PENOBSCOT — Time spent in the 11th grade can provide lifetime memories, and Everett Lindholm Fiske hopes his junior year at George Stevens Academy includes a 600-mile wilderness expedition by ski and canoe.
Fiske, 16, has been accepted into the New Hampshire-based Kroka Expeditions Semester School and is working hard to raise the money he needs to experience the adventure in education this winter.
Growing up on his family’s farm in Penobscot, Fiske developed a lasting interest in the outdoors. In seventh grade, he learned about Kroka from an older friend who attended the semester-long expedition offered by the school based in Marlow, N.H.
When he saw his friend again last year, his interest in Kroka was rekindled and Fiske decided to apply to the school. He said some 100 students apply each year and 12 to 14 are accepted into the program.
Since being accepted, he has been working to raise his tuition and has turned to the community for help in meeting his goal.
With financial aid secured through Kroka, Fiske needs to raise about $9,000 and is about halfway there.
Over the past summer, he worked in the kitchen at Blue Hill’s Barncastle restaurant, and during the blueberry harvest, he held two jobs, adding blueberry raking to his restaurant work. When school ends for the day, he heads to Barncastle and his job in the kitchen.
Initially, Fiske and a friend also accepted into Kroka were raising money together, but his friend decided not to pursue the program. The money they raised, mostly from a silent auction in Brooksville, stayed in the dedicated bank account at The First in Blue Hill for Fiske.
Anyone wishing to donate can send checks payable to Kroka Expedition to The First, P.O. Box 1664, Blue Hill, ME 04614.
If all goes well, Fiske will report to the Kroka base camp in Marlow, N.H., for a month of training. During that time, Fiske and fellow students will train in telemark skiing and get used to the equipment for the 600-mile trek, including knives and mukluks.
In early February, the students will embark on a 300-mile skiing trip across northern Vermont, stopping at local farms and businesses along the way to volunteer labor and learn about the farms and businesses.
They will sleep in a large tent that they will make at base camp. The tent will be heated with a small, folding titanium stove carried in the students’ backpacks. Meals will consist of food they forage for, fish they catch and animals they snare.
In Vermont, they will stop for a month at the North Woods Stewardship Center, where they will build a large, wood-strip cedar canoe.
When they leave the center, the canoe they build and another built by students last year will transport them 300 miles down the Connecticut River and back to the base camp in New Hampshire by mid-June.
Fiske said he will earn full credit in all his high school subjects, except math. The math credits will be completed next summer.