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.
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.
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.
Kate Elmes, Director of Development
Kate serves as Trekkers’ Director of Development, working to build Trekkers’ 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.
Brandon Caron, Program Director
Brandon is Trekkers’ Program Director. 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. 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.
Katlyn Rich, Program Manager
After being an AmeriCorp intern with Trekkers, Katlyn joined the team as a Program Manager in 2019. 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.
Taylor “TJ” Jackson, Program Manager
TJ joined the Trekkers team as a Program Manager in September of 2019. She first became interested in outdoor education as a student in Washington State, where she went on a three day sailing expedition to learn science. Since then, she has achieved a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii and worked at a number of outdoor education organizations on tall ships and on land. She came to Midcoast Maine in 2017 to work as an outdoor educator with the Chewonki Foundation, and fell in love with the rocky coastline and the tight-knit community. In her spare time she loves to curl up with her cat, Tractor, and a good book.
Kaleb Robinson, Program Manager
Kaleb joined Trekkers as a Program Manager in December of 2020. In the spring of 2019, Kaleb graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a B.S in Business Management, with a concentration in International Management and a minor in Leadership Studies. Kaleb is an Alumnus of the Trekkers class of 2015, and has been involved as a student leader and adult volunteer since then. He is excited to continue working with Trekkers to help foster relationships, build community, and spend time outdoors with students, volunteers, and Trekkers staff alike. Outside of Trekkers you would most likely find Kaleb spending time with friends either cooking, playing board games, exploring outside, or a combination of all three!
Emma Beaudry, Administrative Coordinator
Emma provides administrative support at Trekkers and looks forward to greeting you at our office. She grew up in Montville, Maine and spent many summers working with youth as a camp counselor and trip leader at Tanglewood 4-H Camp & Learning Center. Her experiences at Tanglewood and growing up in a small town helped foster her love of the outdoors. She went on to further her knowledge of the outside world by studying Geology and Archaeology at Bates College. Emma came to Trekkers from Maine Sport where she cultivated her love of outdoor gear and apparel. In her free time she can be found hiking, gardening, at the gym or enjoying quiet time at home with some tea, her knitting and one of her cats. Emma lives in Rockport with her partner, Tom, and their two cats, Roman and Motor.
Jamie Camber, Finance Assistant
Jamie is Trekkers’ Finance Assistant. 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.
Teresa Valdepeñas, Communications & Impact Manager
Tess likes to find fun, creative ways to foster community. Before starting at Trekkers in 2019, she worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine as a Community-Based Manager. Originally from Massachusetts, she she spent over a decade in Boston, MA working in the advertising industry for large and small business brands, always harboring the desire to move into the nonprofit space. She holds a B.S. from Boston University in Communications. Outside the office, you can find Tess birding on Beauchamp Point, tending to veggie plants, or sharing laughs with friends around a campfire.
Mitchell DelFrate, AmeriCorps Member
Mitchell joined Trekkers as an AmeriCorp member in January 2021. He has spent the last three years studying Surveying Engineering Technology at the University of Maine and is currently taking a gap year from school. As a Trekkers Alumni of the Class of 2017, he is hoping to build meaningful relationships with students as a way to give back to the community. He is excited to be part of organization that was so influential for him as a student and hopes he can create more great memories with Trekkers! Outside of the office you will mostly find Mitchell working out, reading, and spending time with family.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Kathleen Meil, President
Camden – Policy and Partnerships Director, Maine Conservation Voters
Douglas M. Erickson, Treasurer
Thomaston – Community Member, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group
Alyssa Landrith, Secretary
Rockland – Trekkers Alumna, Co-Owner of Adventure Advertising
Bryson Cowan King
Roslindale, MA – Trekkers Alumna, Assistant Director of Philanthropy and Engagement, Beaver County Day School
Rockland – Trekkers Alumna, Student at Husson University
Tenants Harbor – Parent of Current Trekkers Student and Alumni
Rockland – President, Founder Realtor of Summer Maine
Camden – Chief Operating Officer, Lyman Morse
Rockland – Payroll Development Officer, Bangor Savings Bank
Tenants Harbor – Community Member
Thomaston – Current Trekkers Student, Oceanside High School
Jack Carpenter, Founding Member
Rockland – Executive Director, Youth Forum Maine, Inc.
Trekkers is tremendously grateful for the generosity of our business partners and their support of our community. For more information on our sponsorship program, including how to become a partner, please contact Kate Elmes.