The camp buildings at Hog Island are still shuttered tight, but the level of activity in our registrations office is anything but quiet right now. From the first week in January when we began taking reservations for this summer’s Hog Island schedule, camp registrar Linda Ledoux has been working flat out. Fielding hundreds of telephone and e-mail inquiries from around the country, Linda has already placed more than 325 people in sessions at the island this summer, and a number of those sessions already have waiting lists. I am pleased to report that enrollment is ahead of last year at this point and already is higher than the total attendance at the camp just three years ago.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are by far the most significant source of new campers.
Certainly we’re off to a solid start, but we still have a ways to go to fill our schedule at the Maine Camp. And that is what we have to do to make Hog Island a financially sustainable operation. In the past three years we’ve reduced the operating deficit by 80 percent. Next year our goal is to make break even. We can accomplish that if we fill the camp — and here’s where the Friends of Hog Island can play a vital role: by telling others about it!
Word-of-mouth recommendations are by far the most significant source of new campers. There is simply no more convincing or cost-efficient way to convey how wonderful the Hog Island experience is. You already know it’s a great place to spend a summer week, so pass the word along! In fact, why not consider coming back for another session this summer yourself? It’s hard to top a week on a Maine island engaged in learning from nature.
And for those many among you who said that you wanted to come back to the island, the FOHI Work and Learn program allows you to split each day of your stay doing a variety of needed work projects with time left to engage in some natural history programs. Chef Janii’s food is worth that alone! I hope you will seriously consider returning to Hog Island. Give Linda a call.
Kevin Carley is Maine Audubon Society Executive Director