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NBEC's 2022 Convening

Our Convening brought together almost 100 people from all over Maine

Photos by Micheli Oliver, member of the Stories for Change working group

In November 2022, the NBEC network met in Augusta learned together, shared ideas, and visioned for the future of outdoor learning in Maine. This was our first network convening since February 2020.

Here's a snapshot of who attended:

  • Attendees from all over Maine: rural towns, cities, islands, and many spots in between!

  • People who bring a variety of experiences: youth and educators, nonprofit and business, government agency and funders, youth development and outdoor recreation, and so many people who bring valuable lived experiences to their passion for equitable access to outdoor learning for all Maine youth

  • Members of NBEC working groups, people who have been part of NBEC since its origins years ago, and people for whom this was their first connection with NBEC

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Your top priorities for the next year

You shared your top priorities for 2023 in this live word cloud at the Convening.

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New Land & Labor Acknowledgment

At the Convening, NBEC shared a new Land & Labor Acknowledgement created collaboratively by network members.


Breakout groups dug into various topics

Groups discussed barriers to access, measures of success, opportunities for collaboration, and much more.

Here are some examples of ideas and opinions from the deep conversations you had:

  • Climate Education Advocacy

    • Need useful information that recognizes existing biases and misinformation

    • Commitment to long-term success of LD 1902 Climate Education Bill

  • Local Outdoor Learning Advocacy

    • Need funding for specialized positions and more time for teacher professional development

    • Explore connections between climate education, outdoor learning, and workforce development

  • Stories for Change

    • Share group's methods of non-extractive, consent-based storytelling within the sector​

    • Expand types of stories told as well as medium and format of stories

  • Outdoor Equity

    • Barriers include transportation, gear, representative leadership, time, skills​

    • Build and support youth leadership through mentorship and representation

    • Focus on increasing safety for BIPOC folks in the outdoors

  • Access

    • "Access" refers to barriers of mobility, money, licenses for outdoor activities, time, transportation

    • What makes an"accessible" outdoor space varies by person

    • Design spaces and experiences for disabled people, not an afterthought

  • Resources & connections

    • Increase communication and transparency across the state to build on efforts, not duplicate them​

    • Build out resources for informal educators, formal educators, and caregivers alike


Takeaways & Next Steps

Many attendees filled out an exit survey! Here's what you said:

  • The next Convening should be outside, and not in the winter

  • People are excited about more designated time to meet and learn from others in the room

  • Prioritizing accessibility in terms of location, format, audio, and venue is a must!


At the Convening, we saw short presentations from NBEC’s current working groups, sharing brief updates about their work.

If you’d like to learn more about working groups and get involved, refer to the following information:

Stay tuned for more updates and initiatives emerging from the Convening! Make sure you're on our email list.

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