FOHI in-session volunteering

Wild roses
Even busy volunteers have time to stop and smell the wild roses.

In addition to attending the service weeks (see previous [intlink id=”84″ type=”post”]post[/intlink]), many FOHI volunteers helped out while the Hog Island programs were in session. The biggest need was in the kitchen. Afterall, Janii can’t feed fifty people all by himself (although he can write an entire musical at six in the morning), and as always, the FOHI volunteers were ready to step up and do any job that needed to be done.

The first program of the season was Seabird Biology and Conservation, and six FOHI volunteers attended. Gaye and Robert Phillips learned to use the Hobart Dishwasher and soon became faster dish-washers than any student assistant. Meanwhile, Victor Gabay mastered the art of making salad for forty people (that’s a lot of lettuce!) And newcomer Carol Garfinkel carefully hand-washed all of Janii’s pots and pans. And of course, Juanita “Bon Bon” Roushdy continued to sell record-breaking amounts of merchandise in the gift shop. She could sell a Puffin tee-shirt to a Puffin-hater (if such a person existed!). Additionally, the FOHI volunteers participated in many of the week’s activities.  In fact, Gaye Phillips fulfilled her life-long dream of visiting the Heron colony on Harbor Island – Hooray for Gaye!

During the next session, Joy of Birding, a former participant magically became a FOHI member. Yes, the brave and energetic Mary LaCreta loved her week of Seabird Conservation so much that she decided to return to Joy of Birding as a volunteer.  Mary washed all the pots and pans faster than anyone could pile them up and still had time to go birding!

The volunteers helped Sue make her famous Cream Puffins for the lobster dinner.

Additionally, former Student Assistant turned  Puffineer turned FOHI volunteer, Kory Kwasow,  returned to the island for the week, helping to ease Janii’s work load with his expert knowledge of the kitchen. He also entertained all the participants with his tales of  Gull attacks and Puffin sightings on Eastern Egg Rock. Additionally, Lauren Lesser, a former youth-camper, achieved her dream of becoming a student assitant — And she finally learned the secret of Janii’s cookies! Furthermore, Cornell Hotel School student, Becca Singlenberg, shared her knowledge of hospitality with the volunteers. Becca also became a birder after a life-changing trip to Clarry Hill — It was a week of transformations! And as always, Juanita “Bon-Bon” Roushdy rowed over ever morning to help out in the kitchen and the store.

The next session, Field Ornithology, brought a record-breaking number of campers to the island. Luckily, we had a record-breaking number of volunteers to match! Fifteen wonderful volunteers showed up to help out with this busy session. And as they say, many hands make light work. With so many energetic volunteers, all of the cleaning and cooking was finished quickly and easily, and the volunteers were able to participate in many of the week’s programs. The volunteers had time to relax on the porch and enjoy a meal at the picnic tables. Yes, the picnic tables, and no, this wasn’t just during lobster night.  The camp was so full that the volunteers agreed to eat outside — there just wasn’t room for them at the ten tables inside! But I think they really had the best seats in the house (or, outside the house, actually). They ate their meals out in the sunshine, under the blue sky. They even did a little birding during lunch!

All in all, it was a great month on the island! Many, many thanks to all those who volunteered!

Hog Island
Good-bye, Hog Island, for now...