2018 JMG Camp Report

The Junior Maine Guide examiners were impressed with this group of candidates for the 2018 Testing Camp and are pleased with how well the camp went. This group of candidates had a great deal of respect for the JMG Program, and they were excited to have the opportunity to represent their camps.

There were 64 candidates representing 9 camps. The passing rate was 53.1 percent – 34 of the 64 candidates passed. This was the highest passing rate since 2014, which had 56.0 percent passing rate. The breakdown of candidates’ performance is as follows:  20/24 second year (with one third year) candidates passed; and 14/40 first year candidates passed.

Even though the weather was wet at times, there were few disruptions to our schedule. The heaviest rain occurred one afternoon around 5:30 as the candidates were preparing dinner.

Here are some quick notes:

-          The passing percentage on each test was higher than last year’s test, except for the Wilderness Regulations test.

-          A writer and a photographer from Maine Magazine visited for an article that will appear in their next March issue.

-          Camp Forest in Brooks, ME sent the leader of their outdoor program to JMG Camp for a visit to learn more about the JMG Program.

-          One of our campfire speakers wrote and was impressed with “how welcoming “ the candidates were this year.

 

As is becoming the trend, the candidates enjoyed our campfire speakers and learned from the topics that were presented. Candidates appreciate the evening presentations because they help relieve stress.

Our speakers were:

Monday – Stephanie Palmer, a true advocate of the outdoors, from the Rangeley area who helped start a Junior Guide summer program in Rangeley for the area children. She and her late husband were the leaders in developing the Outdoor Museum in Oquossoc. Stephanie talked about Fly Rod Crosby who was Maine’s first Registered Maine Guide and a leader in promoting tourism in the Rangeley area as well as a leader in conservation of fish and wildlife.

Tuesday – Warden Pat Eagen discussed his job description and the t long process of how to become a warden. Pat mentioned some of the good aspects of the job, such as helping people, as well as some of the bad aspects, like when a search and rescue fails.

Wednesday – Master Maine Guide and storyteller Roger Lambert of Strong returned to JMG Camp. He discussed what it means to be a Maine Guide, what his responsibilities to his clients are, and had everyone practicing their moose calls.

Thursday – Two Border Patrol officers spoke. They discussed their experiences on the southern border and were quite informative about what is happening there. They also mentioned the responsibilities they have in the Rangeley area. The treat of the evening was a presentation by their drug-sniffing dog and how these dogs are trained.

The JMG staff thought that this group of counselors at JMG Camp were a “middle of the road” group. Some of the counselor staff needed guidance and reminders of their responsibilities at JMG Camp. The JMG staff understands it is difficult to send a counselor to JMG Camp for a week when that person is much needed in camp. The staff also understands the concerns about how old the counselor should be. The staff has noticed that having a counselor at JMG Camp who has not worked in their candidate training sometimes has a tough job working with their group.

The following are some comments from the candidates’ evaluation forms:

Favorite experiences

Meeting all the testers and having meals with them

The interesting speakers at campfire

Preparing our meals

Getting to know the candidates from the other camps

Wet Day Fire was the favorite test of several groups

Being on our own to run our campsite the way we thought it should be

 

Least favorite experiences

Waking up early and cooking every meal

The rain or…not passing

Doing the dishes

Map of Area is a stressful test (One group said Wet Day Fire was stressful)

No down time and trying to get all the tests completed

Rush after morning testing to get lunch ready

 

Suggestions

Longer testing time in the morning – or add a day to Test Camp

Checking the tests for misprints or typo’s

Add a rest hour

Advice for future JMG candidate

Triple-check all equipment before you leave your camp

Learn to accept defeat, but stay positive; keep your chin up

Don’t worry; just be yourself

Do boring tests first and make a schedule for your test taking

JMG is all about how you handle situations so just breathe and do your best

Even if you fail, you’ll take something positive away from test camp

Don’t waste time with last minute cramming – Confidence in yourself is key

Study, study, study and use your time wisely – But have fun. Stressing out won’t help.

 

Moose Curtis

JMG Director

July, 2018