MHS alumna shares passion for outdoors

by Sylvia Jadczak

Erin Fay, MHS 09, revisited her alma mater on November 29th, to share her work experiences and passion for the outdoors. She spoke to a group of interested students during lunch and spoke to 4 classes later in the day.   

Erin currently works for Outdoor Sports Institute.  The mission of OSI is to strengthen communities by connecting them to the outdoors. Erin told the students about her journey from high school to this point in her career.  She wanted to visit new places outside of Maine and began her studies at the University of Vermont. She majored in Global Studies and was a member of the school’s swim team. She also studied abroad in Turkey and Spain.

After living in overcrowded cities, Erin was happy to be home in Maine where she could enjoy the outdoors. She did not know what she wanted to do and had several jobs in her early career including being a nanny, a receptionist, a yoga instructor, and working for a company that provided technology services to the healthcare field. While doing all of this, she remained engaged with the outdoors.  

Growing up in Sidney, she enjoyed activities on the lake, the trails, and skiing in the mountains. When she relocated to Belfast for her job, she took up sea kayaking and eventually became a Maine Guide.  She had a regular Monday-Friday job during the week and did her outdoor work on weekends.

Eventually, her outdoor wilderness weekends turned into a full-time job at OSI where she continued to grow her skills and experiences. She is a registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide, Outdoor Recreation Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and a Kripalu Certified Yoga Instructor. She’s learned navigation skills, emergency planning, medical training, and customer service skills.  A lot of her training was by doing and she admits she learned a lot from her failures and mistakes.

Erin gave examples of people who were passionate about the wilderness and the careers they have that allow them to enjoy the outdoors  A friend is a chef who got hired to cook for the Outdoor Adventure trips and has traveled all over the world. Another outdoor enthusiast loved being outdoors and had a passion for photography so he now is an outdoor photographer.  She encouraged the audience members to allow their passions to guide them in their career choices.


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