Christmas and the holidays are almost upon us. Here in Maine, lush greens have turned to shades of gray and dark greens. Our beloved Audubon Camp at Hog Island is wrapped up for the winter – final maintenance projects have been completed, windows are shuttered, floats are in, and water is shut off.
We hope you’re in the mood for good news, because we have a lot to share with you!
- Under innovative leadership from Steve Kress and Project Puffin, the 2010 programming was a huge success. More than 160 adults and teens enjoyed classic programs and new offerings. By all indications and current registration numbers, 2011 promises to be an even bigger success, and two additional sessions, for educators and Audubon chapter leaders, have been added.
- A flurry of activity in the past three months by FOHI has resulted in its application for 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The action was precipitated by news that National Audubon was in negotiations with Camp Kieve, a private local camp, for imminent transfer of ownership of the Hog Island buildings and peninsula. The good news: National Audubon has deferred its decision in order to give FOHI time to prove that it can provide an endowment and supplemental income for the camp. For articles and background, visit fohi.org, where you’ll see my favorite description of our role in this drama: “FOHI came charging over the hill.”
- We have located missing camper lists back to 1969 and are busy putting that information into digital format – approximately 5,000 names.
- National Audubon’s highest recognition, the Golden Egret Award, has just been given to Steve Kress “who by his continuous and consistent effort over the years displays leadership qualities and is an example to other employees of helpful, supportive, caring, and dependable service.” We already knew that! Congratulations, Steve! (His work with Hog Island was singled out for particular mention.)
Hog Island takes hold of you. There are many beautiful places – this one will change your life. – Scott Weidensaul
We hope you share our energy and enthusiasm for this new era in Hog Island’s long and storied history, which marks its 75th year in 2011. FOHI has been pivotal this year and will play a key role in the island’s future. We have a committed board, a vision, mission, and a set of goals to guide us:
Vision: To see the day when, under Audubon ownership, the Audubon Camp at Hog Island is financially self-sustaining with a substantial endowment to assure its future.
Mission: The mission of the Friends of Hog Island is to preserve the legacy and support the conservation, nature programs and activities of the Audubon Camp at Hog Island, Maine.
Goals: The Friends of Hog Island, through openness, social media, technology, and personal contact pledge to:
- Build a sense of community among campers
- Build partnerships with local conservation and environmental groups
- Build upon and further the mission of National Audubon
- Build trust and support within the local community
- Build a stable, financial annual income stream through fund-raising and an endowment
- Build a nationwide volunteer base to work at the camp during sessions
- Build a collection of historical materials to keep alive the conservation legacy of the Audubon Camp at Hog Island for future generations
By doing this, we hope to assure a sustainable future for Hog Island. We believe that all the Friends of Hog Island will generously support the camp in an ongoing, reliable manner, ensuring that National Audubon will continue its ownership of the island and its programming there.
We anticipate approval of our 501(c)(3) status early in the New Year, and will be writing you then to ask for your support to assure a sustainable future for Hog Island.
In the meantime, please visit our website (fohi.org) and provide us with stories and feedback, sign up for email updates, and spread the word of our new direction. And come back to join us! For information about the 2011 programs, visit www.hogisland.audubon.org.
Have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.