Category Archives: News from Camp

End of the Summer

Director Sumner Ford and our skeleton crew of summer staff left the island earlier this month, and while they accomplished a lot in a six-week span, they did so knowing that no matter what they did, this summer would always feel incomplete. Indeed it was. There were no noisy dining hall meals, no campfires in the cove, no returning trips to celebrate, no Boats Out. But, in the place of these traditional camp experiences we missed, our staff gave us something new. They built a community from afar. They created an impressive group of engaging and informative tutorials, exchanged video check-ins, phone calls, and letters with campers, and each week they compiled entertaining campfires (PIC T.EL.E.V.I.S.I.O.N.) for families to enjoy together in their homes.

Many thanks to our crew: Corinne Alsop, Natalie Burr, Bobby Flynn, Miles Frank, Justin Gaspard, Matthew Hawkins, Elinor Hesson, Matt Miller, Madison Olds, Mark Pierce, and Jack Reed.

And to our campers! They would have much preferred to be on the island – and we would have been happy to have them there! – but we’re grateful for all of their participation.

While our summer is over, our shortfall fundraising campaign is still going strong. We’ve raised over $210,000 towards our $300,000 matched gift goal. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider contributing today. Every dollar you donate will be matched!

All the best,
Sarah Hunter
Communications Director

P.S. We highly recommend checking out this terrific group of tutorials. They cover a wide range of topics including: Building a Shelter, Orienteering, Knot Tying, Drawing, Astronomy, Tree Identification, and many more. They’re informative, funny, and just plain great!

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

May 18 was a somber day, despite the bright sunshine and spring flowers in full bloom.  We spent the day letting the PIC community know that camp would not open in 2020.  Knowing that we had made the right decision definitely did not make it any easier, and I felt sad, nostalgic, and profoundly mournful all day. 

I spent much of the day at the desk in my office on the second floor of our house, which offers a perfect vantage point for observing spring migrants feeding in the maple trees in the back yard and a spinney of birches in the side yard.  Every year I see an amazing number of warbler species – up to 16 in a season – without ever leaving the house.  Although May 18 was a bad day for Pine Island, it was a great day for spring birding.  In addition to the usual cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, cedar waxwings, and downy woodpeckers, I saw yellow, parula, black and white, Wilson’s, and magnolia warblers, redstarts, and chimney swifts. 

But there was another bird flitting energetically among the birches, definitely not one of the usual suspects.  After watching it closely through my binoculars for a few minutes and consulting my Peterson’s guide, I determined that it was a blue-gray gnatcatcher, a bird I had never before seen here in Brunswick, Maine and had seen only once before in my life many years ago at Whitehead.  Watching its tireless activity and cheery aspect was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak day.  Could this delightful little bird be an emissary from King Kababa, sent from Mt. Philip to remind me that Pine Island had been in tough places before and would find its way out of this one too?  Blue and Gray, resourceful, optimistic, energetic, hard-working, cheerful – a sign from the King if ever there was one.

Photo: Jesse Gordon/Audubon Photography Awards

Whoa, King Kababa!

With high hopes for a wonderful reunion back on Great Pond in 2021,

Emily Swan

At Camp for the Summer!

We’re busy at camp ensuring that our 118th summer is another great one and that all of our campers have opportunities to challenge themselves, to learn and grow, and to have fun!

Throughout the season, parents will stay connected to their sons through hand-written letters.  While some correspondence will surely be less descriptive than others (many parents have received that one liner: Send cookies ASAP), all letters from camp become a treasure. Letter writing is a wonderful way to communicate and, though a dying art in most of the country, it’s alive and well at Pine Island!

If you need to get in touch with us during the summer you can call our summer number 207-465-3031, email Sarah at shunter@pineisland.org, or write us a letter! Our summer address is:

Pine Island Camp
HC0 Box 200
Belgrade Lakes, Maine 04918

Pine Island’s 118th season is going to be another great one!

At Camp for the Summer

We’re busy at camp ensuring that our 117th summer is another great one and that all of our campers have opportunities to challenge themselves, to learn and grow, and to have fun!

Throughout the season, parents will stay connected to their sons through hand-written letters.  While some correspondence will surely be less descriptive than others (many parents have received that one liner: Send cookies ASAP), all letters from camp become a treasure. Letter writing is a wonderful way to communicate and, though a dying art in most of the country, it’s alive and well at Pine Island!

If you need to get in touch with us during the summer you can call our summer number 207-465-3031, email Sarah at shunter@pineisland.org, or write us a letter! Our summer address is:

Pine Island Camp
HC0 Box 200

Belgrade Lakes, Maine 04918

Pine Island’s 117th season is going to be another great one!

A beautiful afternoon for Opening Day 2018!