Hog Island Scholarship application deadline 12/13/19

Washington Crossing Audubon Offers a Scholarship
to Outdoor Educators, 
July 12-17, 2020

Outdoor or environmental teachers and educators in the Central NJ region are invited to apply for a scholarship to attend the Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week at National Audubon’s Hog Island Center on Muscongus Bay in Maine. The program will be held July 15-20, 2019.

National Audubon will have a complement of well-known environmental instructors covering many aspects of teaching and field techniques along with identifying different habitats and the plants and animals that occupy them.

There is only one scholarship to be awarded. It covers tuition and expenses while on the island. It does not cover individual travel expenses. If you wish to be considered, send an e-mail to

[email protected]

Please include your contact information, your position, your teaching experiences and how you plan to use your experiences at Hog Island. More complete information about this workshop can be found here.

Deadline for applications is Friday, December 13th. The successful applicant will be notified mid-January 2020.

Hog Island, Maine

Hog Island, Maine © John Emmons

Our 2018 Hog Island Scholarship shares his experience: John Emmons of Lawrence

Two years ago, while researching the internet for teaching materials, I came across information about a scholarship offered by the Washington Crossing Chapter of the Audubon Society that provided a week-long educator’s camp experience on an island in Maine. I saw that I met the qualifications and felt that my experience teaching science and advocating for nature would make me a strong candidate. Alas, I was not chosen but was overjoyed a year later when I was chosen to receive this year’s scholarship.

With great anticipation, the day finally arrived for me to leave life behind at the pier. And what a pier it was! A long dirt track stretched down through a flowery meadow to a deep blue harbor studded with fir covered islands below. A series of weathered gray clapboard buildings clamored up the hillside embraced by an aromatic garden of spruce, fir, and birch trees. Luxuriant grayish green moss hung down from the trees like the beards of old sea captains. Fern and cobblestone lined paths beckoned exploration to near and distant parts of the island. After being shown to our century old cabins and given some time to unpack, we were summoned by the haunting ring of an old ships bell to a grassy common lined with colorful pollinator gardens that overlooked a craggy beach and boat peppered harbor. Here I joined a diverse cohort of fellow educators whose backgrounds, experiences, passions, and careers were as varied as the flora and fauna of Maine. We all shared a passion for infecting others with a love and respect of nature. Over the course of the week and through a plethora of engaging activities, we were introduced to new worlds of knowledge, teaching tools and methods, and were challenged and inspired by new and different perspectives.

Hog Island birding cruise © John Emmons

Every activity was a highlight and it is hard to focus on one but hearing a presentation by Dr. Stephen W. Kress about his struggles and now continued successes with Project Puffin, which is the reintroduction of that seabird to the coastal islands of Maine, was incredible. This was followed by taking a lobster boat out through the stunning Muscongus Bay to the remote Eastern Egg Rock Island to view a thriving colony of Puffins. Along the way, we observed bald eagles, osprey, seals, dolphins, and of course lobsters. We also hiked around a rugged rocky island, studying its fantastically visible geology. Our days and evenings were filled to the brim with thought-provoking presentations, vigorous nature exploration, new teaching activities and strategies, and fellowship.

Another particularly wonderful aspect of my time at Hog Island was an acknowledgement of the human dynamic from watching lobstermen busy at work, to clambering over colonial stone walls that once penned in livestock, to investigating the prehistoric remains of a First Peoples’ shell midden, to hearing the heartwarming and inspiring story of how Mabel Loomis Todd dedicated her life to protecting this very special island so that generations of nature lovers and particularly educators, would be inspired by its beauty to go back to where they came and work to educate others about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Coming back, I am inspired, renewed, empowered, and energized. I continue my work in my hometown of Lawrence participating in nature conservation and sustainability organizations, and, during the summer, leading nature-based summer camps that introduce children to the wonders of the outdoors. I continue my STEM teaching in grades pre-K through 8, where I not only aim to hook younger generations on the importance of protecting our natural heritage, but toward improving the sustainability of my school through installing water bottle filling stations, reducing waste, recycling, and developing our school campus into a wildlife sanctuary and outdoor classroom. I do these things better, with new knowledge, and new urgency!

This was an outstanding experience and I am beyond grateful for having benefitted from it, and rest assured, I will pay it forward through my efforts.

— John Emmons

Hog Island Educator’s Week 2018

2018 Photos © John Emmons

Hog Island Educator’s Week 2017
2017 Photos © Tamara Garaffa
About Hog Island

SHARING NATURE: AN EDUCATOR'S WEEK

Learn practical approaches and add inspiration to your environmental education curriculum during this action-packed program. Our experienced and enthusiastic instructors share their favorite approaches, methods, and activities for engaging both children and adults with nature.

Workshops using techniques in art, music, theater, journaling, and other disciplines will be presented, as well as a host of classic Audubon Camp field trips, including a boat trip to the restored Atlantic Puffin and Tern colony on Eastern Egg Rock, intertidal explorations, and hiking through Hog Island’s unspoiled spruce-fir forest. These experiences provide a wonderful opportunity to be learning outside in a beautiful setting, while also considering how you can take back some of these insights and methods to your students back home. We’ll be exploring citizen science, creating some inquiry-based lessons on birds and other topics, and demonstrating both low and high-tech methods of teaching.

“Best workshop I have ever attended. No teacher left inside. All teachers deserve summer camp! Total stress relief, FUN, FUN, FUN!” – Deb, teacher, Alabama

Participants must arrange transportation to and from the Audubon mainland property in Bremen at the start and end of the session (see directions page). Check with your local Audubon chapter or bird club to see if scholarships are available.