Can It Be July!

The summer solstice has come and gone, July 4, too,  and the days are getting shorter! But life at the Hog Island Audubon Camp remains upbeat, high energy, fun, and each new day a joy. Northern parulas, song sparrows, phoebes, our resident ospreys, Rachel and Steve, and other birds on the island are all busy raising young, with some fledging already. Life effervesces, as do the rocking FOHIs.

With four camp sessions under their belts, Birdwatcher’s Digest Reader Rendezvous, Joy of Birding, Arts & Birding/ Teens, and Field Ornithology/Teens, they are ready to take on the next part of the season. Registration at the camp is at its highest ever – 90% thanks to word of mouth and social media, notwithstanding Eva’s efforts and all the instructors to fill their sessions. FOHIs have likewise been spreading the word about volunteering and the sessions are full. But if you want to volunteer, sign-up for the wait list – things happen.

Thanks to Helen Walsh and Betsy Cadbury’s initial plantings of flowers and the continual watering and upkeep by the Old Bristol Garden Club, the gardens and window boxes are thriving. They were particularly appreciated during Arts week.

Other FOHI news

FOHI donated $10, 900 to the purchase of two new vans for the camp. It also gave full scholarships for a mother and daughter to attend Family Camp and for a local student to attend Field Ornithology/Teens. To make rooms brighter, new curtains were purchased for staff quarters and new linens and blankets for campers. We still have a wish list of a 16-foot skiff to replace the “scow, the workhorse boat; a gently used pickup truck; and a wood chipper for the island trails.

On Wednesday, June 28, board members had a two-hour no-impact meeting at Hog Island, where they decided to hire a FOHI Volunteer Coordinator, move ahead with funding for the Hog Island Archive Project, and work on a 5-year strategic plan. They are energized, engaged, and looking to the future. A no-impact meeting means no work for anyone: sandwiches from Fernald’s Deli in Damariscotta and coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

Thanks must go to the FOHI “desperados” who fill in at a moment’s notice when a volunteer cannot make it. Then, there are the “whirlwinds,” who on Friday mornings completely clean rooms and make beds for the next session. FOHI volunteers are dedicated, hard-working, and passionate and a little crazy! But we love them.

The solar panels continue to provide electricity. To date they have produced 18,511.2 kwh and the camp has used 13,188.0 kwh, with June having the biggest consumption of energy. Nonetheless, the sun continues to shine and so far we have a net of 5,322 kwh in the grid. Thank you to all who made this possible.

The savings is equivalent to: Miles Not Driven – 30,391  miles; Gasoline Not Used – 1,436  gallons; Coal Not Burned – 13,710  pounds; Crude Oil Not Used – 30  barrels; Mature Trees Grown – 327  trees; Garbage Recycled – 10,086  pounds

There are still a few slots in  some of the sessions, so visit Hog Island to see what is available. Also check out the trip for teens to Costa Rica in December. See you on the island and thank you for all you do for Hog Island and Friends of Hog Island.