Cultivating the inherent strengths of young people through the power of long-term mentoring relationships.
We value partnering with families, schools and community members over going it alone.
We value the person over the program.
We value the process over the outcome.
We value authentic, open and honest dialogue over top-down leadership.
We value challenging our perceived limitations over the security of the status quo.
We value experiential education with the emphasis on the earth as educator.
Amie Hutchison, Executive Director
Amie joined the Trekkers team as Executive Director in 2016. She attended the University of Maine at Orono and Hunter College in New York. Her previous work includes serving as Executive Director of the P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center and Program Director at Youthlinks. Amie has admired the work of Trekkers for years, and is thrilled to be part of the Trekkers team, helping the organization continue to grow. Amie has deep roots in the community. She grew up in Rockport and is a past President of Rockland Rotary. She is a CrossFit coach and retired roller derby skater. She lives in Thomaston with her husband and their dog.
Meredith Lynt, Director of Trekkers Training Institute
Meredith has been working on behalf of youth for over a decade and has been inspired by and committed to Trekkers for most of that time. Meredith has facilitated Trekkers’ growth and development from an organization of one to an organization of many while ensuring that fidelity to culture, values, philosophies and practices remain genuine to who and what Trekkers is. As the Director of Trekkers Training Institute for Youth Development, Meredith hopes to inspire other youth development professionals to create state-wide systemic change in raising aspirations in young people. Prior to her role as the Director of the Institute, Meredith worked directly with Trekkers’ youth as a Program Manager and then transitioned to developing staff and overseeing the general direction of programs as our Program Director. Meredith has a B.S. in Sociology and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Maine Association of Non Profits. Beyond Trekkers, Meredith has worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Youthlinks and Forrester Research. Meredith fell for her husband (and Trekkers volunteer!), Adam, in a bat cave on a Trekkers trip to the Pacific Northwest. They now live together in Rockland, Maine.
Kate Elmes, Director of Development
Kate serves as Trekker’s Director of Development, working to build Trekker’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. Kate is passionate about helping individuals and families make a meaningful impact in their community through an investment in Trekkers. Prior to joining the Trekkers team, Kate was a Development Officer at the Island Institute and worked at Kieve-Wavus. Kate holds a B.A from Lesley University with Degrees in Women’s Studies and Political Science. In her free time, Kate is active on numerous boards that foster youth and female leadership in Maine. Kate lives on Vinalhaven Island with her Mississippi mutt, Piper.
Paula Coyne, Grant Coordinator/Development Associate
Paula is our Grant Coordinator/Development Associate. She came to Trekkers in 2016 with 25 years of experience in non-profit fundraising, administration and leadership. She holds an M.S.Ed. From Bank Street College of Education as well as degrees from Charter Oak State College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Most recently Paula was Director of Development for P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Camden. Prior to that she worked in development and admissions at an independent school in New Haven, CT. Her diverse skills and personal values make Trekkers a natural fit. Says Paula, “I enjoy working with good people who are dedicated to a worthy cause and I’ve more than found that in the Trekkers staff and Board of Trustees.” After 25 years “away”, Paula and her husband, Bill, recently returned to Maine to continue living the good life with family and long-time friends.
Hannah Walsh, Program Director
Hannah is Trekkers’ Program Director as of January 10, 2019. She had been serving as a Program Manager since September of 2014. She holds a B.S. in environmental science from the University of Vermont. Hannah spent 2012-2014 as an Island Institute and Americorps Island Fellow, serving as the Service-Learning Coordinator with Maine island schools, and as the After School and Garden Program Coordinator at the Jackson Memorial Library. Some major highlights during her time at Trekkers have been leading a Disaster Relief Expedition to Texas with Team Everest to aid in the after-math of Hurricane Harvey, doing yoga on the edge of the canyons at Canyonlands National Park with Team Penobscot, lying down on the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado with Team K2 and looking up at the clear, speckled night sky, and waking up before dawn to see the sunrise from the eastern most point of the continental U.S. with Team Vesuvius. In Hannah’s opinion, the best part of the work is the meaningful, long-lasting, and unique bonds created between all people in Trekkers. When she’s not caught in the moment on a Trekkers trip, you can find Hannah exploring new places like the Talkeetna mountains of Alaska, gardening at her house in Thomaston, doing lots of cooking experiments, running half-marathons, and going on hikes with her husband and puppy.
Brandon Caron, Program Manager
Brandon is a Trekkers Program Manager. He has a B.A. in Outdoor Education with a concentration in Adventure Leadership from Johnson State College in Vermont. He is an alumnus of Trekkers and has served as an expedition leader, mentor and AmeriCorps member. He has worked with local youth in a number of different roles as well as in Vermont as a mentor for Laraway Youth and Family Services. Brandon is excited to rejoin the community and continue building relationships through Trekkers as it continues to grow. He not only believes in, but has experienced, the power and importance of youth being connected to their community. In his free time, you’ll likely find him on a mountain, in the woods, on the water or in a hammock.
Lindsey Veilleux, Program Manager
Lindsey has many years of experience working with youth of all ages and leading student trips around the U.S. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Community Recreation. Her passion for travel and adventure was sparked after college when she spent almost two years living abroad in Southeast Asia and Australia. She eventually found her way to Maine in 2013 through AmeriCorps when she spent a year serving at Trekkers, and has since volunteered on several trips. When she’s not in the office, you can find her near the water or out exploring in the Camden Hills. Lindsey is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her enthusiasm for the outdoor world and to continue connecting with the Midcoast Maine community.
Jamie Camber, Bookkeeper
Jamie is Trekker’s Bookkeeper. She has joined the Trekkers team after being in the Financial Services industry in Southern, Maine for many years, holding positions in Accounting and Finance. In addition to working for Trekkers, she is also sub-teaching in the local schools. Early on in her career, she taught Sunday School and was a camp counselor for Senior High youth. She enjoys being involved with youth which makes Trekkers an ideal fit for her interests and passion. Jamie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Maine. She has been a supporter of Trekkers for many years and is excited to become part of the team of a great organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, traveling and just being outdoors. She lives in South Thomaston.
Katlyn Rich, Program Manager
Katlyn is one of our newest AmeriCorps interns. In May of 2018 she received a B.S. in University Studies from the University of Maine at Orono with focus areas in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Mathematics. Katlyn grew up in Tenants Harbor and was able to watch her brothers and friends learn and grow from the many benefits of Trekkers. The organization has always been something to admire for Katlyn, although she didn’t have the privilege to go through the program herself. Because of this, she is very excited to finally be a part of the Trekkers team and continue to be a part of the community that she grew up in. Katlyn enjoys spending time in the outdoors, particularly near any body of water, as well as with friends and family.
Trekkers’ 10 Youth Programming Principles:
1. Designing Intentional Program Delivery Systems for Long Term Engagement
A commitment to creating small, purposeful learning communities and designing a multi-year, “step-ladder” program delivery system that works with students during middle school and follows them to and through high school graduation. This long-term commitment to relationship building allows for the time and space needed to adapt to the ever-changing developmental needs and interests of adolescents.
2. Developing a Skilled Network of Caring Adults and Peer Mentors
A focus on recruiting and training caring adult volunteers and cross-age mentors (young leaders) to play a critical role in meeting the relational needs of local youth growing up in their community.
3. Applying a Comprehensive Approach to Youth Development Strategies
A dedication to building targeted holistic youth development methods into the overall program design to help young people find success and navigate challenges during adolescence by focusing on proven promotion, prevention and intervention strategies
4. Creating Community Support
A practice of assembling support networks for young people by partnering with parents, schools, key stake holders, health services and other youth advocate agencies with the goal of building high-level supports to assist in meeting the academic and non-academic needs of students.
5. Prioritizing Informal Relationship Building with Youth
A commitment to “showing up” and being present in the lives of young people outside of regular scheduled programming. By designing outreach in the community into the overall program delivery model, staff and caring adult mentors can build even stronger relationships with mentees and maintain relational links to students even when core programs are not in session.
6. Expanding World Views
A priority for introducing students – through outdoor, experiential and travel-based educational opportunities – to the diversity of people, cultures, places and natural resources that exist outside the reach of their everyday lives.
7. Embracing Student Voice & Choice
A willingness to share power and give young people input into the overall educational process.
8. Encouraging Civic Responsibility
A desire to incorporate service into curriculum design and a commitment to enhance civil discourse.
9. Preparing Students for Success After High School
A focus on increasing opportunities for youth to identify, explore and cultivate their future aspirations – whether those aspirations include immediate entry into the workforce or ambitions for college – through hands-on experiences.
10. Utilizing Validated Assessment Tools to Promote Social-Emotional Development in Young People
An emphasis on collecting social-emotional development and resiliency data as a way to inform individual intervention strategies and influence programming – all with the intention of better detecting barriers to academic achievement in students at an early age.
Stu Rich, President
Tenants Harbor – Alumni parent, Community Member & PenBay Solutions
As a long time Trekker parent and volunteer, I have witnessed the change that the Trekkers program can make in people’s lives, both as students and as leaders. As a teenager, I was profoundly affected by participating in a similar program in my high school, and I am glad to have the opportunity now to give back as a member of the Trekkers Board. Professionally, I am the CTO of PenBay Solutions. Personally, I am the father of three awesome (now grown) kids in Tenants Harbor and the husband of a very patient and marvelous woman.
Dee Megna – Vice-President
Rackliff Island – Community Member/Retired Reinsurance Company Executive
In 1973 I started my business career in New York City as an insurance underwriter in the International Department at Chubb. 2 years afterwards, I joined Guy Carpenter, a reinsurance company, which is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan. Marsh is a global professional services company. I spent 32 years at the firm and eventually became their Vice Chairman. During that time, I served on the Board of Trustees of St. John’s University School of Risk Management and was also a director on the Board of the Reinsurance Association of America. I “semi” retired in 2007 and accepted a directorship at Platinum Underwriters, a reinsurance company headquartered in Bermuda. The company was sold in 2015. I decided that it was time to officially leave the business after having worked in it for 42 years. Near the end of my career, my wife, Phoebe and I decided it was time to reconnect with Maine. That led us to find our place on Rackliff Island. We kept our residence in New Canaan, Ct. since we have ties there with family and old friends. During my teens, I attended camp in Maine and like so many others, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there. Canoeing up the Allagash and hiking on Mt. Katahdin with my peers was such a valuable learning experience. I’m pleased that I discovered the Trekkers organization. It has the wonderful combination of bringing back cherished memories and of bringing forward the exceptional programs that have been developed for young people in the local community and beyond.
Rockland – Executive Director, Youth Forum Maine, Inc. & Co-Founder of Trekkers
I was on the founding Trekkers Board of three members at its infancy in 1999-2000, serving as President, and have continued to be a member to the present. It’s been a great ride as we’ve watched this project blossom! In 1994, I was lucky enough to be one of four male volunteers that took five boys on the first Trekkers trip for five days of canoeing on the Moose River Bow. With the exception of 2002 when I was on leave with a study grant, I haven’t missed a 7th grade trip. While Trekkers was still under Youth Forum Maine (the organization I direct), my name, along with one other person from YFM board, was on the loan that bought Bessie, the famous Trekkers bus! That was an exciting adventure. What a privilege I’ve had in sharing that bus with students on dozens of expeditions over the years. I cherish the relationships built over the years. Married to Judith, we have a biracial family with four grown children and six grandchildren. I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a masters degree in theology.
Douglas M. Erickson – Treasurer
Thomaston – Community Member, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group
I‘ve had the rare opportunity of spending the first ten years of my life on Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas. My life on Great Inagua Island was similar, in many respects, to that of Mark Twain’s stories of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Looking back over time, I found my life on the island has had a profound and positive impact on me today, particularly with self-confidence, creative thinking, and problem solving to name a few. In some respects, Trekkers offers some of these opportunities I experienced as a young child. It is these experiences and opportunities that attracted me to Trekkers. It is my hope that my grandchildren will one day participate in the Trekkers program so they too have the opportunity to learn about themselves and coping with life in general. I recognize that scholastic education is very important, however, it is also my belief that learning about life and learning to cope with whatever it dishes out will provide teenagers with a more rounded education and do a better job of preparing them for life in the long run. My past volunteer endeavors have included being the past President of the Rockland Kiwanis Club, past President of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, past Treasurer for the Maine Association of Realtors, Committee Member on the Professional Standards Committee for The National Association of Realtors and past Chair for the Thomaston 4th of July. Currently, I serve on the Thomaston Board of Appeals. Dragon C.A.P. Committee, Director for the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors, Thomaston Budget Committee and the Regional Micro Loan Committee. The National Association of Realtors awarded me designation of “Realtor Emeritus” in recognition for the volunteer work I have provided the local, state and national Realtor Associations and for the years I have been a member of each. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to becoming involved with Trekkers.
Michael Hersom, DMD
Rockland – Trekkers parent & Dentist, Glen Cove Dental Associates
Michael was born and raised in Sanford, Maine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where the ethic of service to others was a key element of his Jesuit education. Since returning to Maine in 1996, Michael has strived to be active in his profession and engaged in his community. He has served on the Executive Board of the Maine Dental Association, the Knox County Health Clinic/Mid-Coast Health Net, Rockland Rotary Club, and was a member of the St. Bernard’s Parish Council. He proudly admits his favorite volunteer activity was coaching his two daughters’ Little League softball team for 5 years. Though somewhat familiar with Trekkers when it was limited to SAD 50, Michael became more knowledgeable of Trekkers and its mission when the program was expanded to RSU 13. He became personally invested when his son joined Trekkers as a 7th grader. Michael enjoys health-related physical fitness, music, and motorcycles. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Hope, and they have 3 children, Hannah, Abby, and Nathan.
Rockland – Alumni parent & Director, Child Development Services
Larry Schooley has spent his whole career as a life-long educator and the last 30 years as a school administrator. He served as the Executive Director of the Bancroft School, a private school for students with developmental disabilities. Larry served as the Principal of the Merchantville School in New Jersey where he developed a comprehensive environmental education program which included expeditionary learning. After moving to Maine, Larry served as the Principal of the St. George School. While at St. George, he developed an affiliation with the national network of expeditionary learning schools and developed nationally recognized programs at the school. Recently, he served as the Principal of Oceanside High School, the recently consolidated high school. In July, Larry retired from public education and became director of Child Development Services (CDS). CDS serves children from birth to five years of age with developmental disabilities in Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo counties. Rebecca Schooley is a Trekkers alumni, so Larry is familiar with the life-changing work that happens at Trekkers. Larry is excited and privileged to be able to serve on the board of Trekkers as we continue to plan for the future.
Alyssa Rolerson – Secretary
Rockland – Dream Local Digital- Director of Client Services & Sales Support
I participated in the Trekkers program from 2003-2008, I also served as a student leader and participated in the Big Trek Little Trek program. It was a foundational experience for me. Upon graduating high school, I earned my degree in Business Management at the University of Maine at Augusta after attending University in New Haven in Connecticut for a few years. While still attending college, I began working with a local startup, Dream Local Digital, to build the business to expand nationally. I am still with them today on the leadership team as their Director of Client Services & Sales Support. In my free time I love to glamp, hike, paddle and be outdoors with my two greyhounds, Chili and Zooka. I feel so fortunate to have gotten involved with Trekkers in a leadership role again and experience the energy the group provides. I am looking forward to bringing my passion and experience to the Trekkers board to help the organization continue to flourish, and I am excited to share the Trekkers culture and represent an organization that has given so much to me.
Bryson (Cowan) King
Boston, Massachusetts – Capital Campaign Manager, Beaver Country Day School
Born and raised in Tenants Harbor, Bryson graduated from Trekkers and Georges Valley in 2008. She then attended Connecticut College, where she earned a dual degree in Government and Economic & Environmental Analysis. Since graduating, she has worked in nonprofit fundraising and is currently the Capital Campaign Manager at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, MA. Prior to this role, she was a Consultant at Development Guild/DDI, a national consulting firm specializing in fundraising and talent management, where she partnered with a wide range of social service and educational clients. Bryson resides in Boston with her husband, George, where she can be often be found crafting, biking and always looking for excuses to be outside. She loves coming “home” to the Midcoast as much as possible and is thrilled to be a part of an organization that shaped her as a person and continues to inspire her.
Rockport – Policy Advocate, Acadia Center
Kathleen Meil’s passion for lifelong learning and sustainability grew from her strong background in education, science, and community development. She began her career as an educator, earning an M.Ed. in Elementary Education and teaching kindergarten through fifth grade in public and independent schools for nearly a decade, and brings a teacher’s perspective to her work in Maine’s clean energy economy. As Policy Advocate at Acadia Center, a regional non-profit committed to advancing the clean energy future, Kathleen works to advance community energy initiatives that expand opportunities for Mainers to adopt clean, and affordable, local energy. Kathleen has served on the Board of Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, volunteers at Rockland’s soup kitchen, and chairs the Friends of the Rockport Public Library. She lives in Rockport with her husband, Ari, and their children, Tessa and Calder, and is thrilled to be part of Trekkers.
Susan Bly Grover
Thomaston – Community Member and retired Fund Raising Executive
Susan was born and raised in Litchfield, Maine and graduated from the University of Maine. While raising her children as a stay at home mother, she was active in community affairs including the Maine Children’s Theater and the Junior League. When her children entered school, she joined the not-for-profit world on a professional full-time basis where she developed volunteer programs in public schools and libraries, ran annual funds and major gift programs in private colleges, served as Director of Development and VP of Advancement for public universities directing capital campaigns and providing overall leadership to the Department of Advancement and the University Leadership. She and her husband recently moved to Thomaston after owning a restaurant and Inn in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. She is honored to have the opportunity to joining the Trekkers Board.
Rockland – Student
Makaila is currently a Senior at Oceanside High School. Trekkers has been a big part of her life for as long as she can remember because her sister, and fellow board member, Alyssa Rolerson did the program from 2002-2008. After being wait-listed her seventh and eighth grade year, Makaila joined the program during her 9th grade year. And she has been in love with the program ever since. She is currently a student leader for the eighth grade Team Albatross and in her time apart from Trekkers she loves to do yoga, “sling sandwiches” at her workplace Clan Maclaren, play field hockey for not only her high school team, but also for Bates’ AAU team, and participate in school activities like Student Government, Prom Committee and Key Club. She is so excited to be a part of the Trekkers board as she has been interested in being in the position since her start in Trekkers. She is mostly excited to be able to share her opinion with the board and be able to give back to Trekkers, because the program has given so much to her.
Rockland – Student
Wyatt is a junior at Oceanside High School. Having been in the Trekkers program since seventh grade, Wyatt loves Trekkers and is committed to advancing its mission. In his time in Trekkers, he has been able to do amazing things, including traveling to Texas for hurricane relief work and forming relationships with wonderful new people. Wyatt is a student leader with the eighth grade Team Vesuvius and works at Dorman’s Dairy Dream in Thomaston. In his free time, he enjoys reading, gardening, and hiking with his friends. He has been interested in serving on the Trekkers Board of Directors since starting the program, and is excited to learn more about the inner workings of their non-profit organization. Wyatt is passionate about helping Trekkers grow and provide other students with the same opportunities that he has experienced.