Archive for October, 2014

Flight v. Invisibility

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Just in time for Halloween, we’re pleased to share the very first audio project from our new Digital Media Arts Class!  Words, music and sound effects by Camden students and staff, as they consider the very important question: which superpower would you rather have?

Flight v Invisibility

Scenes from our Farm to Sea Auction!

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Earlier this month we celebrated our Farm to Sea Auction at The Portland Westin Harborview Hotel.  What a night!  A wonderful crowd, delicious food, fabulous auction items and the incredible live tunes of The Aeterna Trio.  By the end of the night, almost $90,000 had been raised in support of Wayfinder Schools.  Thank you to all who made this event possible: sponsors, donors, committee members, volunteers and the all the wonderful people who came out on the big night to support our students & our school!

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View the full photo album from Maine Magazine here:


A Day in the Life of our Camden Campus

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Last Thursday was a busy day at our Camden Campus,beginning with a morning workout at The Y, and closing with a houseful of friends and family gathered ’round the piano-jamming on guitar, violin and makeshift drum, learning the box step and dining on homemade bread and soup and brownies.  In between, our Residential students went to work at their apprenticeship sites, performed their daily chores, attended theater class and more. 

Meanwhile, 18 of our Passages students and their young children gathered in the kitchen to make applesauce with apples donated by Biscay Orchards.  They also baked dog biscuits for a midcoast animal shelter and gathered ’round the dining table for arts and crafts (pumpkin painting and apple prints). Later they watched the documentary film Girls Rising and heard from local legislator Joan Welsh about the importance of voting.  Then it was time for our Open House!  Here’s a glimpse of some of the action:


day in the life of camden

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Board Member Susan Koch recognized by Bank of Maine

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Earlier this month, Bank of Maine announced the winners of their 2014 Leaders & Luminaries Award.  Included on this list of six Mainers recognized for their non-profit board leadership was our very own Susan Koch! Susan was recognized for her extraordinary work on our Development Committee, on our Strategic Planning Steering Committee, in bringing our two campuses together during our 2011 merger and in founding our new Women for Wayfinder initiative.

Here are a few excerpts from Susan’s nomination:

“Susan Koch joined the Board of Directors in 2011, just prior to the merger of The Community School and Opportunity Farm. She helped bring the two organizations together, and has worked as a tireless advocate for our students, our staff and our school ever since. Susan’s efforts have directly resulted in increased funds, increased visibility and increased organizational structure during a time of significant growth. We now serve more than 80 students each year through our nine-month Residential Program for at-risk youth and our home-based Passages Program for teen parents. Both programs focus on academic and life skills, and Susan has been instrumental in our ability to serve more students and ensure they are graduating with the skills and experience necessary for future success in our Maine communities.”

“Susan continues to bring her energy and enthusiasm to every meeting and every event.  Her warm and positive energy are deeply reassuring to staff as they pursue their daily work at-risk students, and she is a strong cheerleader for development staff as they work to raise funds for the school. We feel honored to have Susan Koch on our Board of Directors and we hope she will be considered for the 2014 Leaders & Luminaries Award.”

On October 1, Susan and five others were recognized at The Leaders & Luminaries Award Luncheon in Portland, and presented with gifts of $1,000-$10,000 in support of their non-profit organizations.

Read more here:

Thank you Bank of Maine & Congratulations Susan!

meet our wayfinders

L-R: Bank of Maine President John Everets, Wayfinder CEO & Head of Schools Dr. Dorothy Foote, Wayfinder Board Member Susan Koch at the October 1 Leaders & Luminaries Award ceremony

Heat by the numbers

Monday, October 27th, 2014

3,000 gallons of fuel oil. That’s how much it took to heat our Opportunity Farm dorms last year. This year, with the help of ReVision Energy and ReVision Heat, that number will be cut in half. Over the past few weeks, Lee Landry and his team from ReVision Heat have been working hard to install a new wood gasification boiler donated by Phil Coupe and his team at ReVision Energy.

Not only will this new boiler dramatically reduce our reliance upon oil and our heating costs, it ties squarely with our Green Initiative curriculum, in which students perform energy audits, learn to plant and harvest their own food, study global food and water rights, research alternative energies, learn to can and preserve their own produce and more.  Since the start of our Green Initiative in 2009, students have established school wide composting and recycling programs, developed a permaculture plan for our Camden campus, performed annual water rights relay races, baked their own daily bread, met with locavore chefs, joined local foods coops, bought community supported agriculture and fisheries shares, distributed their produce to local seniors, researched solar and wind power, canned their own pickles and jams, raised chickens and bees, tapped maple trees and much more.

Now, added to this list, they will be working on a wood management plan, stacking wood and feeding the boiler three times a day.

As Phil Coupe of ReVision Energy says, “The boiler will provide great learning opportunities for the Wayfinder students as they begin to understand the challenges of staying warm in northern climate. The boiler will use local renewable fuel from the 350-acre Wayfinder campus and the kids will participate in the wood harvest and storing, as well as fueling the boiler.”

Meanwhile, Lee Landry and his team at ReVision Heat donated many hours over the course of several Friday mornings to install the boiler. While demonstrating to staff how the new boiler works, Landry said, “just as it’s important for people to become more connected to their food sources, it’s important to be connected to your heat source as well.”

Landry, who co-founded ReVision Heat along with his father, Lee Landry, Sr., is extremely passionate about reducing our reliance upon oil, and the amount of time he and his team have donated to our school is impressive. Also impressive was the demonstration he provided in how the boiler works, using every ounce of available energy- and far more efficient than a traditional wood stove.

Coupe described it this way, “Wood gasification boilers are an efficient way to use Maine’s abundant forest resource because they re-combust the gases that are released by burning wood, reaching temperatures of roughly 1,200 degrees F and thereby extracting every molecule of solar energy stored in the wood fiber. This is a much cleaner way to burn wood compared to a wood stove or a conventional outdoor wood boiler. Wayfinder’s wood gasification boiler burns so cleanly that it lives indoors in the basement, where the old oil boiler used to be.”

Coupe also said, “We are so grateful for the critical, front line community service work they do at Wayfinder Schools by taking excellent care of some of Maine’s most vulnerable kids. I’ve been a Big Brother to disadvantaged children for the past 15 years, so I have an understanding of how important it is for these kids to enjoy the benefits of a stable, nurturing environment where they can learn and grow. ReVision Energy is proud to support the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of Wayfinder by donating a wood gasification boiler that will eliminate thousands of gallons of oil consumption and carbon pollution.”

We are so grateful for the support of ReVision Energy and ReVision Heat and we are pleased that Lee Landry will demonstrate the new burner on Thursday, October 30 at 5pm, as we kick off our Harvest Supper and Lantern Parade at Opportunity Farm.  Join us!

heat by the numbers reVision


Our latest Residential Moon newsletter!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The new school year is in full swing here at Wayfinder Schools, but there’s still time to celebrate the amazing Class of 2014!  Here’s their graduation newsletter, compiled over the summer and hot off the presses this week!

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Another amazing Farm to Sea Auction item!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Be A Writer for Maine Magazine!

The most unique auction item around! Check it out here: