FOHI News, Voluntary service

Special projects for summer 2011

Hog Island is slowly shrugging off winter and welcoming spring arrivals. The trails and facilities fared well over the winter, with only a few blow-downs on the trails. Ospreys are now routinely circling the point and a pair of eagles are enjoying a perch just beyond the Crow’s Nest, while on the mainland two Canada geese have claimed the small pond for themselves.

Janii has been making his spring reconnaissance of the kitchen, and start-up maintenance is just about in full swing. We have the smaller docks in and are doing repairs on some of the larger ones. Boats are getting new coats of paint and minor repairs as weather permits.

Overhauling Bingham Lodge is one of the major projects this summer

Beside our regular FOHI volunteer opportunities, we have several special projects coming up for this summer.

Maintenance projects

The first of this year’s major goals is to work broadly to rejuvenate the island’s outward appearance and inner workings. To effect such a major overhaul requires resources and much time.

We are seeking willing volunteers to work specifically on these maintenance-related projects, during all sessions, as well as pre- and post-season.

For commitments greater than a week, travel assistance may be available. Projects will likely involve scraping and painting, minor carpentry, plumbing, and landscaping work. These positions require a strong work ethic, but prior experience is not required and you will have the opportunity to learn the skills that allow for the operation of island systems.

Bingham Lodge

The second major undertaking this summer is a full overhaul of the Bingham Lodge, located on the northwest side of the main part of Hog Island. This has long been on the list of goals and many have expressed interest in reviving the historic building. This is where Mabel Todd and Millicent Bingham lived and where some of the works of Emily Dickinson were first transcribed.

Unfortunately, it has fallen into disrepair and requires significant attention. The list of tasks includes re-planking the deck, rebuilding the front and back steps, fixing and glazing windows and doors, patching the shingle siding, shoring up the foundation, cleaning up the grounds, and other improvements as money and time allow. This project will likely extend throughout the first two weeks of July, consisting of a mostly volunteer team, working under the guidance of Eric.

Get involved

If you would like to become involved in any of the above special projects by donating time, funds, or materials, please e-mail Sue Schubel, FOHI Volunteer Coordinator, at and put “special volunteer projects” in the subject line.

We are all looking forward to another great season (our 75th!) and hope that you will share in the excitement by attending as a camper, visiting our trails, or donating your time. We are 98% full! We still have room for volunteers at the regular sessions.