EDGECOMB, Maine — Teens To Trails, an organization focused on engaging Maine teens through outdoor activities, has awarded 18 grants to high school outing clubs across the state, including four that are brand-new.

Carol Leone of Edgecomb, the organization’s founder, said Monday this year’s grants totaled nearly $9,000. The outing clubs that received grants this year are at Ashland Community High School, Brunswick High School, Biddeford High School, Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Bucksport High School, Cape Elizabeth High School, Central Aroostook Jr.-Sr. High School in Mars Hill, Cheverus High School in Portland, Dirigo High School in Dixfield, George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, Machias Memorial High School, Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Marshwood High School in South Berwick, Monmouth Academy, Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, Portland High School and Thornton Academy in Saco.

“High school outing clubs are the most effective way we have found for engaging teens in their natural world, with the potential to make fun, safe outdoor experiences accessible to every Maine student,” said Leone in a press release. “It is our goal to establish an outing club in every one of Maine’s high schools.”

The grants were made possible with ongoing support from L.L. Bean and grants from The Davis Conservation Foundation and The North Face Explore Fund.

Since the inception of its Grants-to-Clubs program, Teens To Trails , which is also known as T3, has awarded 69 grants in support of Maine’s high school outing clubs. Clubs have covered transportation costs and paid for equipment and recreational fees.

A school in Ashland will use its grant this year to expand its club, while Hall-Dale High School will attempt to hike a mountain every month. At Biddeford High School, the outing club doubles as a recreational opportunity for students and a community service organization.

“The Outing Club is an opportunity for students to be involved with pro-social fun activities, have adult mentors, develop positive relationships, learn leadership skills, develop skills in lifelong sports and make a positive difference in their communities,” said Biddeford High School Principal Britton Wolfe in a news release. “It is a win-win-win-win-win-win!”

For more information on the Grants-to-Clubs program and Teens To Trails, visit www.TeensToTrails.org.

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.