Summer’s gone

Can it be that the Hog Island 2014 season is over and the 2015 sessions are already 40% full! That we’ve already had our first big snow! So much has happened.

Friends and More

We welcomed visits from old friends David Klinger and Victor Gabay and from new friends at National Audubon’s headquarters in New York – Susan Lunden,

Gary Langham, Mary Beth Henson, and Teresa Hall. Artists in residence at the Bingham Cottages, Rebecca Gilman, playwright, and Tom Schaefer, author, brought the promise of exciting projects to come in 2015: a new play about Mabel Loomis Todd and a new book about Hog Island.

Three successfully fledged and banded Ospreys thrilled campers at Raptor Rapture, as did the new resident Merlin pair and their three fledglings. The sight of the Small Reach Regatta, with its 47 traditional wooden boats and owners, charmed everyone during their week-long stay.  The Schooner Roseway and crew arrived to volunteer and accomplished a lot.  National Audubon held its first-ever Diversity Summit at the camp. The premiere of a spoof by Julie Seifert on Cinderella –  Guillerella -was performed at International Guillemot Day.

Oh, Those Numbers

We love numbers and the 2014 season makes us smile. A record 26 FOHIs opened the camp.

Pete, Jim, Pat, Kathy - the SWAT team
Pete, Jim, Pat, Kathy – the SWAT team

But before that a FOHI swat team of 4 arrived to work with Eric to make extra rooms and install new showers and toilets – Pete Snyder, Kathy Dodge, and Pat and Jim Sanborn. Volunteer slots for most sessions were full. Registration was at 90% capacity, up from 2013. The new Raptor Rapture program sold out and brought new raptor instructors: experts Rob Bierregaard and Yoshi Leshem (from Israel), who said they now understood what draws us to the island year after year – they, too, caught the Hog Island fever.

And What About Those Volunteers

They never disappoint. Ruth Woodall was our star volunteer, whipping us all into shape, and donating over 7 weeks. Ruth, you are an inspiration to us all.

Ruth arranging flowers
Ruth arranging flowers

Many were returning for the second, third, or fourth time – and are becoming “seasoned.”  Some shared their talents by giving a workshop – Jean McKay, Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, and Carolyn Zaino. Stephanie Herrick regraded many of the trails to the cabins by herself. Julie Seifert entered the Hog Island library books into LibraryThing, a social media site for book lovers!

One of our volunteers, Nancy Dickinson, became the star “Turnover Tornado.” She turned up every end-of-session day to help us make beds and clean for the next session. Thank you, Nancy. Joe Beaudette was everywhere helping then singing and playing guitar in the evening. Peggy and Betsy Cadbury came for FOHI opening week and then returned for the closing week; volunteers enjoyed their stories of their many years living at the camp with their father Bart Cadbury. Volunteers, Your Rock!

Watch out for our annual newsletter after the holidays. In it, we’ll list every one of our treasured volunteers. Also check out our Facebook page for more volunteer news. Volunteers are already signing up for 2015, so don’t hesitate sign up now for one or more weeks.

Our Campers

Last but not least are the wonderful campers who arrive often hesitant and end up smiling, laughing, and learning

Robert, Betsy, Peggy, Gaye, and Helen wave so long
Robert, Betsy, Peggy, Gaye, and Helen wave so long

far more than they expected and making new friends.  Somewhat cut off from the frantic pace of the mainland, they turned their eyes and mind toward nature and rediscovered a peace within themselves. Nature is the common bond. One camper expressed

“I never knew there could be so many nice people in one place.”

 And, Finally

Steve Kress and his team have exciting new sessions for 2015, including seven-time Grammy Award winner Paul Winter, together with Pete Dunne. Registration is at 40% so far, so check out the new sessions – you won’t be disappointed.

And . . .

Nightjar and its crew and captain set sail for southern climes – we wish them fair winds and following seas.

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea, —
Past the houses, past the headlands,
Into deep eternity!

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

Emily Dickinson