Memorable days of childhood

I attended the Audubon Youth Camp on Hog Island thirteen years ago, when I was just 10 years old. I actually won a scholarship to attend through an essay contest in the Audubon newspaper we received in my fourth grade class.

I have never forgotten the experience I had while on Hog Island … those were the most memorable 10 days of my childhood. The experiences being in the environment, being in nature, were ones I will never again be able to match.

Those were the most memorable 10 days of my childhood.

I specifically remember the fun I had getting all muddy at the mud flat. I also loved the boat ride where we dropped a net and then brought it up to see all the creatures we had collected along the way. But most of all I remember being in the Fish House at night singing all the songs. I met the most wonderful people while at the camp and kept in touch with a few campers after we left.

Now I am about to graduate from college, and I was recently assigned to write a paper on any topic for a leisure studies class. I was trying to think of something that really had an impact on my life, something that I could remember the most vivid details about. The first thing that came to my mind was the camp on Hog Island.

As I revisit my memories — along with looking at the Web site — I thought I’d comment on what a wonderful experience it was for me. I’m so happy to see that it has been such a successful program as the years have passed.

Keeping Hog Island Ship Shape

The Maine Audubon Society formed an affiliation with National Audubon in February of 2000. As a part of that affiliation Maine Audubon acquired a long term lease and management responsibilities for the Todd Wildlife Sanctuary, including Hog Island.

Hog Island
Property Manager Bos Savage (right) and caretaker Anthony Liss

At the time of the affiliation, Scott Saunders was in charge of the waterfront and property management for the sanctuary. Bob “Bos” Savage, Director of Property Management for Maine Audubon, worked closely with Scott Saunders over the summer of 2000. After conducting several site inspection visits and incorporating existing lists of deferred maintenance projects, including a listing of capital level repairs (prepared by local contractor Tim Hanley) a new “master list” of needed repairs was created and prioritized.

Maine Audubon placed the highest priority on health and safety issues followed by the needs of program participants and has been investing between $20,000 and $40,000 per year in capital level projects. Some significant projects remain undone and will require funding from a capital campaign in order to be completed. These projects include: foundation level repairs to the “Bridge” and “Porthole”, replacement of the main electrical feed cable connecting the mainland and island, and the likely replacement of the main program boat the “Puffin IV.”

The following represents a listing, by category, of those projects that have been completed as of the summer of 2003 but does not include the multitude of smaller projects completed since the affiliation.


  • Rewired Fish House – added exhaust fan – $5000
  • Rewired Bridge-replaced dishwasher heater – $4800
  • Rewired Warden’s Residence – $4400
  • Rewired Crows Nest – $2900
  • Replaced Island Service Entrance – $8600
  • Replaced Island Transformer – $7200


  • Added Bathrooms to Port Hole – $14,500
  • Added new Bathroom to Warden’s Residence – $16,000
  • Replaced two Grinder Pumps – $1300
  • Replaced Well Pump at Warden’s Residence – $650
  • Repaired and Repainted Well House Tank – $300
  • Added Shower to Bilge – $600

Building Repairs/Construction

  • Replaced Binnacle Roof – $1100
  • Replaced Kitchen Roof and Skylights – $1800
  • Replaced Walk-In Roof – $450
  • Partial Roof Replacement at Focsle – $350
  • Partial Roof Replacement at Warden’s Residence – $400
  • Added Stockade Fencing at Dumpster and Kitchen – $750
  • Replaced Helm Deck – $1500
  • Replaced Visitor Center Deck – $2600
  • Installed and Enlarged Tent Platforms – $750
  • Repaired Fish House Sill – $400


  • Bridge Exterior and Dining Room – $1100
  • Fish House Shutters and Trim – $150
  • Porthole Interior and Furniture – $800
  • Mainland and Island Stores – $450
  • Parts of Warden’s Residence and Visitor Center – $350


  • Replaced Main Island Float – $7600
  • Replaced Mainland Float and Gangway – $12,500
  • Replaced Osprey Pilot House – $4000
  • Added new Skiff, Outboard and Trailer – $4900
  • Replaced Electronics on Puffin IV – $3500
  • Replaced Safety Equipment on Puffin IV – $950


  • Replaced Main Entrance Sign – $600
  • Parking Lot Improvements – $900
  • Island Clean-up – $300
  • Tree/Blowdown Work – $250

Bos Savage is Director of Property Management, Maine Audubon Society