BELFAST —Game Loft kids have finally been able to resume exploring and learning about their state after a 16-month dry spell — another activity canceled by COVID-19.

“It’s been a long while since we could share stories of the I KNOW ME program with you,” Game Loft founding Co-Director Ray Estabrook wrote in a recent press release cover note. “Images of Zoom screens can only go so far. Since May we have been busy with our kids, getting out there and back to the quest to become experts (on) our state.”

Estabrook sent the following notes about their June trip to Lewiston and Range Pond State Park.

Creating a community support network

It was Range Pond in Lewiston and not the imaginary Golden Pond, but the day was a golden experience for Cohorts 1 and 2 as they began shedding the anxiety and disappointment of the Covid-19 pandemic. They spent the morning exploring Lewiston, eating poutine, and looking at the mill culture of central Maine, followed by an afternoon of pure relaxation that helped the youth unwind. After 16 months of isolation from peers and adults the community rebuilding has begun.

Estabrook said the organization is now on the road again “constantly,” including recent trips to Rangeley and a youth leadership retreat hosted by Hurricane Island.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Game Loft promotes positive youth development through non-electronic games and community involvement. Game Loft’s out-of-school programs are free to all Waldo County youth ages 6-18.

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