure. We will discuss our day and activities ahead, as well as do a gear check as a group to ensure everybody is prepared appropriately for our adventure. This adventure will be based out of Horserace Campground, located just north of Millinocket on the Golden Road and along the Penobscot River.

This trip will consist of two afternoons of paddling activities that will include both flatwater and whitewater adventures. Day one will be skill building in different types of watercraft in the quiet section of river next to our camping area, day two we will have the opportunity to paddle a small section of whitewater just above our camping area. Be prepared for 2 nights of tent camping, access to an outhouse will be available but no running water.

Transportation: Transportation from KGL, to our campsite and back to KGL will be provided. If you are coming from the north end of the region and cannot make it all the way to KGL, please let us know and we can arrange a pickup at the Sherman Irving (18 Main Street, Sherman).

Food: Food will be provided beginning with dinner the evening of the 6th, through breakfast on the 8th. We ask that your child come prepared the first day having had a nutritious breakfast, plus a bagged lunch packed for our first day on the trails and any extra snacks your child may want throughout the trip. However, we believe that access to the outdoors is for everyone and do not want food to be a barrier for this trip, so please let us know if you need assistance.

Gear: Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooking tools, and all other necessary gear to comfortably spend 2 nights outdoors will be provided. All boats, life jackets, and other items needed for the activities we will be doing will also be provided. If your child has a tent, sleeping bag, or any other camping gear they would prefer to bring please just let us know in the registration form or send an email. We just ask your child come prepared with water-appropriate and weather-appropriate clothing, and any comfort items they may want for our trip. A detailed packing list will be sent upon registration.

Please email Dan (dan@outdoorsi.org) with any questions or concerns.

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Katahdin Ascent

August 13

What to Expect

On Tuesday August 13th, we will cap off our summer adventures with an ascent of the mountain that our region is most known for, Katahdin.

More information coming soon!

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Meet the Instructors

Elise is the Education Coordinator for Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters. In 2017, she received a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Maine and promptly moved to the Katahdin region to begin her career in outdoor education. She is passionate about connecting youth to nature and their community and believes that a strong connection to the natural world helps students build confidence, empathy and leadership skills. She feels most at home in a canoe on a remote river. Elise is a Wilderness First Responder, Registered Maine Recreational Guide, Leave No Trace Master Educator and Certified Interpretive Guide.

Email: Elise@friendsofkww.org

Kala is the Education Director for Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. Kala’s love for the outdoors and education began during her work as a Youth Crew Leader for the Montana Conservation Corps and continued while creating educational and volunteer opportunities as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the United Way of Greater Portland. She started her degree in Communications at the University of Montana and finished at the University of Southern Maine, which led to a teaching role in Northern Maine. Teaching in rural schools helped her realize that almost every opportunity can be an educational opportunity and is passionate about finding, facilitating, and sharing place-based learning experiences. Kala is certified in First Aid and Wilderness First Aid.

Email: kala@friendsofkww.org

Rónán is a Place-Based Educator for Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. Growing up along the White River in Indiana, he has spent his life enthralled by the wisdom of the natural world. Specializing in Ancestral skills and tracking, his life is a testament to the practical application of the knowledge he imparts, living with the land utilizing the same techniques he shares. Jokingly called “Woods Jedi”, his passion for natural living and interconnected awareness inspires students to explore, connect with, and respect the natural world around them.

Email: ronan@friendsofkww.org

Maggie is a Placed Based Educator for friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. She is a native of the Katahdin region and recently graduated from Katahdin High School. Throughout her year of high school, her passion for connecting with the outdoors grew. She is passionate about teaching youth in a hands-on way. She is excited to start teaching youth about the environment outside of their home and showing them how to connect with it. Maggie is certified in Wilderness First Aid.

Dan is the Katahdin Region Coordinator for Outdoor Sport Institute (OSI). He holds a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from Northern Michigan University, but his abilities have been molded through a myriad of experiences working and playing in the outdoors. No stranger to hard work, Dan has lead conservations crews, served as an EMT, worked in commercial kitchens, operated Zamboni machines, and even participated in the world’s longest paddle race, the Yukon 1000.

His passion for teaching and working with others, however, has allowed him to make a career out of connecting people with the outdoors. He has guided canoe expeditions in Maine and the Boundary Waters, lead dogsledding adventures and winter camping trips in northern Minnesota and run backpacking trips in the desert southwest.  As an EMT Dan also serves as a wilderness medicine instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  Dan brings a holistic perspective to outdoor access and education. His comfort teaching and supporting others allows him to instantly serve as an ally and advocate in building local capacity. Whether it’s designing youth programs, supporting community gear libraries, or teaching volunteers to build trail, Dan is able to humbly and effectively provide the knowledge and skill needed.  

Email: Dan@outdoorsi.org

Mackenzie is the Outdoor Sports Institute intern this summer. Kenzie was born and raised in Millinocket which sparked her interest in the outdoors. She grew up teaching in the community and hopes to continue pursuing that passion as well as growing her leadership abilities through OSI. Currently, Kenzie is studying Health and Physical Education with a minor in Outdoor Recreation at Northern Michigan University, allowing her to share her excitement for movement and the outdoors in the future!

Baileigh is the general manager for the Katahdin Gear Library in Millinocket. Baileigh was raised in Millinocket, however she moved away shortly after high school and discovered her passion for the outdoors and the desire to share it with others. After several years away she returned home to pursue an outdoor lifestyle, which then led to her career in outdoor education. Baileigh is a registered Maine Recreational guide and is Wilderness First Aid certified. In her free time, you can find Baileigh in the woods with her two dogs exploring all that our region has to offer.

Email: baileigh@katahdingearlibrary.org