Oh, It’s Good to be Back on the Island

Camp is back in 2021 with a full roster of campers and a full complement of volunteers as well. Because of COVID, a number of restrictions are in place this year. Almost all activities are taking place in the open air. Our FOHI volunteers are performing a number of additional duties, such as early coffee service on the granite tables, extra sanitizing and serving up delicious meals outside while wearing masks and gloves – always with a smile.


Opening week was one of the most productive ever. The volunteers repurposed the old bandstand deck, created a new outdoor space at the Queen Mary to house the two-tier touch tank, and also built a deck for the new entrance on the side of the lab. They put a huge new beam under the Queen Mary to help stabilize the building until it can be elevated this fall — a project which will be fully funded by FOHI. The volunteers also helped Eric shore up the housekeeping shed with new beams. They swept, painted, hauled, vacuumed, mowed and cleaned as well as made up beds. By the end of the week, the island was ready for campers to arrive for Field Ornithology.


One project remained unfinished — the new pergola that Eric designed to go over the old bandstand space. Three volunteers stepped up during the Field Ornithology session and completed it under Eric’s direction. These were Maggie, George and Carter. During the same week Jenny and Mary reorganized the laundry room and made COVID-compatible linen sets complete with bed pads, blankets and spreads. This year all linens will be changed on every occupied bed each week. Donna and Cynthia were also outstanding volunteers during the week. Our Arts and Birding volunteers followed in their footsteps, enthusiastically adapting to the new and evolving protocols that will keep us all safe on the island this summer.

Our campers for Field Ornithology and the subsequent Arts and Birding session enjoyed their experience and gave our FOHI volunteers high marks for their dedication, hard work and attention to detail. We worked hard and kept our spirit of cooperation, comradery, and fun, as we helped bring the camp back from the pandemic to pursue its mission once again on beautiful Hog Island.

On the last evening of Arts and Birding, we presented Don Lyons, director for conservation science of the Audubon’s Seabird Institute, with FOHI’s annual gift of $50,000 plus an additional $10,000 to help with expenses during the reduced-capacity camp sessions this year. These funds are restricted to the camp on Hog Island.

Many thanks to Tony, FOHI’s volunteer coordinator, for this update. See you on the island for Educator’s Week starting July 11, 2021. Check out the rest of the season’s programs; put yourself on the waitlist, a space may open up!

Want to be a FOHI volunteer, e-mail Tony at volunteer@fohi.org