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Local Organizations Provide Scholarships for MESSY Environmental Camp

Added on: June 29, 2012
DCC check presentation to MESSY
Tom Boutureira, left, executive director of the Downeast Coastal Conservancy,
presents UMM's Tora Johnson with a check to provide scholarships to the Maine
Environmental Summer Session for Youth (MESSY).

MACHIAS, Maine – Thanks to contributions from two Machias-based organizations, more local youth will be able to enjoy a messy summer camp experience. The Maine Environmental Summer Session for Youth (MESSY), a hands-on environmental camp at the University of Maine at Machias, has received contributions from the Downeast Coastal Conservancy and Machias Savings Bank to provide camp scholarships for area youth.

Now in its fourth year, MESSY is aimed at promoting awareness, building knowledge, and stimulating active and creative approaches to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

“It's so important for young people to have access to experiences like MESSY,” said Tora Johnson, MESSY camp director. “It's not only lots of fun, it gets kids involved in environmental stewardship and helps them envision cool careers in environmental science, art, and technology. We greatly appreciate that community-minded organizations like DCC and MSB see the importance of programs like MESSY. With their help, more kids will be able to get, well, messy.”

According to DCC Executive Director Tom Boutureira, the camp aligns perfectly with the mission of the Downeast Coastal Conservancy.

“Getting kids outside to enjoy and connect with the natural resources of the region is part of our mission,” said Boutureira. “We commend UMM for offering these important applied outdoor learning opportunities.”

MSB check presentation to MESSY
Larry Barker, right, president of Machias Savings Bank, presents UMM's Tora
Johnson with a check to provide scholarships to the Maine Environmental
Summer Session for Youth (MESSY).

The scholarships mean that more area youth will be able to attend camp, something that is important to Machias Savings Bank.

“Being a part of the communities is something MSB understands and we are excited that we are able to provide these opportunities for local youth,” said Traci Sanborn, MSB senior vice president of marketing.

In addition to the contributions from DCC and MSB, UMM has received funding from a component of the Maine Community Foundation to support scholarships and special field experiences for MESSY.

Campers will take field trips, including a whale watch excursion, and will work with whale tracking and sighting data in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). They will also learn about the ways in which the Passamaquoddy people viewed and interacted with marine mammals.

UMM will run two overnight sessions of MESSY this summer. The first, for youth entering grades 9–12, will take place July 22–27. The second session, for grades 6–8, will take place July 29–August 3. At the end of each six-day session, participants will share their experiences with family and friends through videos, artwork, maps, and slideshows at a closing ceremony.

The cost to attend MESSY is $450 for one week. A limited number of scholarships are available to families in need of financial assistance and will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. For more information on scholarships or to register for MESSY, visit, call Nichole Cote at 255-1245, or e-mail


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