Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit an application to participate in the 10th annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. The program includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for early August. The application deadline is Thursday, February 8.

The program offers 10 high school sophomores and juniors the opportunity to spend nine days immersed in the finest example of wild country in Maine. Accompanied by experienced wilderness leaders from Chewonki Foundation, participants learn from specialists as they backpack from one end of Baxter State Park to the other.

Participants study wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history and recreation. They hike with a geologist, volunteer with a ranger, and paint at Katahdin Lake with a professional artist. Participants have described the program as “life-changing” and “the best learning experience I’ve ever had.”

The program includes readings and assignments in preparation for the field experience. After returning from Baxter, each participant gives a public presentation in his or her community.

Friends of Baxter State Park offers the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program at no cost to participants.

There is a competitive application process to be accepted into the program. Applications must be submitted online at www.friendsofbaxter.org by the deadline. Ten participants and six alternates will be announced by early April.

For more information, visit www.friendsofbaxter.org.