Visit to the Hog Island Audubon Camp
Article and Photos by Sam Schaen and Marilyn Gaizband
My wife, newsletter editor Marilyn Gaizband, and I were fortunate to spend a few hours at the Hog Island Audubon Camp. According to the website “the sanctuary and Hog Island Audubon Camp continue to provide people from all parts of the country with opportunities to experience and learn about nature on the coast of Maine.” Hog Island is celebrating its 80th anniversary as the Audubon Camp.
While visiting a friend with a Summer home near Hog Island, Marilyn contacted Juanita Roushdy, President of the Friends of Hog Island, to see if we might take some photographs. We were looking for photos to accompany the newsletter article about sponsoring a teacher for Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week. As we have done the past two years, ASNV will offer a scholarship for $1000.00 to cover tuition, meals and housing for a local teacher to attend the session. Juanita was extremely friendly and arranged for a tour the next day.
We were met on the mainland dock by facilities manager, Eric Snyder, a boyish looking young man who has been doing the job for 13 years. Eric explained his philosophy of maintaining the rustic character of the camp while making improvements that make sense. As an example, a solar array will be installed this year to provide a portion of the electricity used. Several buildings on the island are over 100 years old, while the newest was built in 1938. Eric provided a comprehensive tour that included the science area, the classroom, a dormitory, and the dining hall.
The science room contained a number of taxidermy specimens, a celestial telescope for astronomy classes, and an extensive library. The dining hall and dormitories are designed to hold 50 students and 30 staff at a time. The accommodations are rustic, but functional.
We left the island for the mainland vowing to return as campers sometime in the near future. Information about future Hog Island programs can be found here.