Mission & History

| No Comments | Published on February 19, 2012
Education The content that follows was originally published on the Rippleffect website at http://www.rippleffect.net/about-2/mission-history/

Our mission is to promote youth development and leadership through adventure, healthy communities and living sustainably.


Rippleffect envisions a Maine community where youth and adults are engaged in their community, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, and sensitive to diversity in their social and natural environment.

Rippleffect strives to connect students to the world around them, and to see the natural world underlying even the most urban of environments. We aim to help participants share the insights gleaned during programs and transfer their learning broadly to create a healthy, interdependent community in Maine. We believe that a community that is aware of and committed to addressing local social and environmental needs will be a place that thrives.

Philosophy of Mind, Body and Spirit

Our goal is to immerse participants in experiences that will stimulate all aspects of their being, challenge their creative problem solving abilities, engage them in activities that will push their physical limits and comfort zones, and invite them to explore their inner self through solo experiences and a communion with the natural world around them. By addressing the whole of a young person, we are confident that they will develop leadership and life skills to become a healthy, effective person and community member.




Group Challenges

Sea Kayaking


Environmental Education



Conflict Resolution Skills

Hiking and Outdoor Living

Environmental Art

Effective Communication

Interactive Games


Technical Outdoor Skills

Healthy, Local Food

Daily Reflection

Rippleffect is not a faith-based organization, and provides a secular, open environment for youth and adults of all faiths to feel welcome.

Rippleffect does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation or national/ethnic origin in its admissions, hiring, or educational and financial policies.


Rippleffect was born in late May of 1999 when a team of six set out from Lubec, Maine on a kayak journey to memorialize the lives of several people who had died of AIDS. They were all personal friends of founder Ted Regan, who organized the expedition as both homage to his friends and mentors, and as a way to educate youth about the disease. The team’s message was clear; “Make a choice between acceptable vs. unacceptable risk in your daily lives.” The journey ended on December 31, 1999 when Regan and Aaron Frederick, the two remaining paddlers from the original group, pulled into Key West, Florida; having journeyed 2700 miles and having reached out to 2300 youth in ports along the Eastern USA seaboard.

Inspired by the relationships formed with youth on the journey, Rippleffect returned to Maine and revised its mission. Rippleffect became a community-based youth development organization specializing in adventure and wilderness experiences that build confidence and self-esteem.  Rippleffect, with incredible support from the local community and from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, purchased Cow Island in 2001 and now serves over 3,500 local adults and youth each year.