The Junior Maine Guide Program

A joint program of Maine Summer Camps and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

The Junior Maine Guide program is a long-established, uniquely Maine wilderness camping skills program sponsored by Maine Summer Camps and the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

With its reference to the legendary Maine Guides, and its emphasis on training within the State’s magnificent forests, lakes, rivers and mountains, it is an outdoor skills program designed to foster enjoyable, safe and healthy outdoor living experiences for youth ages 9 – 18.

The program was created in 1937 in an effort to promote the use of the Maine wilderness for recreation, as well as to train new generations of youth to adopt use practices that conserve the environment. JMG uses current philosophies in outdoor living in its training efforts.

There is no question that youngsters benefit from developing knowledge and understanding of the outdoors, and the JMG program makes that possible:

  • It promotes learning and applying outdoor leadership and living skills, and builds the foundation for a commitment to stewardship of the environment.
  • It benefits personal development—fostering independence, confidence, and problem-solving skills.

JMG: A Mastery of Outdoor Leadership and Living Skills

JMG certification confirms a proficiency of a broad range of abilities:

  • Canoeing
  • Fire-building in wet and dry conditions
  • Emergency shelter
  • First aid
  • Cooking
  • Map and compass skills
  • Flora and fauna identification

And, with these competencies, campers are well on the road to become Maine Trip Leaders or future licensed Maine Guides—a coveted certification for adults trained to lead others in wilderness living and adventures.

Program Curriculum

As part of its progressive training approach, JMG steps young campers through three age-appropriate curricula designed to enrich a camper’s summer program.

These programs present 15 skills modules, ranging from canoeing and fire building to cooking and Leave No Trace Camping. Like JMG skills, these training modules are taught at Maine summer camps. Completion (or their equivalent) is required to participate in JMG training.

Who Can Participate?

A camper gets involved in the Junior Maine Guide program through a participating summer camp. The JMG program is offered at boys’, girls’ and co-ed camps. For a list of camps that offer the JMG program click here.

Certification testing is provided by Maine Summer Camps during the Test Encampment period.