The Junior Maine Guide Program (JMG) was established in 1937 by Winona Camps and the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as a wilderness camping skills program. It is an outdoor skills program designed to foster enjoyable, safe and healthy outdoor living experiences for youth ages 14 – 18. JMG certification can lay the groundwork for later training and certification as a Registered Maine Guide, as well as provide a lifetime of enjoyment of living in concert with nature in the Maine wilderness. JMG uses current philosophies and skill development as part of its outdoor living curriculum. The program, unique to Maine, was created in 1937 as an act of the State Legislature, 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. The program culminates each season in late July with a five day testing encampment at Stephen Philips Preserve in the Rangeley lakes area of Maine.
Winona JMG candidates spend time training throughout the summer preparing for the encampment. Activity periods are spent working on skills from map of area, compass reading, tree identification, fire building and many more outdoor living skills. The candidates also work on their skills during an 8-day Allagash Wilderness Waterway canoe trip in early July each season. The program is intense and requires a high level of commitment from the campers.
Junior Maine Woodsman (ages 8-11) and Maine Woodsman (ages 12-13) are other outdoor living skills programs which Winona provides at the younger age groups. These levels are great building blocks to the JMG program, but are not required to participate.