Biocitizen welcomes Jes Heil, Maine Sea Kayaking Guide and Teacher!!

Biocitizen is pleased to welcome Jes Heil as our Maine Sea Kayaking Guide and Teacher!!

She’ll be co-leading Claws: Casco Bay from Saturday July 11 to Thursday July 16!

But that’s not all!

Jes is an ocean gardener who tends the aquafields of Freeport’s Spartan Sea Farms, raising and harvesting culinary oysters, scallops and kelp.

Part of our Field Environmental Philosophy experience involves learning about how she and her Casco Bay friends make a living this way. An opportunity to open imaginations to destinies that are possible—


Of course the goal of Claws is to bring students to their physical, mental and cognitive edges and keep them there, because that’s where positive growth occurs. Claws teachers help students become comfortable and relaxed as they test themselves and push their boundaries. Self-confidence and character -building, Claws invites students to think outside, and there observe larger patterns. “We fancy industry sustains us, forgetting what sustains industry” wrote Leopold.

Jes knows the people, the creatures, the waters and the islands—she’ll guide us deep into the wild parts of the bay. That’s why we’re doing this.

The wild is a place to grow.

Claws brings us there.

> Other credentials:

L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Program Sea Kayaking Instructor and Guide

Safety Care Certified Behavioral management and crisis prevention

Leave No Trace Trainer

Wilderness First Aid Certified

First AID/CPR/AED Certified Adults, children, and infants

Boy Scouts of America Certified Trek Leader 

Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Counselor & Trained Adult Leader

Why Jes wants to guide Claws: Casco Bay:

“Are you okay,” my boss asked, “I haven’t heard you say anything in a while.” 

“I’ve never felt more alive in my whole life.”

I went from 0 to 60 (76 actually, more on that later) on sea kayaking. Three years ago, I was hired to plan, equip, and lead week-long, 50+ mile backcountry trips for a local Boy Scout Council.

The trips ranged from canoeing to backpacking to Tall Ship sailing to sea kayaking. In my interview, I freely admitted that I’d only been sea kayaking once before and that, while I felt very qualified to lead the other trips, I’d want to have someone else lead the kayak trek. Luckily, my boss was a highly experienced sea kayaking guide who agreed to not only lead that trek but to have me attend as a skill-building experience.

Two days into that trek, paddling in the open ocean between Portland Head Light and Jewell Island, we encountered brilliant sun, a light breeze, and large swells. The challenge of using the swells to maintain our momentum, the cries of the sea birds, the vast expanse of water on all sides was exhilarating. In five days, our scouts pushed themselves to accomplish the 76 mile itinerary that they chose. I’d never felt more alive in my whole life. I was hooked.

Three years later (and with hundreds of paddling miles under my belt), I am a Registered Maine Sea Kayaking Guide. I primarily guide for LL Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Program but also guide for scout programs and other private groups.

I live to be on the water. Last summer, after nine years of working in special education, I started a new job in addition to guiding: aquaculture. A partner on one venture and the owner of my own farm, I grow oysters, scallops, and kelp in the cold, turbid waters of Casco Bay.

I am incredibly excited to be guiding this expedition for Biocitizen. Outdoor education instills a vital sense of place (and one’s place in the world) that students just can’t get in a traditional classroom setting. As a sociologist, I strongly believe that experiencing a place both ecologically and culturally builds deep, lasting understandings of–and an abiding connection to–the physical and social structures of that place.

In order to become thoughtful citizens of the world, youth must be empowered to engage firsthand with their world.

And what better way to engage with it than from the cockpit of a kayak?

 

Source: Biocitizen Inc., Westhampton, MA

About the author

Subscribe to Biocitizen Banter

Biocitizen Blogs

RSS Westhampton, MA

  • The River and the Machine: A Biocultural History of Holyoke Dam February 11, 2021
    WHAT IS BIOCITIZEN? The word “biocitizen” is a contraction of “biotic citizen,” a term and idea conceived by Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) who is widely celebrated for conceiving the “land ethic.” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. A […]
  • Biocitizen MA Welcomes Charlie Schine, FEP teacher! December 31, 2020
    Charlie is a recent graduate from Wesleyan University who is just beginning to get his footing in the big wide world and figure out where he’s going. Although he majored in music, his studies always seemed to circle around environmentalism and the more-than-human world, a cross pollination which began the summer after his freshman year […]

RSS Los Angeles, CA

  • Adia’s Perspective 2019 – What it means to be a Biocitizen in LA July 22, 2019
    Day 1 – CITs in MA vs LA This is the first summer of Biocitizen LA’s CIT program and I am so excited to have the opportunity to take the lead in their training.  Today I met the two girls who are there this week and I am very impressed by their maturity and initiative […]
  • Adia’s Perspective 2019 – What is a CIT? Adia Bennett July 9, 2019
    Adia’s Perspective 2019 – MA to LA! Adia Bennett is joining us in Los Angeles again this summer for Our Place Summer School – and we are so grateful to have her strong, sweet, graceful guidance in the field, as our first Counselor in Training program launches this week, July 8th-12th. Adia has walked as a […]

RSS New York, NY

  • Biocitizen welcomes Tamar Cox Rubien, Field Environmental Philosophy Assistant Teacher !! June 16, 2021
    Biocitizen is so pleased to welcome Tamar Cox Rubien as an assistant Our Place Summerschool teacher! Tamar is a seeker of wisdom, cultural and ecological, and is looking forward to exploring New York City with students with our special focus on how it is placed in the Hudson River estuary biome! Personal Statement My name […]
  • Biocitizen welcomes Blaze McClurkan, Teachers’ Assistant June 2, 2021
    Biocitizen is so pleased to welcome Blaze McClurkan—of Gowanus—as an Our Place Summerschool teachers’ assistant! Blaze was a counselor in training in 2019 who put on her walking shoes and helped us get kids off the screen and into the marine biome that is NYC. She returns brimming with energy and ideas, and professional experience […]

RSS Concon, Chile

  • Ciudadanos bióticos, coronavirus, Gaia March 30, 2020
    En la sabiduría antigua, tanto en sociedades orientales, occidentales e indígenas, existe como concepción compartida la importancia del vivir el día a día, y de como esta práctica da forma […]