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Our Philosophy

The mission at Maine Outdoor Kids is to promote youth development through enriching outdoor adventure programming that is accessible to all. Our hope is that these experiences encourage healthy emotional and social development for both youth and staff. We offer year-round day programming that includes unstructured outdoor play, environmental education, wilderness skills and outdoor recreation including hiking & backpacking, canoeing, and biking. 


Our vision is a community of young people that are mindful of themselves and others, while being stewards of the planet. Maine Outdoor Kids has no physical location — all of our programs and clinics utilize local public lands, parks or trail systems. We feel that this approach allows families to learn about and appreciate outdoor recreation opportunities right here in Southern Maine. 

Our Story

In Summer 2014, Effie created what was referred to as "Effie Camp," a collection of kids she'd cared for as a way to meet multiple family's summer child care needs. Essentially, an adventure-based nanny-share which occasionally made an appearance during the later summers she was in Maine. At “camp” Effie observed not only how happy the children were when they spent a lot of time outside exploring, but also how confidently they grew into themselves. We believe children need enriching outdoor experiences and exploration that support social and spiritual growth, especially during times of change. Through the support and encouragement of a group of parents, and identifying the need for more outdoor-based programs for Portland-area youth, Maine Outdoor Kids was born. 

Our team has grown since Maine Outdoor Kids was established in 2021 and expanded programming in Fall 2022 with the addition of Lucía as a Program Coordinator. Part of what makes Maine Outdoor Kids' programs so unique is our team's ability to engage and build strong, trusting connections with all participants. With small groups and ratios, our staff is able to use their intuition and experience to ensure each child has the space to develop into their very best selves. 

Have Questions? Check out our FAQ page. 


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