In 2010, I announced to my coworkers in Chicago that I would be moving to Maine the following month. It was a decision that had been coming for a long time as I grew tired of the hustle and bustle of big city life. I had my eye on Maine, ever since visiting as a teen and falling in love with it. Everyone had the same slightly confused expression. Predictable words would follow: “Maine?” (long pause) “What’s in Maine?”
It’s a great question and a question I still get asked when I travel to different parts of the country. In regards to Outward Bound, the question is often “Why would someone outside of New England come to Maine to take a summer course with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School?” The better question is “Why not?”
Having traveled quite a good bit, I can honestly say that Maine is unlike any other place I’ve been. Bursting with wildlife, mountains, rivers and a magnificent coastline, the natural beauty of Maine feels unlike anywhere else in the United States. After the first visit to ”Vacationland,” many people find themselves either moving here or making it a routine vacation destination. Something about the pace of life encourages getting outdoors to find oneself instead of constantly relying on television and technology. Add to this the leadership learnings of Outward Bound and you have a winning combination.
Here are five fun facts about the great state in which the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School is located:
- Islands – Maine has 3,166 off-shore islands.
- Coastline – 3,478 miles of coastline to be exact – more than California (3,427), and over 5,000 miles of coast when including islands.
- Lobster – Who doesn’t like lobster? We have plenty of it here. Maine harvests the vast majority of lobster in the US.
- Moose – We’ve got em’. We have more moose per mile than any other state. Spotting a moose in its natural environment has been a favorite HIOBS memory for many of our backpacking and canoeing students.
- Lighthouses – 67 to be exact. There’s nothing like seeing a lighthouse from a pulling boat.
When asked “Why Maine?” I now tell people to come and find out for themselves. I could tell them stories or show them pictures, but there are some things that words can’t quite capture. The state of Maine is one of them.
Learn more about Hurricane Island Outward Bound School by watching the video above.
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