Help support Trekkers on their 30th anniversary

Seven Paddles on a Paddle by Carol L. Douglas

When I was asked to paint a paddle for Trekkers‘ 30th anniversary fundraising art auction, I said yes because:

  • I believe in the power of outdoor adventure. That’s not just good for youth; it’s good for everyone. However, we’ve created an artificial, media-driven world for our kids, and it’s important for them to learn to navigate real space and controlled risk with confidence.
  • I love paddling.
  • I was a 4Her as a kid, and I learned some of my best skills through that mentoring program, as well as from neighbors and family friends. Those relationships were invaluable when my family was poleaxed by tragedy.
  • I was asked by a friend, famous art conservator Lauren Lewis.
Hiawatha’s Journey by Susan Lewis Baines

I learned to make a paracord-wrapped handle for my paddle, using coxcombing and Turk’s head knots. Sometimes ideas that seem easy in concept prove devilishly difficult in execution. My knots took a lot longer than the painting.

King Fisher by Lily Hamill

What is Trekkers?

For the past 30 years, Trekkers has cultivated the inner strength of young people through long-term mentoring relationships. These are based in outdoor, experiential, and travel-based education.

Trekkers started in 1994 under the aegis of founders Jack Carpenter and Peter Jenks. Together, they appealed to community leaders to provide support. The first trips were by canoe in the spring and fall of 1994. They included 11 kids from Thomaston along with 11 adult mentors.

Otter and Urchin by Lauren Lewis

This year’s art auction fundraiser features wooden canoe paddles as a nod to that adventurous, outdoor spirit. It’s a real community project: paddles were crafted by Maine Correctional Industries, and Dowling-Walsh Gallery will host the event. You can view the paddles from May 8-15 at 365 Main Street, Rockland, Maine. They’re online here, and there’s lots more than the small sample I’ve shared with you.

There will be a reception and final bidding at the gallery on May 15 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM.

Passages by Jon Mort

I hope you spend some time poring over the entries. And be sure to return to the website on May 8, when bidding will open.

Wading Through Wildflowers (detail) by Tara Morin
Island Lines by Colin Page
Wilderness Makes One Aware of Nature’s Miracles (detail) by Karin Strong

My 2024 workshops:

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