Ocean Explorers Maine is a certified LLC business and has been running successfully since 2010.
Ocean Explorers' mission is to educate through adventure and exploration on the ocean and Maine islands. As we teach about the fragility of the coastal ecosystem and develop seamanship skills, we ignite the passion for being on the ocean which in turn creates a deep respect for our climate, our earth, and each other. This experience fully engages the hands, hearts, and minds of our students and makes a lifelong imprint.
It is never too early to teach kids how to find the power within. The most helpful skills we can give our kids at this time in their lives are resiliency, grit, self-reliance, and the knowledge that power stems from strength - both emotional and physical. Being in the outdoors; learning how to take care of ourselves and our community may be the best way to develop these skills. Fully immersing kids in a nature-based expedition is the most exciting way for them to realize how powerful they truly are! One of the best times to do this is middle school/high school age when they are facing the world of rapid change - navigating increasingly more complicated social and moral interactions, physical changes in their body, a stronger influence from peer groups, and the newly forming need for more independence.
Specific skills that will be introduced and practiced over the session:
Learning dead reckoning navigation using parallel rulers, dividers and a chart
Understanding tides and current flow
Accessing weather reports and reporting these
Practicing seamanship skills including knots and coiling lines
learning sail theory, sail trim, steering, nautical terms.
Building skill in anchoring a boat and/or picking up a mooring
Identifying marine flora and fauna
Enjoying guided solo and journal time
Participating in community service of island trash pick up
Daily exercises for strengthening our core body
Ocean Explorers Maine is a member of the Maine Island Trail Association. We take pride in picking up trash from the Maine Islands and Mountains. This summer during these camps we will be studying these findings with the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker.
A typical day at Ocean Explorers may include:
Meal prep and clean up
Weather and tide check
Chart reading and route planning
Sailing to a new island
Learning point of sail, steering, sail trim, and navigating
Learning to anchor
Leaning small boat handling
An intertidal zone walk
An island clean up
Debrief of the day’s activities
Throughout our daily travels and learnings, we will pause and reflect on our communication, continue to build healthy group dynamics and enjoy simple play. With the exception of my personal cell phone (for safety and documenting our adventure) there will be no screens allowed on our trip.
We aim to:
1. Teach skill-building in sail theory, navigation, seamanship, and marine ecology/science
2. Learn to sail with a focus on group communication, team building, and boosting self-esteem.
3. Strengthen of body and mind.
Owner / Director Jeni Conover
2024 SUMMER SCHEDULE
2024 Ocean Explorers - Maine sailing/island experience; 6 people/trip;
OVERNIGHT CAMPS: 3 day/2 night sessions or 5 day/4 night sessions.
Session 1: Youth island camping. ages 10-13 years old. 3 days $800 June 21-23
Session 2: Youth sailing/island camping. ages 13-15 years old. 5 days $1300 July 7-11
Session 3: Youth sailing/island camping. ages 11-14. 4 days $1100. July 14-17
Session 4: Women's Weekend. $750. July 19-21.
Session 5: Women's Weekend. $750. August 23-25
Youth Sessions 1-3:
Join Jeni Conover and other educators and licensed captains for an educational and FUN week off the coast of Maine. All are experienced sailors and boat owners with USCG credentials.
Women's Session 4
Isle Au Haut Excursion: Hiking and Writing focused.
This session is co-led with writer/author Liza Gardner Walsh. Join us for an enriching weekend filled with grounding practices, new survival skills, reflection, and writing prompts to keep us thriving and growing. We will spend two nights camping on Isle Au Haut, hiking the island, and touching on other Ocean Explorer curricula.
Women's Session 5
Come recharge yourself by camping on a private Maine Island in beautiful Merchant Row. We will wake to the sounds of seagulls and lobster boats and relax to the tides. Some things we offer. Journaling, yoga. Wim Hof, solo, core strengthening, basic chart reading, cold water soaks, knot tying, rowing, and more. You can just come to camp and experience nature or participate in these offerings. Join us for a relaxing 3 days on a remote Maine Island.
For questions or to signup please send an email to: OceanExplorersMaine@gmail.com
Please include: Which session you want to reserve, age, how you heard about OEM. We will then send you a form to fill out.
I am a mom to 3 wonderful children, a resident of Maine and a committed teacher. I presently work full-time at Carrabassett Valley Academy. My professional life has held the common thread of working with kids in the outdoors. I find tremendous value and growth when I am stripped of distraction and allow myself to focus on the here and now. Working in the outdoors gives me this focus and allows me to dive fully into my work.
My professional outdoor work has been varied and includes teaching sailing, leading Outward Bound courses, owning and managing a nature-based preschool as well as a coach at a few astute alpine ski racing facilities, (Telluride Alpine Race Team, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, and Carrabassett Valley Academy). I was the director and coach for the Camden Snow Bowl ski racing program for 10 years. I also have coached camps in Montana, Colorado, Chile, and Mt. Hood. I am currently the manager of the Carrabassett Valley Academy Alpine weekend program.
Additionally I am trained in Wilderness First Responder and hold current CPR and First Aid Certificates. I have a 50-ton captain license from the USCG. I have sailed transatlantic, throughout the Scandinavian countries (which included above the Arctic circle into the Lofoten Islands), through the Mediterranean Sea and into the Caribbean, and up the Eastern coast of the US.
Lastly and most importantly I love the people I work with/teach/coach. I hold tremendous value in identifying strengths in kids, encouraging them to see these strengths and build on them as well as giving a platform to practice healthy and productive communication. I care deeply for the well-being of human-kind and diligently do my part to encourage positive growth with the kids I take into an outdoor experience.