2016 A Huge Success for Downeast Teen Leadership Camp
August 12, 2016

Machias. Healthy Acadia’s 2016 Downeast Teen Leadership Camp (DETLC), held from July 25 to July 29, was a huge success! DETLC is a weeklong overnight summer camp experience for teens held at the University of Maine at Machias. The program challenges and empowers teens by providing them with the skills necessary to positively impact their lives and those in their schools and communities.

Enrollment in DETLC, now in its 16th year, was double that in previous years, with over 30, 7th through 9th grade students in attendance from all over Washington County and nearby counties in Maine. More than a dozen high school or college students – previous DETLC campers – served as volunteer staff for the weeklong camp session. It’s a great way for the students give back to their communities and provide a great experience for the students who attend DETLC each year.

During DETLC, the teens heard from nationally-recognized motivational speakers, Ed Gerety, Harriet Turk, and Steve Gerety, who engaged the students with topics such as making positive choices, appreciating others, and positive methods for reaching your goals. Students also participated in daily workshops that were presented by DETLC teen and adult staff as well as staff from AMHC. The workshops addressed many issues important to today’s teens, including substance abuse prevention, bystander intervention, healthy relationships, school and community service, and building lasting friendships.

A popular session focusing on positive peer communication provided students with the unique opportunity to script and record public service announcements (PSA) for radio. After a brief primer highlighting the basics of social marketing, students broke into small groups to script and practice reading 30-second PSAs focused on an aspect of substance abuse prevention that they felt was most important in their communities. The students then professionally recorded their PSAs headed down to WQDY/
WALZ FM’s recording studio in Machias to professionally record their PSAs, which will air regularly on WQDY 92.7, WALZ 95.3 and WCRQ 102.9 FM radio stations through the fall.

Healthy Acadia sponsors DETLC thanks to generous donations from local businesses and community organizations, Machias Savings Bank, St. James Ladies Sodality, as well as funds from the annual A La Mud Challenge, Color Run, and grant funds through Healthy Acadia. The majority of the funds collected are used for student scholarships and to make DETLC affordable for all of the students that attend camp, which has very reasonable registration rates. No student has ever been turned away for lack of funding. Healthy Acadia would like to thank all those that volunteered their time and/or provided funding support to help make DETLC a big success this year! Healthy Acadia’s mission is to empower people to build vibrant, healthy communities throughout Washington and Hancock counties by making it easier for them to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. DETLC encourages youth to live healthy, positive lives and to empower and lead others in their communities to do the same. If you are interested in learning more about DETLC or other Healthy Acadia youth programming please contact Terri Woodruff at terri@healthyacadia.org or (207) 255-3741.