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WILD II Reflections

Posted by on July 25, 2016


Some thoughts on WILD II

by Carter Reynolds


Post Solo Celebration

It’s been a pleasure to serve this summer as a WILD II co-counselor with Samantha Shroyer and Colt Duttweiler.

Our WILD II’s have been doing a lot of growing this week as they round their way into the final quarter of a strong leadership development portion of the WILD program. We are proud of the way they continue to apply themselves and respond to challenges, mustering good attitudes in difficult situations, and enjoying themselves along the way.

To get to the point, we’ve had some health obstacles in the staff (but really, just me) which became a blessing in disguise with the addition of our third counselor, Colt Duttweiler (the tallest guy in the Attean group photo down below). Colt got to take my place on the 4 day Bigelow Mountain ridge run, where the group welcomed him and connected with him quickly.

Upon their return, our service project pushed us to work hard as a team. But by the end, we saw what we could accomplish: a transformation from dense jungle-like brush to neat & clean tent sites and miles of smooth walking/biking paths! It was a rewarding process.  When we really sat down and de-briefed our experience, there was an overall attitude of thankfulness. The group was glad to feel like their sacrifice of a few days–and a few bug bites–for a totally incredible campsite nestled right at the foot of our camp’s protective mountain face, Boundary Bald, was worth it. They expressed a sentiment of gratitude for being able to give back properly to a place that has meant so much to each of them, as they are confident that the fruit of their labor will be used for the rest of Moose River Outpost’s promising future.

Without wasting any time, our young leaders developed their medical skills the next day by participating in a two day Wilderness First Aid course, taught by our friends at SOLO who kindly came up to Jackman for the duration of the class. WILD II WFA



The photo above is from a scenario early on in the course. Needless to say, they all passed with flying colors in the end, enhancing their wilderness leadership by another big step!

After their WFA course, we had a bit more time to process things together. On guys and girls night, the two groups had a blast. The girls made what sounded like an epic slip-and-slide while the guys went over to main camp for some impassioned paintball games.

Next we spent time preparing for our week-long New Hampshire white-water kayak trip next week, practicing our rolls in the pond and adding in some extra fun like practicing fly fishing and wake boarding for the day.


At this point, we’ve finished our solo and begun applying everything we’ve been talking about: it’s apprenticeship week. They’re off to a strong start. Colt, Samantha and I are looking forward to seeing the group grow as individuals, serving campers under the tutelage of the MRO counselors.

As I conclude and head back to monitor/encourage them in their new roles, I look forward to my favorite part of this job, spending time reflecting with each group member individually. One thing I get to do during this week is steal them away when the time is right to debrief what’s going on and offer my best advice. As it can be difficult to always stay completely focused in a big group setting, I really value the insights and wisdom-seeking questions from each of our WILDers when I get moments with them one-on-one, whether on a canoe ride, quick fishing trip, or just sitting on the dock enjoying the incredible scenery.

5am Fish Theo:G

There’s something about leaving behind all distractions and challenging yourself spiritually alongside 10-12 like-minded individuals that naturally yields the most essential values in life: integrity, resilience, trust, and agape love to mention a few important ones. These are some of the values at the heart of the success of these future MRO leaders. Please pray for them as they reflect on how far they have come and where God wants to take them as they get comfortable working alongside the staff at “main camp” this week. We know that we will continue to be blessed by them, and we appreciate your prayers and support!

Right: Two campers and I enjoy the benefits of waking up at 5am for a quick fishing trip–not a big one, but pretty looking.

Below: The third session’s opening bonfire, which was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, was built by our WILD II team. The picture makes me feel even more like Moose River Outpost is some kind of sequel to the Hobbit.

Thanks for reading!

Opening Fire

Paddles & Saddles

Posted by on July 22, 2016

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

What an incredible first year it was for our Paddles & Saddles program!

Our campers went on a two week backcountry living experience in Northern Maine, where they spent one week on the river in canoes (paddles) and one week on mountain bike trails (saddles). It was incredible to see the growth in each of our campers both in their trail skills and spiritual growth. Campers worked hard and learned a lot about canoeing, and decided tackle some rapids together!

On the mountain bike trails we had to tackle some really tough obstacles, that challenged and stretched us.


Experiencing living two weeks in the backcountry allows our campers, and counselors alike, a wonderful platform to physically see our Creator’s creation while experiencing Him in new ways. The group environment allows everyone to process and learn as they go. Being able to dig in to life together, without distractions telling you how to process (i.e.: snapchat, instagram, Facebook, media, etc.) is an experience that impacts you for years to come. The quietness of the wild, the strength of the wilderness and the tallness of the trees gave our campers perspective on where they are in creation. Campers were challenged to contemplate their home life and how Christ has impacts our choices. Living in God’s creation gives a glimpse into how mighty the Lord of Lords is. If we can get our campers to see a glimpse of his greatness and power, then how easy is it for them to allow the Lord to show up in their ‘home’ lives. We created some great memories with them on the trails, and we know that God showed His mightiness & strength.

We have included some pictures of what our days and activities looked like on our Paddles & Saddles trip. We thank you for entrusting your campers to us – we enjoyed them so much!

Waking Up & Hot Breakfast (Over Campfire):
breakfast sandwich


Spending Time In The Word:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
quite time



Packing Up Camp & Planning Out The Day:



Stop for Lunch & Then Back on The River/Trail:
lunch stop



mountain biking

Setting Up Camp – Our group learned that setting up camp takes teamwork and is easy when everyone pitches in.
Camp Up




Dinner Over Campfire:


Devotional & Campfire Talk:


Off to Bed & Then Do It Again!

We had a ton of relaxing fun around camp. You could, often find us doing slack line competitions, fishing, swimming, discussing rapid lines & various paddle strokes, throwing freebies, seeing wildlife and of course watching the sunrise/set over the beautiful landscape. We even celebrated a birthday on the trail!!





“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

Welcome to the Waterfront!

Posted by on July 7, 2016



Emily Caren, Our Waterfront Director, has allowed us to share some of her personal reflections on the camp blog. They give a sense of the contemplative atmosphere that camp can foster. We hope you’ll enjoy her thoughts, and maybe be inspired to write down a few of your own.

Welcome to the Waterfront!

7,000 acres of Maine’s wild woods, trails and streams make you wish for one place to pause and see it all. I’ve spent the start of our summer season overwhelmed by such a place.

Quiet. One pond, but not a small pond. Sure, there are buoys and docks around some of the edges. Sure, during the day camper’s laughter and shouts fill the air. Even now my fingers stop and my eyes are frozen and focused on the gorgeous pair of loons that popped their heads above the water not even 15 feet from where I sit on the dock. It’s a tender moment like this that I don’t even know I’m holding my breath until I let it out.

It’s the moment when I’m still not quite awake, sitting on the paddleboard, knowing what I’m watching for. The mist is rolling across the pond in front of me as I paddle. Camp is quiet. The water is still. All of the mountains and trees and hills surrounding the lake almost seem to be waiting expectantly. Everything is waiting for the moment we all know is coming: The moment when the sun breaks over the trees morning begins. The view of the sunrise is something that will always make me feel like I am close to the Creator. Being on the paddleboard with my feet in the water not only seems to deepen that connection but reminds me of just how minuscule I am in comparison to what He’s made and is continually making anew. And yet I am made new everyday. Oh what a Savior, oh what a Creator.

Floating on my back in the swim area reminds me again of the thoughts and questions that seem to stretch out like eternity in front of me while watching the sunrise. I am so small. The world is so big. I am just one human in a world of many and yet as I float, I cannot fathom anything except how big He is. The sky and the clouds stretch over me just as I expect to see on the sunny day, but when I sit on the dock at night amazed by the stars, I am reminded again that the God who created all this is filled with grace that is wider, deeper and more overwhelming than anything I have felt before.

These are just a few of my stories of seeing our Creator from the MRO waterfront this summer. We are half-way through with our first session and have two more sessions to come. I revel in the stories this waterfront helps shape as well as the conversations & questions that happen in its waters and along its shores. What a gift to be apart of this.

Emily Caren
Waterfront Director

“For this is what the LORD says– he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited– he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” “
Isaiah 45:18

First Week Trip Update

Posted by on July 1, 2016

By the end of today, every cabin in camp will have returned from their overnight cabin trip. Each camper will have experienced what it’s like to venture unto the outdoors, sleep in a tent, cook over a fire, and function as a team.

The boys from Androscoggin backpacked their way to scenic Notch Pond. Despite intermittent rain throughout the trip, they stopped to make trail improvements along the way and had a great time doing it!


The girls from Baxter experienced rainstorms and even some hail on their canoe trip! Nonetheless they had a great time setting up a rain-ready campsite and catching these beautiful photos during those peaceful moments after the weather had passed. The girls were undaunted by the rain. If anything, it served to draw the group closer together as a team.

The Penobscot boys took to our very own Boundary Bald Mountain for their trip (this is the mountain we can see directly across our lake, and it features prominently in many camp photos, including the banner image for this page). The view was, as always, spectacular. From the top of the mountain they could see camp. They could also see the lingering rainstorms from the previous days, now miles away.

Much like the other cabins in camp, Kennebec also experienced rain on their trip, but it was the perfect camper’s rain. Their site was setup before it started, and the rain continued all night until just before the group broke camp to return home. Rather than returning with wet boots, the boys came home with stories of the sound of rain pattering away on their tents.

The Saco boys enjoyed perfect weather as they paddled from the Moose River to Long Pond. They had the wind at their backs across the pond, which made for easy paddling. They also saw two bald eagles, one of which dove and caught a fish as they watched! Due to the clear skies, several of them slept on the beach of their campsite, enjoying the starry skies by night and the mist rising off the pond in the morning.

Pamola cabin took to the woods with backpacks and hiked their way to Eagle Rock, for beautiful views of the surrounding area. They’ll return today, and we’ll hear their stories then, but we know that their weather was perfect, with clear skies and no doubt great views.

Now the schedule turns to our weekend games, kicking off tonight with the famous MROlympics! Campers will compete in a variety of events, ranging from familiar sports to crazy camp games. Keep checking the blog for more updates and info. Also, make sure to check out our Facebook page and Instagram feed for photos and updates every day.