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Tying the Masters to the Maine Guide

Updated: Mar 31, 2023



I fell in love with nature at a very young age during visits to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. These car camping visits to the White Mountains were a couple times a summer and they were the only afforded extracurricular activity that my dearly beloved mother was able to provide in my childhood. When I returned to my deeply rooted (father) Maine family in my early 20’s I was introduced to whitewater rafting by my Uncle Frank Smith (I give credit this man) who was a cook and bus driver for Wilderness Expeditions and the Birches Resort during summers (1994-1995) here in Maine. Uncle Franky (as we call him) initiated a trip down the Kennebec River for my brothers and I. That day, “I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up”. I became a Maine guide that following year and it changed my life profoundly. It inspired the compassionate outdoor professional I have become today.


After several summers as a commercial whitewater rafting guide I earned a bachelor degree in adventure education (with an emphasis in leadership) from Unity College in 2003. I spent 10 more years as an outdoor professional working in some of the most remote and beautiful places in America from Maine to Alaska before I achieved my Master’s Degree in adventure education (emphasis in outdoor therapies) three years ago. Earning a master's degree in adventure education has provided me with a unique set of skills and knowledge that has enhanced my ability to lead and educate others in outdoor activities under my Maine Guide License. In this blog I wanted to provide you with some ways that a master's degree in adventure education is beneficial to one’s ability and professionalism in the Maine Guiding industry:


Enhanced knowledge of outdoor activities: Pursuing a master's degree in adventure education can provide Maine guides with a deeper understanding in a variety of outdoor activities. This knowledge can help guides design and lead more diverse programs that cater to the needs and interests of their clients.


Advanced teaching and leadership skills: Adventure education emphasizes the development of teaching and leadership skills. Maine guides who earn a master's degree in adventure education are likely to apply these skills to design and lead educational experiences which promote personal growth and learning.


Stronger focus on safety and risk management: Safety is a critical aspect of being a Maine guide. Adventure education places a strong emphasis on safety and risk management. A master's degree in adventure education can enhance a guide's understanding of these concepts.


Better understanding of group dynamics and communication: Maine Guides who earn a master's degree in adventure education can develop a better understanding of group dynamics and communication. This knowledge can help guides build stronger relationships with clients and promote effective communication within groups.


Environmental awareness and sustainability: Adventure education often focus on environmental awareness and sustainability. Guides who earn a master's degree in adventure education can apply this knowledge to promote responsible outdoor practices and educate clients about environmental issues.


I would like to conclude by saying that as a Registered Maine Guide my master's degree in adventure education has provided me with an exceptional set of skills and knowledge that are second to none in the outdoor industry of Maine and afar. My field experience as a professional Guide, tied into theoretical and practical education in the field has enhanced my ability to lead and educate others in outdoor activities with passion and commitment. From advanced teaching and leadership skills, stronger focus on safety and risk management, to core values of sustainability, adventure, and education the benefits of a master's degree have helped me design and lead more effective and diverse social experiences for the future of the industry.




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