First MESSY Summer Camp a Success

Messy group photo

MACHIAS, ME – Twelve middle and high school students spent part of their summer getting messy at the Machias Environmental Summer Session for Youth, which was held at the University of Maine at Machias from July 19 through 24.

The camp, known as MESSY, is a week-long residential summer camp focused on environmental stewardship and sustainability, for students in grades 7–9. The main goals of MESSY are to teach students about 21st century environmental challenges, help them create solutions to real-world problems, and encourage them to become better stewards of the environment.

When the campers arrived at UMM on Sunday afternoon for the first-ever MESSY session, they were eager to get their hands dirty and to take steps toward making the world a better place. The students spent their morning sessions “minoring” in either Creative Writing and Papermaking or Marine Science, and spent their afternoons in the Environmental Stewardship “major”. They found themselves exploring coastal marine life at various local waterways, creating paper from recycled materials, and making a video documentary about the environment. Now that’s not a bad way to spend part of the summer!

messy interview

Campers worked directly alongside UMM faculty and students, actively participating in important work in the field and in the classroom. Their camp experience mirrored the hands-on, experiential learning that is characteristic of UMM’s degree programs.

MESSY campers also had the chance to explore the unlimited recreational opportunities that the Machias area has to offer. They hiked the recently completed “Rails to Trails”, canoed across Six Mile Lake, and spent an afternoon at Roque Bluffs State Park.

To learn more about MESSY, visit

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