The memorable second choice

In the summer of 1982 I was not quite 11 years old and I was excited. For the first time I was going to get to go away to Boy Scout Camp. My mom also told me that she had signed me up for the Audubon Youth Ecology Camp at Hog Island, Maine. I would be going there for 10 days then coming home for a week, then going on to Boy Scout camp for a week.

I was not that excited. It seemed like an obstacle between me and Scout camp, something to be endured while waiting to go to that awesome place where I’d get to swim, play games, participate in archery, earn merit badges, etc..

When the time to leave rolled around we packed up a foot locker and loaded it into the car for the drive up the coast from Massachusetts to Bremen, Maine. I was prepared to endure my time while thinking of all the fun things I’d be doing in a few weeks when Scout camp finally arrrived.

The truth, of course, was exactly the opposite. Nearly 30 years later I still recall my first glimpse of Hog Island across the mist shrouded bay as I was dropped off on the shore with the other kids. It’s seemed like another world, and it was. There was hiking, learning about the coastal ecology, boat trips, exploration, amazing meals, and nightly presentations and singing songs in the Fish House.

In the end, I can’t recall much of what I did at Boy Scout camp, to which I never returned, but I did go back to Hog Island in 1983 and 1984. After that I was too old for the youth camp, but I never forgot it.

Years later I thought to look it up again in hopes of sending my daughter in a few years. I was sad to see this camp is no more. I would pay dearly to have her go and experience the magic of that island in Maine.