(subject to change)
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
1:00 - 3:00pm: Pre-Summit Activities
Get outdoors! Unique experiences designed exclusively for MOES attendees. Registrants will have the option to select from the following activities in the Rockport area. Activities will be first come first served with limited capacity:
Hike up the Iconic Beech Hill Preserve: Hike up an open summit hill with views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Hills, and the St. George Peninsula. Enock Glidden will be leading a walk and talk and explaining his mission to get people of all abilities outdoors in Maine. The summit highlight is a historic sod-roofed hut known as Beech Nut. Coastal Mountains Land Trust will be opening the hut and providing a warming fire and space for further discussion inside.
Tour of Lyman Morse: Kick off your conference experience with a tour and walking discussion at two working waterfront facilities in the midcoast. First you will meet in Thomaston at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding and will get to see what custom, complex, recreational yachts look like under construction. Next you will drive to Camden to tour the prestigious, newly renovated marina and boatyard operated by Lyman-Morse. Here you will see the variety of new waterfront buildings and gain a better understanding of the way that working waterfront businesses can blend into a small, tourist-focused harbor while providing critical marine services that would normally be associated with a more commercial setting. Lyman-Morse staff explain the highlights of their company diversity within the outdoor recreation economy that includes aspects of custom manufacturing, marine services, community-based recreational access, and destination tourism.
Mindfulness in Nature: Begin your conference experience with a session of mindful exploration and start the conference with a rested and rejuvenated state of mind. Transition from the hustle and bustle of travel and “getting here” to quiet and reflective spaces both within the resort and in the gorgeous outdoor spaces that surround the Samoset. Mish Sommers, founder of Happier Outside, will facilitate a 2-hour session combining mindfulness and the outdoors that will inspire you to connect with other participants in a meaningful way.
Explore the Goose River Trail Network (hike/bike): Meet up at the Camden Snow Bowl for a casual tour of the Goose River trail system (via bike or boots). Members of Coastal Mountains Land Trust and the local chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association (Midcoast NEMBA) will be there to talk about the process of how this mountain bike trail network came to be from property that was slated for housing development. This will be an open conversation of the who, what and why this property is now conserved and getting better all the time. Additionally, the Ragged Mountain Preserve and Camden Snow Bowl offer trail systems with their own growing developments. Learn how the diverse players are working together to create a high-quality and meaningful trail destination on the midcoast.
Dip Down to Rise Up: Amy Hopkins of Saltwater Mountain Co. will be leading an adventurous, joyful and brief (shallow-water) cold-water dip at the land-end of The Breakwater on the harbor-side (a walk down from the Samoset or from the Rockland Breakwater Light Parking) Cold-water dipping benefits and how they pertain to our nervous system and our breath will be discussed. Although our dip may only be a few seconds or minutes, please allow 30 minutes for this experience. Difficulty level 2-3 out of 4. At least 5mm thick Neoprene booties are mandatory and will be available to borrow if needed.
4:00pm: Summit Opens
4:00 - 5:00pm: Maine Outdoor Economy Roadmap - "Blazing a New Trail: Maine's 10-Year Outdoor Recreation Economy Roadmap"
Learn about the Maine Outdoor Economy Roadmap and participate in an interactive workshop to co-create, prioritize, and build solutions to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. This session will be facilitated by Fourth Economy and EPR.
5:00 - 7:00pm: Opening Kick-Off Reception sponsored by L.L.Bean
Network with other summit attendees and hear short opening remarks. Reception includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, cash bar with beer sponsored by Maine Beer Company.
7:00 - 9:00pm: World Trails Film Festival
Combining exquisite sound, and dramatic cinematography with rich storytelling from trail experiences the world over, The World Trails Film Festival is a unique way to see trails in a new light. Includes snacks and a cash bar. Check out their trailer:
Thursday, November 30, 2023
7:00am - 8:00am: "Stretch Your Legs" Bike Ride with Maine Sport Outfitters
Join Maine Sport for an early morning leisurely “stretch your legs” one hour ride Thursday morning from the Samoset Resort. Maine Sport will provide e-bikes and helmets. Be sure to bring your cold weather cycling gear. Ride leaves from the front door at 7AM and returns in time for breakfast!
7:30am: Breakfast Opens
8:00am - 1:30pm: Drop off your gear at Maine GearShare and have it fixed for free! More info...
8:30 - 10:30am: Opening Session
Opening Keynote: Sense of Place - A Cultural Tourism Model
Jennifer Neptune - Cultural Preservationist
Room: Knox County Ballroom
Artist, writer and teacher, Jennifer Neptune lives on Indian Island, as her ancestors have for 7,000 years. With every generation, the Penobscot Nation handcrafted art that reflects the shapes, forms and elements of Maine’s natural world. Through Jennifer’s inspired work, the tradition is in exquisite hands.
Reports from the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation and Maine Outdoor Brands
Keynote: State of the Outdoor Market
Kelly Davis - Outdoor Industry Association
Room: Knox County Ballroom
A deep dive into outdoor recreation participation and consumer behavior and exploration of the implications and opportunities the future may hold. The outdoor recreation participation base is growing but the base of “core” outdoor consumers is getting smaller. We will explore key market issues of demographic shift, the impacts of climate change on outdoor recreation, and the effects of inflation on consumer spending. We will also discuss industry issues including PFAS regulation and potential risks and opportunities in supply chains. The audience will walk away with a clear view of the current state of the outdoor market and a few ideas about future opportunities.
10:30 - 11:00am: Coffee & Networking Break
11:00am - 12:15pm: Concurrent Breakout Session 1
Opening Doors to the Outdoors: A Discussion on Inclusive Recreation in Maine
Speakers: Ponch Membreno - Mainers, Bri Dostie - Confluence Collective, Alejandro Strong - Packraft Maine, Zachary McCarthy - Inclusive Ski Touring, and Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany
Join a roundtable discussion with leaders in Maine's outdoor industry who are spearheading initiatives to make outdoor recreation accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or abilities. Hear success stories, strategies, innovative approaches, and lessons learned for equipping newcomers with the gear and knowledge needed to enjoy outdoor activities safely. Whether you're an outdoor industry veteran or a newcomer, this session will leave you inspired and equipped to create a more inclusive outdoor community in Maine.
How Intelligent is AI?
Speaker: Kevin Kayne - Blaze Partners
Room: Spruce Head
You hear AI mentioned everywhere these days. In this breakout session we'll investigate all the hype. We'll demo a few popular AI tools such as ChatGPT, ChatPDF and MidJourney to better understand where Ai shines, and where it stumbles. We'll also conduct several experiments to reveal how consumers may, or may not be, using AI to influence how they spend their time in the Maine outdoors. At the end of this session, our hope is that you'll walk away feeling more informed about AI's potential and its shortcomings.
Acknowledgement to Action: How Communities are Embracing Recreation Based Economies
Gabe Perkins - Inland Woods + Trails, George O'Keefe - Town of Rumford, Mike Smith - Outdoor Sport Institute, Steve Kasacek - Outdoor Sport Institue, Kristina Cannon - Main Street Skowhegan
Room: Owl's Head
Learn about creative and strategic outdoor recreation focused economic and community development approaches in Rumford, Skowhegan and Millinocket – the partnerships created to move the work forward, the teams created to guide planning and implementation; to develop and oversee programming and initiatives; and the key priorities and desired outcomes. Takeaway ideas for developing a strategy for growing your local economy through a focus on outdoor recreation.
The Chain of Survival: From Retail to Rescue
Speakers: William Cyr - LifeFlight of Maine, Josh Bubier - Maine Warden Service, Michael Wejchert - Mountain Rescue Serivce, Jenny Ward - Appalachian Mountain Club, Chip Noble - Garmin, and David Berez - Maine Sport Outfitters
Room: Penobscot Bay
Explore the essential components that pave the way for successful outcomes in remote accident scenarios from leading Maine professionals in outdoor gear, guiding, emergency locator technology, and search-rescue-recovery operations. This presentation offers a comprehensive understanding of emergency preparedness, appropriate gear selection, advanced communication tools, precise search and rescue strategies, and comprehensive post-rescue support. Gain insights that illuminate the intricate Chain of Survival within the realm of outdoor remote recreational accidents in Maine.
12:15 - 1:30pm: Lunch
Meet the Next Generation of Outdoor Industry Leaders
Q&A lightning-round with high school students from the Midcoast School of Technology's Outdoor Leadership Program
1:30 - 2:30pm: Concurrent Breakout Session 2
Preparing The Next Generation of Outdoor Leaders in Rural Maine
Speakers: Korah Soll - Rural Aspirations Project, Angela Cowger - East Grand School, and Tammi Matula - East Grand School
Room: Penobscot Bay
Over the past 20 years, the East Grand School has developed an impressive outdoor education program that invites all students, k-12, to develop exemplary outdoor leadership and stewardship skills, from basic survival skills to whitewater canoeing to moose hunting. Students and teachers utilize the plethora of natural assets in their region and beyond to enhance learning across all content areas. In this session, participants will learn how the faculty and community partners have worked together to design and implement diverse programming that encourages outdoor learning, crosses subjects and grades, and eventually leads students toward a clearly defined natural resource pathway in high school that prepares students to sit for their Recreational Maine Guide license upon graduation.
Navigating Brand and Non-Profit Partnerships for Mutual Success
Speakers: Attessa Bradley - Grandy Organics, Scarlet Batchelor - Appalachian Mountain Club, Kayla Lessard - L.L.Bean, and Ray Ruby - Maine Cancer Foundation
Room: Owl's Head
Discover the art of creating win-win collaborations that uplift both companies and causes in the outdoor sector. Explore real-world case studies from the brand and non-profit perspective that unveil both triumphs and pitfalls, providing insights into crafting alliances that make a lasting impact. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned experts, exchange best practices, and forge connections that amplify the impact of outdoor industry-focused partnerships.
Creating Queer Inclusive Outdoor Spaces
Speakers: Hallie Herz - Kindling Collective and Eva Fury - Kindling Collective
Everybody deserves to feel safe, joyful, and affirmed in the outdoors. However, outdoor culture and activities have historically been centered around white, cisgender, straight people. Queer people are often excluded from physical education and athletics—from recreational activities to professional sports—and have felt unsafe or unwelcome in outdoor environments. This session offers organizations and individuals an opportunity to explore ways they can build queer-inclusive spaces, as well as specific strategies for supporting queer people in growing and sustaining relationships with the natural world. We will challenge participants to think past rainbows and bathrooms to authentic self reflection and tangible culture change.
Stewarding Public Access to the Outdoors
Speakers: Kristopher MacCabe - Maine Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Jane Arbuckle - Maine Coast Heritage Trust, James Cote - Bernstein Shur/Maine Professional Guides Association/Maine Snowmobile Association, Mitch Breton - onX Maps, and Emily MacCabe - Maine Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Room: Spruce Head
Maine has a unique history of public access to private land. Over the past 200 years, landowners, residents, and visitors have forged a tradition of neighborliness and shared access that you won't find anywhere else in the nation. Roughly 94% of Maine's forest land is privately owned, and more than half of that land area is open to the public. In total, landowners voluntarily open more than 10 million acres of working farms and forests.
It’s important to remember that the private land we use for recreation belongs to someone else, and accessing it is a privilege, not a right, so it’s critically important to be good stewards of those lands and treat them with respect. This panel discussion will focus on different programs and partnerships that work on building this stewardship ethic to protect the privilege that is open access for recreation and share ideas on ways we can all help.
2:30 - 2:45pm: Grab-n-Go Break
2:45 - 3:45pm: Concurrent Breakout Session 3
From Take-Make-Waste to Circular: Outdoor Industry's Sustainable Revolution
Speakers: Emily Foster - Burton, James Merrill - Opolis, Marshall Merriam - Uphill Advisory, Samantha Cuccaro - Toad&Co, and Mark Thibadeau - NEMO Equipment
Room: Spruce Head
In a world grappling with finite resources, traditional linear models to developing and disposing of products are making way for innovative circular economies. Discover how trailblazing brands in Maine and beyond are redefining their practices, extending product lifecycles, optimizing resource usage, and championing product recycling. Explore inspiring case studies, gain insights from industry leaders, and learn how the outdoor sector is evolving towards a more sustainable and resilient future through circular approaches.
Trends in Outdoor Hospitality
Speakers: Scott Bahr - Cairn Consulting Group, Shay Bellas - NaviTour, and Cassandra Prenn-Vasilakis - Hipcamp
Room: Owl's Head
Outdoor hospitality represents an active, growing, and resilient opportunity for rural economic development. Through collaboration and targeted resource allocation to disperse use, educate visitors, we can ensure entire communities benefit from the growing tourism and outdoor recreation industries. This session will cover the latest consumer research and trends (looking at camping and glamping trends in particular) as well as offering the insights of those who are currently working directly for and with providers of outdoor hospitality in Maine. This panel discussion will provide an interactive and engaging overview and deeper insights into this important component of Maine's outdoor recreation economy.
Finding Joy in the Pain Points
Speakers: Matthew Ketchum - Rinck Advertising and Kristy Phinney - Rinck Advertising
Room: Penobscot Bay
How do you educate without offending? Or how do you tell people what not to do without gatekeeping? Tone, delivery, and medium play a role in how we come across to our consumers, but how do we know exactly what to say and where to say it? In this workshop we explore how to identify audience needs and knowledge gaps in order to reframe those pain points into touch points and touch points into lasting consumer joy.
4:00 - 7:00pm: Discovery Marketplace & Industry Celebration
Join us for great food and a cash bar with beer sponsored by Allagash Brewing Company while getting some early Holiday shopping done with special retail displays from select Maine-based gear brands and outdoor experience providers! Meet the inventors, the makers, the service providers, and snag yourself something special too!
Maine Outdoor Brands will hand out their annual Trailblazer Awards, honoring a brand or organization for Outdoor Innovation, Outdoor Industry Leader of the Year, and Outdoor Brand Collaboration.
7:00pm: Fireside Festivities
Gather outside around the firepits for S’mores and music sponsored by Franklin Savings Bank. Stay warm with Hüga heated seat cushions. La Bella Vita Ristorante at the Samoset will be open for wood fired pizza and other late night fare.
7:30pm: Calling All Queer/Trans/LGBTQ+ Attendees!
Join Kindling Collective and Confluence Collective to connect with other queers in the outdoor industry over happy hour in the Enoteca Lounge at The Samoset. Ask for the private dining room.
Friday, December 1, 2023
7:30am: Breakfast Opens
8:30 - 9:30am: Affordable Housing Plenary Roundtable
Speakers: Robert O'Brien - Camoin Associates, Ryan Fecteau - Avesta Housing, Mike Wilson - Northern Forest Center, and Matthew Polstein - New England Outdoor Center
Maine’s communities are facing significant challenges associated with workforce housing. This is particularly true in communities with significant outdoor recreation assets and activities. This roundtable will provide a clear understanding of the challenges and provide specific examples of creative approaches for addressing both the public and private sectors as well as collaborations among the two. Hear from representatives from Maine communities that are addressing the issues as well as developers who have or are pursuing projects.
9:30 - 10:45am: Maine Outdoor Economy Roadmap - "The Future of Talent in Maine's Outdoor Industry"
Participate in an interactive workshop to co-create, prioritize, and build solutions to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation workforce and career pathways into the outdoor industry. This session will be facilitated by Fourth Economy and EPR.
11:00am: Adjourn (if not involved in sector caucuses)
11:00am - Noon: Sector Caucuses
Maine Marine Trades Association Annual Meeting (MMTA members only)
Maine Trails Coalition Leadership Meeting (MTC members only)
Maine Outdoor Economy Roadmap Steering Committee