A Hog Island Experience

JoEllen Jones was Northeast Pa. Audubon’s scholarship winner in 2022 to attend Family Camp in Maine. She writes about her experience:

I am incredibly grateful for a scholarship from the Northeast PA Audubon Society to attend Family Camp on Hog Island, Maine. The days I spent there are filled with moments I will carry with me forever. From puffins, to lichens, to intertidal life, the knowledge I gained will always be with me.

Upon arrival to the island, I was greeted with an incredible assortment of counselors, volunteers, and directors. Every member of the staff was eager to teach, assist, and befriend the campers. After my mother and I explored our room in the amazing Queen Mary building, we made our way to dinner. Sitting at the picnic tables before every meal in anticipation was unforgettable. Before our first meal on Hog Island, Carter, the Sous Chef, announced what we would be eating. That night it was roast chicken and a fresh salad with local ingredients and veggies. Every night featured a new and remarkable dish. I was particularly fond of the puffin éclairs served on the final day! 

Every day at camp was filled to the brim with engaging and educational activities such as storytelling and “Toad Abodes,” crafts, poetry, and mindfulness; science activities such as strawberry DNA extraction. One counselor, Nathaniel was extremely knowledgeable. It was fascinating how many facts he could retain! Rosy reminded me every day that it was okay to be a kid and have fun. She has made me want to be a better person and even influenced me to learn the banjo! Every member of the staff inspired me to continue loving the outdoors. 

Family Camp has seriously impacted me and has become a part of my day-to-day life. The staff told me that Hog Island has a tendency to leave campers wanting to return. I now understand the island’s captivating aura! The experiences I had while attending Hog Island Audubon Family Camp will truly stick with me forever, reminding me to cherish, enjoy, and above all, appreciate nature. We are so thankful for this amazing and truly life-changing opportunity. Without Northeast Pa. Audubon’s generosity my adventure would not have been possible.  

With much gratitude, JoEllen Jones 

Audubon offers this full scholarship to Hog Island Family Camp to a child age 8 to 14 and related adult each year. Information about the Northeast Pa. Audubon Society and its scholarships can be found at www.nepaaudubon.org or emailing them at audubonworks@gmail.com. You may also call them at 570-253-9250.