Kieve-Wavus Blog

Woodland and Bristol EIRs 2019

Woodland’s Educator in Residence: Neil

I have been looking forward to continuing my EIR experience at Woodland Junior High school this winter. The past two years doing EIR in the Searsport School District have produced some amazing memories for sure. Moving on from Searsport was pretty difficult but the down east community of Woodland, Maine has already welcomed me with open arms. The Leadership School has done countless outreaches to Woodland in the past couple of years which has made the faculty very trusting of my day to day programming.

Woodland Junior High S chool is a very small school community. They have one lunch period that fits every student in the school into the cafeteria at once. This makes it very fun and easy for me to walk around and chat with students while they eat. I work with every grade with a focus on 7th and 8th grade. These 7th and 8th graders are in a very critical position in terms of the necessity to improve their kindness and respect for others and communication with their teachers and peers. The gym teacher has also welcomed me into his class whenever I can make it. This week we are teaching the 7th grade boys and girls the fundamentals of football. This was a great opportunity to reinforce kindness and respect as well as sportsmanship while learning a a new sport.

This week I have also linked up with a 10th grade teacher and her class to help them be more confident in public speaking and conducting interviews. They are going to be interviewing veterans from around the area. My goal for these older students (9th-12th) is to use Leadership School curriculum that emphasizes real life situations that they will encounter post high school. It has been a blast working with these older students because it has forced me to make some of our classic TLS curriculum more advanced to meet this demographic. My processing time is very hands off due to the students knowing how to brainstorm effectively.

My favorite part about working in the Woodland school district is the hometown feel you get while walking in the hallways. Teachers know family members of students, the basketball games are packed with people from the surrounding areas, and their is little disrespect (if any) towards teachers. I am looking forward to the next 7 weeks in down east Maine!


Bristol’s Educator in Residence: Kelsey

Working at Bristol Consolidated School these last two winters has been the most meaningful part of my KW experience and I’m profoundly grateful to be back for a third. Students I’ve known for years have grown into more thoughtful, considerate young people, teachers openly offer for me to jump into their classrooms and every day I’ve found new creative ways to contribute to this community. I can’t imagine that most people my age get to feel so connected and proud of the communities they live in right after college.

Being an EIR at BCS means being willing to say “yes”, supporting teachers with large class sizes, being a role model to all students, and serving as an ambassador of Kieve Wavus Education. From the moment I walked through the front doors this winter, I have been carefully bombarded with different ideas and suggestions by various teachers, some who I’ve worked with before but also many who I only peripherally interacted with in other years. In addition to organizing TLS activities with each class, I’ve been pulled into doing more specialized mentoring, individual one on one support for my buddy in kindergarten and in informal group lunch settings with the eighth graders I’ve worked closely with the
last two years. As the resident “Kieve person”, the students ask me about Kieve all the time; while the younger ones ask about the climbing wall and vacation camps, older students who have participated in Local Schools week and KW leads ask me about their educators from previous visits, still clearly impacted and curious about the KW staff they’ve worked with previously.

Taking advantage of the relationships and trust I have cultivated over the last two winters, I’ve been able to build on my work from previous years and contribute more deeply into this community. The best example of this has been my sporadic but enthusiastic participation with the middle school girls basketball team. For the last two Tuesdays I’ve joined practices, ran drills alongside the girls and enjoyed the opportunity to do a little informal coaching (although when I apologized to Coach Holly for being potentially too chatty and eager in this endeavor, she assured me that I was fine). This week, Bristol
hosted the noblest of the Busline League, the boys and girls teams of Nobleboro on Wednesday night. In preparation for this exciting battle, I summoned the EIRs of South Bristol and Nobleboro to join in the spectating of this clash of titans. Nobleboro took both wins handedly but I made a beautiful sign that said “Go Bristol!” in art class so my students were still happy.

Posted in: News |

King and Hope EIRs 2019

King Middle School’s Educator in Residence: Sam

The Educator in Residence program, in my opinion, is one of the most rewarding parts of working for Kieve-Wavus Education. During the fall and spring seasons at The Leadership School, we have the pleasure of working with middle school students from across the state. Typical programs last up to five days; however, during the winter most educators are at their schools for ten weeks. This is incredibly valuable because it enables us to continue working with students and schools for a longer and more meaningful amount of time. Each educator plays a different role and wears many hats at their schools. But there is one constant: we all have the ability to positively affect middle school students from as far north as Searsport and as far south as Old Orchard.

Will, Noah and I have the unique privilege of piloting an EIR expansion this winter. Instead of being at our schools for ten weeks, we will be staying at our schools for five months! This is an incredible opportunity that will allow us to push ourselves as educators, schools to have an extra set of hands, and KW to give back even more to Maine middle school education. My personal hope is that the organization will be able to offer even more 5-month EIRs next winter and spring.

I am extremely thankful that I was placed at King Middle School my first winter at TLS. Over the past four winters, I have spent a collective 12 months working at King through the EIR program. Each year, I have been able to work with more and more students and expand what I can offer to the school. Over the course of the next five months, my goal is to teach social emotional learning to all 500 students. There are endless benefits from returning to your EIR school. I am working with the 6th graders for the first time this winter, 7th graders for the second time, and 8th graders for the third time. I also hope to offer climbing during crew and will be coaching track again this winter.

One of my favorite things about working at King is that it is one of the most diverse schools in the state, economically, racially and ethnically. King is also an Expeditionary Learning school, which works hand in hand with the social emotional work I provide in the classroom. I was able to hit the ground running on day one and look forward to packing in as much as possible over the next 5-months. I am so grateful to work with these students and be welcomed into their community. Being able to work with them throughout the entirety of their middle school careers is so rewarding and important. The students at King bring a smile to my face every day and I couldn’t think of a better place to call my winter home for five years now.


Hope Elementary School’s Educator in Residence: Dave

It’s an amazing feeling to be back at a school for a second year. Kids are excited to have me back, and teachers are excited too, though they express it a little differently—fewer high-fives and less yelling “Hi” to me in the hallway. This is my second winter at Hope Elementary School. And even though last year was only for 6 weeks, I felt so welcomed back, and familiar with the school that I was able to jump right in where I left off. I am a familiar face to the whole school community, and just as importantly, I am a known entity for teachers to let into their classrooms to do programming.

Hope Elementary is a PK-8 school, and I work with every grade for at least an hour. My overall goals for the groups conveniently align with the school goals: building a sense of community and self-confidence in students of every grade level. This week, I have worked with every grade except 2nd, and 7th though I do see them out at recess. With PK, K and 1st, I mostly focus on playing simple games that get the students moving, sharing about themselves, thinking about others, and that builds body awareness and control. These activities include very little processing, but usually have a few questions afterward so they can reflect a bit.

With 3rd-5th, the activities usually are a little more complex, but generally work towards developing the same things. The big change is my expectations for the kids and letting them know that I expect them to be more responsible for their actions. Also, my processing questions usually demand a bit more from them in terms of making connections and thinking critically, With the 5th graders, I start to include more conversations about what roles there are in a group, and how that played out in the activity.

By the middle school ages, I am much more hands off with directives about how I expect them to treat each other and act. I show them that they are responsible for their actions by leaving the conversation until after the activity so that they can reflect on how they might have affected other people, rather than getting reprimanded and merely feeling like they got in trouble. Besides looking into how actions affected others, I ask processing questions designed to get them thinking about how the activities relate to their relationships and actions in their everyday life.

My favorite thing about working at this school is the sheer number of age groups I get to work with. I get to meet and hang out with all kinds of different interesting It is fascinating to tinker with activities to meet the needs of the different age groups, and then to see how those groups respond to those activities.


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Educator in Residence 2019

2019 Educators in Residence

2019 is the 7th year for The Leadership School’s Educator-In-Residence (EIR) program. Our 21 educators will be working in 18 different schools throughout the state of Maine.

This year’s EIR schools include:

  • Boothbay Region Elementary School
  • Bristol Consolidated School
  • Damariscotta Montessori School
  • Great Salt Bay School
  • Hope Elementary School
  • Jefferson Village School
  • King Middle School
  • Lincoln Academy
  • Loranger Middle School
  • Medomak Middle School
  • Memorial Middle School
  • Nobleboro Central School
  • OUT Maine
  • Searsport Middle School
  • South Bristol School
  • St. George Elementary School
  • Whitefield Elementary School
  • Woodland Middle School

The program objectives are shaped by the needs of the school community, the goals of the administration and the strengths of the educator. Educators and school mentors develop individualized memorandums of understanding that are diverse and include school specific items such as: support healthy classroom behavior, develop after-school play clubs, provide professional development for staff and help students transition between various life stages. Their work plans share commonalities too:  to promote positive interactions among students, model inclusive behavior for students, model positive language and redirection for teachers, and disseminate TLS messages and language across grade levels.  The EIR program furthers the Kieve-Wavus long range goal of deepening and broadening the impact of our programming.

Over the coming weeks our educators will be sharing their experiences on the blog, keeping us updated what they doing at their different schools.

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With your gift to the Loyalty Fund we are giving kids the tools and the confidence to overcome obstacles and live their fullest lives!


Julia Poggi
Wavus Camper 2016-2019

Posted in: News |

With your gift to the Loyalty Fund we are changing lives, making dreams come true….

November 29, 2018

Happy Holidays!!

Benjamin was all quiet, in a good way, kind of teary-eyed, not the usual Benjamin, not the usual reaction I get when he is excited. I am speaking about his reaction to receiving the letter confirming a scholarship for him this summer. When he knew I was filling out forms that determined his eligibility, there was nervous feeling he was getting, not certain, of course, whether he gets to come back up again this year.

So our take on his reaction was that his most heartfelt feelings were deep down in his soul, ones of relief that he gets to be up there again for another summer. He has entered his freshman year of high school and has taken on greater responsibilities and facing new challenges, so it makes more sense to me that he has a deep feeling of loyalty to Camp Kieve and so badly wants to have some older tradition in his life as he begins to grow out of his more youthful ways and enter into young adulthood. He has been a camper there for a whole bunch of years now, considers it a second home for him, and his identification with it is in his soul as he continues to share with us funny memories and anecdotes that happened to him during cold winter seasonal moments here in North Carolina.  Our Thanksgiving holiday was tough this year for us Meglins’ as we lost Nick Meglin, Ben’s grandfather, back in June, and we loved this holiday with him because it was his favorite, as Nick would always get an earful from Benjamin about his biggest highlights from the year, always talking about summer time experiences at Kieve. It gives Benjamin and his family great pleasure and it’s a great honor to be a recipient of another extremely generous scholarship from Kieve-Wavus donors.  Our lives have dramatically changed for the better due to this amazing opportunity you and these donors have provided us. We are once again counting down the days until we drive up there again in June to continue this priceless journey for our son’s wilderness experience and fulfillment.

With much love and gratitude,

Benjamin, Chris, and Susana

Posted in: Camper Stories, Kieve Camp for Boys |

Three Ways The Leadership School Staff Works for Maine – and Beyond

Can you believe that 60 amazing people now work at Kieve Wavus year-round?! And that thousands of people experience life changing moments on our campuses for over 300 days every year? Beyond the management team and the hardworking folks who grind behind the scenes to keep our campuses in top shape, to fill our bellies with delicious meals, and to keep our universe organized and informed, 31 of our staff are on the front lines as incredible teachers, mentors, and role models. What follows is a small taste about those TLS difference makers and how they are helping students – mostly from Maine – communicate more effectively, trust more willingly, and aim higher more frequently.

Casting a Wide Net: Residential and outreach programs for Northern New England
Every year over 8,000 students – mostly middle schoolers and their teachers – make their way to Damariscotta Lake for multi-day retreats. TLS Educators are also often on the road bringing programming to playgrounds, parking lots, and gymnasiums. About one-in-five of all students who graduate from Maine schools are impacted by Kieve Wavus at some point during their school years. The program started 40 years ago, and countless Mainers can now look back on their time here as a highlight of their school years. We love hearing from these alumni often!

Teaching Aspiring Teachers: TLS Educators in Residence
Since 2013, TLS has been providing an Educator in Residence to a set of schools who attend TLS residential programs. These Educators play important roles in the school, providing formal and informal mentorship, working one on one with students who need a little extra guidance, and running before and after school programs for students. Our staff also runs professional development courses for teachers on social-emotional development. As an organization, Kieve Wavus Education is committed to a teach-the-teacher method that aims to put more aspirational teachers in schools that need them most.

Diving Deeper: Committing to Local Schools
Particularly for those kids who grow up near Kieve and Wavus, TLS is working on several important partnerships and initiatives in order to spend lots more time with individual students than is typical of TLS programs. We’re blending summer camp-type adventures with TLS classes and giving our young, creative, and loving staff more flexibility to build exciting curriculum. We’re also including many community leaders, school personnel, and other non-profit organizations in this effort. The hope is that KWE’s long-term commitment to local students will help graduate even more happy, healthy, curious, confident, and resilient people who will, in turn, aim to make deep and lasting differences in this world.

Posted in: News |

Alumni Profile – Molly D. Billings

Wavus 2008-09; KW West 2011; Wavus Council 2013-17; College of Wooster; B.S. Class of 2017 Chemistry and Environmental Studies

Molly Billings, known as Mo Bills around Wavus, grew up in Bangor, Maine. Her mother met Henry Kennedy through the Leadership Maine program and the Billings family began a lifelong relationship with a place that impacted the course of Molly’s life. She attended Wavus as a camper for two years, participated in Kieve-West in 2011, and went on to spend five more years with us on staff at Wavus leading cabins from Junior Wavus to Maine Trails. What follows are Molly’s reflections on her time at Wavus and how these experiences impacted her life:

Ten years ago, I first set foot on the Appalachian Trail as a camper in the Wavus AT-Sea cabin. It rained every day for 11 days straight and I promised myself I would never do anything like that again. This past spring, before taking my first full time job as a high school chemistry teacher, I hiked the southernmost 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Not only did I hike in rain, I hiked in freezing rain, snow, extreme heat, and everything in between. This time, I loved every minute.
This change didn’t just happen overnight. Each of the eight summers I spent at Wavus between AT-Sea and my own AT adventure changed my perspective. Canoeing the Allagash showed me that trip could be enjoyable, and Kieve-West taught me that not only was backpacking bearable, it was actually really fun. Once I became a part of the staff and got to lead trips such as Maine Trails, I became completely hooked.

KW campers go on awesome wilderness adventures, make lifelong friends, and grow in their confidence and leadership. Counselors get to enjoy the same awesome adventures as campers, but we have more responsibility and a greater need to be self-reliant. One of my favorite things was watching campers come back year after year and, eventually, join the staff as counselors. That first year as a counselor is filled with so much growth—it certainly was for me. I had never felt as confident as I did at the end of my first summer, and it makes me proud to think that my old campers are experiencing this same growth.

My Wavus experience didn’t just change the way I think about the outdoors. Although I learned everything from how to tie knots to how to be the best leader that I can, my biggest takeaway from my time working at Wavus is that I love working with kids. In this way, Wavus completely changed the direction of my life—working at Wavus is the very reason that I went into education.

I attended the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, where I majored in chemistry and minored in environmental studies. After two summers working at Wavus, I started taking education classes. I wrote my senior thesis on getting high school chemistry students outside and engaged in experiential, place-based learning—an interest that I can trace back to my time at Wavus. After graduation, I spent the fall working as a teaching fellow at the Alzar School in Cascade, Idaho. There, I was lucky enough to be teaching chemistry and leading backpacking and whitewater kayaking trips in both Idaho and Chile.

I have too many fond memories to choose just one. However, they all have one thing in common: they all involve the people that I’ve met and the community we were able to build. I have met some truly incredible people at Wavus who have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and strive to be the best possible version of myself. Going forward, I hope that I can be that person for my students.

If I had never gone to Wavus, I never would have become a teacher, nor would I have the same passion for protecting environment. I wouldn’t have the perspective to see how my actions impact the world around us, and I definitely wouldn’t be sharing that perspective with teenagers. I wouldn’t have hiked 800 miles of the AT, led a backpacking trip in Patagonia National Park, navigated a gear raft down the Rio Baker in Chile, or spent weekends exploring the Sawtooths and other parts of Idaho. I may have never even climbed Katahdin, a mountain that has been in my backyard for my entire life. It’s because of Wavus that I have the knowledge, confidence, and passion to go out and seek these kinds of adventures, and for that I am forever grateful.

Posted in: Alumni Stories & History, Wavus Camp for Girls |

Winter 2018 EIR Conclusion

It has been a great winter for our Educators in Residence, and seemed to fly by! Here are some of the highlights of the last 10 weeks:


While each day at Loranger has brought something new and exciting to the table, my highlight from this winter has been the increasing interest in our work throughout the district. I primarily work with the 5th and 6th grade, but this winter, faculty members from the high school and elementary school have noticed the impact the TLS curriculum has on students. I will be returning over the course of this spring to work with 9th grade students to develop their communication skills and success in team building challenges, which is a new challenge for the OOB EIR. This overwhelming support from the community has been invigorating and I can’t wait to see how it develops in future winters. The EIR position in Old Orchard Beach has the potential to grow in ways I never could have imagined my first winter. –Sam M., Loranger


One of my highlights from this EIR season is finally having the entire guidance class fully engaged, laughing and having fun with an activity that Chris and I ran! These guidance classes did not start out this way at all! At first we had a difficult time gaining trust and engagement. Slowly but surely our TLS curriculum started to appeal to both 6th and 7th grade guidance classes. So much so, that they started coming and eating their lunch with us in our office and wanting to hangout and listen to music. I believe this is important because a lot of these students need a positive role model to look up to that is not necessarily the age of a veteran teacher but not as young as a college student. Chris and I hadn’t heard one these students speak the entire EIR season until one day in our office when she told us to put on one of her favorite songs! We couldn’t believe it! This is what EIR is all about, not making a difference to every single student but making a huge difference for a few! –Neil, Searsport


As our second winter of EIR wraps up, we’ve had a little time to reflect on the past 10 weeks. Neil and I watched a lot of development happen in the 6th and 7th grade guidance classes and got to follow up with the 8th grade students multiple times in their advisory blocks. The moments that I appreciated the most however were the interactions we had with students outside of the classroom. Whether it was having students bring their lunch to our office space and just chat and hang out, or a quick conversation in passing in the hall, we continued to develop positive relationships with the students as well as provide a support system. I can’t mention enough how much I admire the resiliency of the students. How they continue to persevere after all the things that have been dropped on them is an example we could all learn from. –Chris, Searsport


Year 4 was another amazing winter at Memorial Middle School for me. The community that I have been able to become a part of and grow with down here is incredible. This winter was full of highlights, from field trips to the Telling Room where I was able to help ELL students write and publish stories that they have written about where they are from, to helping with a chili cook-off to raise money for the outdoor club, and everything in between. Every day at Memorial provides me with an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.  –Will, Memorial


Being a part of the King community for four winters has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my time working for KW. An overall highlight from this opportunity for me has been to watch students simultaneously fail and succeed and learn and grow. Through teaching TLS activities in the classroom, belaying in the gym, and coaching the track team, I have been able to build strong relationships with students and teachers alike. I have been able to work with every student at King, some for their entire middle school careers. –Sam C., King


One of the high points of my EIR was working with the half of the 7th grade to wrap up Kieve in a really unique way. I was able to play a giant board game in the auditorium (called The Game) to highlight how they can continue to work as a team, how to communicate effectively, how to display good sportsmanship, and remembering the lessons that The Leadership School taught them. The teachers of Wood Hill were there to help me out and it was incredible to see the students having fun with the teachers and learning in a setting separate from the classroom. –Kelci, Wood Hill


Joining the South Bristol School community this winter was an awesome experience. I loved being able to work with every kindergarten to 7th grader every day I was there, and was able to get to know students better than I could have in a traditional TLS program. One of my highlights was the second week where everyone did the ‘Community Map’ project. It was great to see them working together, and I loved how excited they were to tell me about their community! –Katrina, South Bristol


My highlight was getting to work with 9 incredibly tough boys and getting to build relationships with them for three months. While it was hard to see my impact on them in the moment, I know that my presence as a young man with goals in life was important for them to see.  In short, I was simply a role model for these boys and it was a pleasure to be a positive force in their lives. –Eli, Lincoln Academy


The highlight of my EIR experience was the relationships I was able to build with different students. It feels fantastic to walk into a classroom and have students excitedly yell and motion for me to come sit with them. –Drewsie, Medomak


The main highlights of my EIR experience was having the opportunity to go ice skating with the third grade students, bringing the seventh and eighth grade students to Kieve to climb, and really just getting to meet and befriend the students at Nobelboro Central School.  From hanging out during lunch and recess and talking to the students, to playing pickleball and gagaball in PE, the Nobelboro Central School students and faculty have made my EIR experience unforgettable. –Nelson, Nobleboro


Working at Bristol Consolidated School has been one of the most meaningful experiences I have had since starting at The Leadership School last fall. While teaching team building and social emotional skills at Kieve is impactful, there is something so empowering to do it at the schools and in the communities that these students are a part of. The opportunity to return to BCS for a second winter has allowed me to forge deeper relationships, provide mentorship and support to struggling students, and work with teachers to find creative ways to teach TLS curriculum in their classrooms even after I returned to Kieve. It was been an unforgettable experience working with this small, special school and one I won’t soon forget. –Kelsey, Bristol


This year at NCS has been incredible. In my second year here I have been able to take on a larger mentorship role with many of our students, providing a positive presence and someone they know cares about them. I have been able to go ice skating with the third graders and bring seventh and eighth grade to Kieve to climb. I have enjoyed every minute with the students and will miss our jokes high fives and special times. –Noah, Nobleboro


I have loved working with the gamut of ages at Whitefield. Immersing myself in a K-8 environment certainly helped me put the middle school experience into perspective and explore how certain childhood experiences manifest. It’s been a whirlwind to dive into the social network of this community and emerge with such a strong connection. I’m sad to depart the students and staff, but grateful to have this opportunity. –Nina, Whitefield


This Winter I was able to work with a group of 8th grade boys, who were struggling academically, behaviorally, and socially. We set goals for personal growth, worked on coping with stress in healthier ways, and tried to attack the negative behaviors at the root by practicing new positive ones. It was wonderful to see the growth of the boys who put the work in over the 10 weeks.  I also worked with the 4th grade every day for 30 min sessions. It was so challenging to change the structure of our TLS curriculum to meet this schedule. In the long run it worked so well. It allowed us to isolate the struggles that the students believe they and their classmates have and tackle them one at a time. The 4th grade is still the most challenging class at JVS but the difference from the first week to the last is indescribable. –Brian, Jefferson


I’m so glad I started an after school program for students in grades 4-6. It was a great way to get to know kids in a non-school setting. I loved helping out with outdoor education programs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings designated for grades K-4, and leading yoga classes during the 7th and 8th grade study hall sessions. Bringing the kids to Kieve is always a big hit. It’s great when they say, “You live here?!”! I loved seeing the same kids every day. It’s great to be able to make a long term connection. –Kasie, Great Salt Bay


I started playing foursquare with the 6th grade boys at recess every day. Besides my love for foursquare, I decided to join because these boys are notorious for constantly changing the rules and then arguing about them. One day, I was walking inside afterwards with two of the guys talking about it. One says to me: “Mr. Munger, I think you’re magic.” And I laughed and asked why he thought so. He responds by saying, “Because we didn’t argue at all really and no one stormed off in a fit of rage.” I asked him if he thought there were any other factors in making the game feel different. He pointed out that we only stuck to the basic rules, and said, “I think simpler is better.” I really didn’t do all much during that particular game if I’m being honest. I just nudged them towards remembering to enjoy a simple and great game, without getting caught up in the rules. –Dave, Hope


A few of the highlights from my time at Lincoln Academy are playing life sized Jenga with my First Year Advisories, cooking Japanese dumplings at Teague, and playing soccer at the Pitch with some residential students. –Matt, Lincoln Academy


Posted in: News |

Kieve-Wavus Alumni Wilderness Trip on the St. Croix

This year’s Alumni Wilderness Trip is on the sublime St. Croix River!

Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 2:00 PM – Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 4:00 PM

Arrive at Wavus Sunday, August 12 mid afternoon. Hit the gear shed, hit the Jewell for lobsters, and hit the hay for a great night of rest to pack up and out for an early departure on Monday, August 13. Paddle Monday afternoon, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. Return to Wavus on Thursday afternoon, August 16 and spend another evening on Damariscotta Lake before hitting the road.

Registration fee covers Sunday dinner, 4 days of paddling; we’ll supply canoes, paddles, PFDs, tents, dry bags, food, etc. and Thursday dinner too.

Trip is limited so register early.


Wavus Camp for Girls
88 Wavus Point Road
Jefferson, ME 04348

Call us. 207-549-5719 or email Joy at

Posted in: News |

Loranger and King EIRs 2018

Loranger’s Educator in Residence: Sam M.

A few blocks from the Old Orchard Beach coast sits Loranger Memorial School, a home away from home for many, including myself. My name is Sam Mengual and this is my second winter working at Loranger. I have experienced a huge amount of growth between my first and second year as an EIR. While my first winter was primarily spent getting to know students and faculty and helping out as an extra set of hands around school, my second year has been improved by the incredible amount of freedom I have been given by teachers to create my own curriculum.

My schedule remains relatively the same week-to-week with my home base in the 6th grade. On Mondays I work with Ms. Gaudreau’s math classes combining The Leadership School curriculum with the math unit the students are currently in. This past week, I combined the TLS activity, “Xerox,” where one must describe how to draw something to their partner without showing them what it is, with tangram sets, which are seven geometric shapes that when combined create an image. For this class I gave one partner an image of an animal made up of tangram shapes and the other partner a tangram set. The partner with the image had to explain to the partner with the shapes how to create the animal without giving any visual ques. Students got to practice their geometry vocabulary along with their communication skills.

On Tuesdays I work with Ms. Rossignol’s English and language arts class. This winter I have found that this is the most difficult subject to combine with TLS curriculum, which is not what I expected. I’ve had success combining our activity, “Feeling’s Marketplace,” with writing fiction stories. I split the class into two groups and play a Catchphrase style game where each team tries to get the opposing team to guess the emotion words I hold up on cards behind them. After the teams are done guessing all the emotion words, I split them into small groups of four or five students and gave them seven different emotions they needed to incorporate into a fiction story they wrote together. In this activity, the students get to practice their writing skills as well as describing and talking about emotions.

Wednesdays are typically a prep day for me. I plan my lesson plans for the next week and coordinate TLS programming for the spring season. Thursday begins with me working in Mrs. Cone-Sabo’s room with the special education 6th graders. Unlike the other traditional classrooms, this class ranges from four to six students, so I have the ability to do more one-on-one work with the students. I help them with their coursework, facilitate some of my own activities, and play games with the students as a reward. Through my work in this class, I have learned many techniques to facilitate activities and teach children with different learning abilities, and I have found the value in working closely with students to help them be successful.

I work in Mrs. Seaver’s science class on Fridays. My undergraduate degree is in science, so I was most excited to work within this curriculum. This winter, the students have learned about astronomy and are now working through a weather unit. A few Fridays ago I ran an interactive activity where the students worked in small groups of three to act out different aspects of the solar system. The groups worked together to understand how different planets orbited and rotated on their axis while the rest of the class offered the actors constructive feedback. We had a discussion about the importance of feedback and what good feedback is then practiced those skills in the classroom. The students worked on communicating feedback in respectful way and understanding how the solar system works.

Along with working in the 6th grade I work with each of the three 5th grade homerooms once a week. My work with the 5th grade is different from the 6th grade because they have not been to Kieve yet. I focus primarily on running TLS activities with the students to give them a taste of what their experience at Kieve will be next fall. The work I have done with the 5th grade has proven to be beneficial because it allows the students to get comfortable with an educator and have some background in our curriculum before, which makes their transition to living and learning at Kieve much smoother.

Being the Educator in Residence at Loranger has given me the opportunity to work in a traditional school setting and be a part of a team. The incredible women on the 6th grade team, my mentor Matt Michaud, the school social worker, and Judy Milligan, the school guidance counselor, have all taken me under their wing and helped me learn more about my own career goals. I walk out of our weekly Tuesday meetings amazed by how much they do for their students on top of teaching. They are truly inspiring, but never look for praise or thanks and also have the greatest most compassionate hearts of anyone I have ever met. I genuinely don’t know how they do it all. They are more than just mentors; they are also my friends. We share laughs, movie reviews, and recipes at our daily lunches and even get together outside of school. It’s been amazing to see what the lifestyle is of a teacher and how I can see myself fitting into this role in the future.

For my last week at Loranger I will continue to follow my weekly schedule with Friday as a culminating event called STAR day. The STAR acronym stands for “safe, taking responsibility, accepting and respectful.” Four TLS educators will join me at Loranger for a day full of TLS activities and climbing with the portable wall for the 6th grade students. In April, three educators and I will meet the 5th grade students at University of New England for a ‘field day’ with climbing and more TLS programming. The 5th grade class will also come up to Kieve for a visit in May to tour the cabins, have lunch, and get a feel for what staying at Kieve will be like. These visits after the winter is over creates continuity for the 5th grade students and eases their transition Kieve as 6th graders in the October because they already know some educators, how the daily schedule works, and what the cabins and food are like.

My time as an EIR at Loranger has been the most valuable thing I have done as an educator at The Leadership School. While I love living at Kieve and working with a new group each week, spending two winters working in one community has been an invaluable experience. I have gotten to know students on a deeper level and understand their relationships with peers and what their lives are like outside of school. Having all of this background knowledge about a student helps me teach the full individual. I have loved my experience in Old Orchard Beach and I am so grateful for the faculty at Loranger who have given me the freedom to try out different activities in their classroom.


King’s Educator in Residence: Sam C.

King Middle School is nationally recognized as a successful model of Expeditionary Learning. The approximate 500 students that comprise the school’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade population contribute to King being one of the most diverse – racially, economically and ethnically. On my first day working with a classroom of sixth graders, I learned that eight different languages were spoken among the twenty students present.


Within the parameters of expeditionary learning, King students participate in eight to twelve week learning expeditions. Each one starts with a kickoff event to gain students’ interest and ends with a culminating event where the students showcase their knowledge in an interactive way. In addition to being graded academically, students receive HOWL (habits of work and learning) grades in respect, responsibility and perseverance. Each student belongs to a small community, called a crew, which meets once every six days for 45 minutes. A seventh grade teacher explained this as “an opportunity for students to develop of sense of community through participating in communication, relationship and teambuilding skills. In these small groups, every kid has a chance to be accounted for, have an informal check in with an adult, and for classmates to get to know them on a deeper level.”

I have had the incredible opportunity to be welcomed into the King community for ten weeks each winter, for the past four years. I have watched students fail and succeed and learn and grow during their middle school careers. One of my favorite moments this winter was watching a very shy and timid sixth grade student who was afraid to speak in front of her peers last year, stand up as a seventh grader and present at her culminating even in front of students, teachers and community members at the Audubon.


As the Educator in Residence program has expanded, so has my role at King. The school is made up of two houses: York and Windsor, each with a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade group. During my first winter, I facilitated TLS style activities each week with one house and supported students in other houses academically. This winter, I have had the opportunity to work directly with students in five of the six houses. The teachers at King have been very supportive of The Leadership School message as it ties directly into the crew activities they run with their students each week. They have trusted me to take over classes each week and instead run TLS initiatives. I am able to prepare 6th grade students for their trip to Kieve in October, continue the message from 7th graders experience at Kieve, and challenge the 8th graders social emotional learning even further.

When students run up to me asking, “What class are you in today? When do we have you next? And “Is today a ‘Sam’ day?” a smile immediately takes over. Being able to teach students experientially is a privilege. I start each of my classes reminding students of my two expectations. The first comes directly from TLS, “I expect you to treat each other with kindness and respect,” followed by, “I will never speak over you.” This gives students agency and the tools to be successful in a social emotional realm.

Each day looks, sounds and feels a little different. An onlooker from the outside of the classroom I am working in may see objects flying around the room, kids with cards on their forehead, or students squished together, balancing on a few polydots. As people walk past, they may hear excited yelling from being successful in a challenge, arguing over what idea to try next in a team exercise, bartering as students trade resources or cheering for a student who is facing their fear of heights. Students feel a range of emotions through each activity, ranging from frustration to excitement to happiness to a revelation from the light bulb going off as they recognize the deeper meaning of the activity they just participated in. Each challenge ends with them debriefing each part of that experience.

Teachers have been able to request bigger themes and issues that they want me to work on with their students. It has challenged me to put spins on old activities and create new ones, which is what experiential education is all about.


I have also had the opportunity to work directly with my incredible site mentor Rhonda, in the gym each week. I set the traversing wall as part of the introduction to the climbing unit. Rhonda and I run belay school for students and then they have had the opportunity to climb the wall and high elements in the gym. This is certainly a highlight for many.


Looking back and looking forward, I have experienced firsthand the value that the EIR program has, especially over multiple years. I have seen improvement in students from year to year, over the winter and from one activity to the next. In my final week, I plan on doing a fun closing activity with each house. For the eighth grade, however, the two students who participated in Leads Week will have the opportunity to facilitate and debrief an activity for their classmates. I am sad that we only have one week left but feel very fortunate to have this opportunity. I may be headed back to Kieve soon, but will remain a part of the King community.  I will continue to coach the girl’s track team and will return to perform in the faculty talent show in April (as it is King’s biggest fundraiser for the seventh grade trip to Kieve in October).

Sam C. also wrote about her time at King back in 2015. Check it out here:

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