FOHI hosted not one but two service weeks this summer. We had a lot to do before the island would be ready for its campers, but luckily Janii (our beloved chef) made sure we had a constant supply of cookies! The first week took place at the end of May. Ten volunteers attended, but they did the work of at least ten-thousand!
The most important task for this week was cleaning — cleaning everything, clearing off the dust that had collected over the window, clearing out the squirrel nests from inside the cabins (sorry squirrels!)
Volunteer Loretta Victor made sure that we vacuumed every corner while Lynn Stroud carefully washed all the windows in the Crow’s Nest cabin. Gaye Phillips inventoried all the camp’s linens (Not an easy task! Just imagine doing laundry for a family of fifty!) and Juanita “Bon-Bon” Roushdy set up the camp’s gift shop.
Gary Sylvester did some construction on the Port Hole, and Diane Sylvester planted the Bell garden. And of course, all the volunteers pitched in to clean up the cabins and grounds. We wanted to make sure that next week’s Exploritas campers had a wonderful — and not dusty — experience!
Our second work week happened in the second week of June. Ten brave volunteers arrived on the island on June 6th, eager to get to work and finish up where the previous group left off. And since the previous group had done all the big cleaning projects, we were able to focus on some beautification projects, like painting and gardening. Volunteer Helen Walsh put on her purple rain boots and fearlessly stomped all the weeds out of Grace’s Garden. Once the garden was all weeded, she planted some beautiful flowers that the butterflies and hummingbirds just loved! Libby Hyatt and June Austin gave all of the green window screens a fresh coat of paint (that’s a lot of screens! And a lot of green paint!) and also installed “green” LED lightbulbs in the cabins. Al Hodson put up flower boxes on all of the cabins (and even the water pump!) while Dorothy Hodson became Janii’s new assistant chef, putting in countless hours in the kitchen to make sure we were all well-fed.
That week, both Lynn Stroud and Juanita “Bon-Bon” Roushdy returned to volunteer, and they both spent a lot of time repainting the white trimming on the windows and buildings. And the very tall Mike Moore helped them reach all the high-up spots! Meanwhile, Phil Witmer repainted the Bridge porch. And at the end of the week, when all the work was done and the island looked beautiful, we hopped on a boat and went to another island: Eastern Egg Rock! That time, however, we were just there to relax, not work, although I’m sure many of us would’ve loved to crawl into one of the blinds and get a closer look at the Puffins. But even from the boat, we saw tons of Puffins! And not just Puffins, but Eiders, Terns, and the underappreciated Guillemot. And it was a beautiful day — the sun was shining and the seas were pretty calm. It was our reward for a job well-done!