Wanted: A Can-Do Volunteer Coordinator

Yes, it’s true, Friends of Hog Island is looking for a volunteer coordinator for our 2022 season and beyond. Our current coordinator is retiring!

Have you always wanted to spend time in Maine? Then, this is your chance to spend the summer at the legendary Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen, from May through September.

Work with a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers. Check out the job description.

The position includes room and board and an hourly wage. You’ll get to experience all that happens on the island and get to know the instructors, staff, and campers. You’ll be part of an amazing team and make friends for a lifetime.

Come and be part of the magic that is Hog Island. Oh, did we mention lobster!

Send a cover letter and resume by e-mail to president@fohi.org or by snail mail to Friends of Hog Island, P.O. Box 242, Bremen, ME 04551

Deadline is October 15, 2021.

FOHI volunteers happy to be on Hog Island!

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

Floats Are in and Other News

We’ve waited for over a year for to be back on Hog Island. And, now, volunteers are making their way to the camp for opening work week, June 2-8. Then, on June 13, campers will be coming up the gangway for Field Ornithology.

The floats are in and the ospreys are back, both sure signs that the Hog Island season has indeed started. Registration is roaring ahead with a few spaces left in some of the programs, so don’t procrastinate check out the schedule. Another option is to take a few day trips with the camp, those still have spaces. FOHI volunteers’ rush to sign up was like a tidal wave with all available spots taken within a few days. But don’t be disappointed, if you’re flexible put yourself on the waitlist — last-minute cancellations always happen. Great programs, great food, great staff, great volunteers!

FOHI’s one and only annual fundraising appeal went out on April 1, but it seems that many have not received it yet, including our own board and others far and wide; we have heard tales of bulk mail taking a long, long time to reach recipients. So, take a look at it here and learn about what we’ve done and about FOHI’s commitment to the raising of the Queen Mary — that venerable lady of the island.  To those who did receive our annual appeal and responded, thank you.

The naming of FOHI’s annual newsletter “The Guillemot” drew many positive comments as did its content.  The diminutive seabird, with its bright red feet, is often the first seabird we see on arrival at Hog Island and for many of us a life bird. Regardless of the time of year or weather, the Black Guillemot can always be seen in the waters around the island — steadfast and loyal.  Unfortunately, we had not realized that there was another well-known newsletter called “The Guillemot” published by the Sorrento Scientific Society in Maine by Bill Townsend, which ended in 2020; we’ll still use the name as it has special meaning for FOHI and the Sorrento newsletter is no longer published.

Want to spend summers on Hog Island? Friends of Hog Island is looking for a new volunteer coordinator for 2022, as Tony, rather than retiring last year, graciously agreed to stay on for 2020 and 2021. As many of you know this is a key role, representing FOHI, recruiting, managing, and working alongside volunteers. FOHI provides 6-8 volunteers a session and 20-30 volunteers for opening and closing work weeks, amounting to an average of 7,000 hours a season. So, if you or someone you might know would love to become part of a team that makes things happen and wants to live on an island in the summer check out the job description and if you’re in the area this season, come and visit us on the island. We’re beginning the search early so anyone thinking about it can visit the island this season and see first-hand what a magical place it is and what a great team makes it hum. Check out the job description at

See you on the island!

Hog Island Opens for 2021

Yes, it’s true. The Hog Island Audubon Camp will be open for programs this year. Registration opened on March 8. Be sure to hurry and check out the new offerings, including day trips in May and other new programs. The camp will follow Covid-19 guidelines to protect campers, staff, and volunteers. But don’t worry, none of this will dampen the joy to be back at camp, to breathe the fresh sea air, to laugh, to see old friends and meet new ones, to eat great food, to learn, and to sit and gaze out on the water lost in your thoughts.

For Friends of Hog Island and our tireless volunteers, the sign-up page opened on March 9. Many volunteers are eager to get back after being disappointed in 2020 with the closure. They are ready to start prepping the camp for campers and to likewise return for their favorite session.

Because of Covid-19, the camp participant and volunteer numbers will be half what they are normally. So, don’t hesitate to sign up for your slot. Those who signed up for 2020 will have priority to rollover in 2021.

Can you hear the bell ringing for breakfast? It won’t be long now.

The Stars from Hog Island

Nature during this crushing year has provided much-needed solace. During the crisp nights of winter here in Maine, we are fortunate to see, as Carl Sagan would say, “BILLIONS and billions of stars….” twinkling in the inky darkness. On seeing them, our minds turn to times on Hog Island and the laughter, the learning, the people, the mosses, the freedom from modern burdens, nature, and each other ­— all stars. Hog Island is our “mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam” like Sagan’s pale blue dot — giving us that dose of connection we need.

Wishing you and all those you love a holiday full of wonderful memories, the making of new ones, and a 2021 full of peace, hope, and new beginnings.

For the holidays, consider giving a gift and learn all about puffins and other seabirds with a 15- lecture online series from Hog Island, a Puffin Island Expanded series. Watch at your own pace.