Welcome to our first 2017 staff highlight! We hope these little interviews give you some insight to Hog Island Audubon Camp and our staff.
Name: Julia Mathison
Nicknames: Joules, Cream Puffin Monster, Granola Princess, Little Green Mess
Title: Kitchen Assistant
Song of the Summer: Sunshower by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
Favorite Bird: Hermit Thrush - because it has a magical song
Favorite Camp Session: Field Ornithology and Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens week. This is a special combination of adults and teens that feels just right.
What makes Hog Island special to you: Working for a conservation organization is special. I love working with returning staff that are so passionate and knowledgeable and really care about the island. Also working for a kitchen that focuses on sustainability is special to me.
What's a typical day like on the island for you: I wake up at pre-dawn and meet Kristi, the Sous Chef. We sneak outside to catch the sunrise and then head back in to put out delicious breakfast treats. Usually I'm elbow deep in granola and oats. I put out the lunch with our Head Chef, Cleo Bell. We play a variety of international music while prepping lunch. Then I take a short island hike into the woods, sometimes a dip in the ocean.Afterwards I knit and relax until dinner. I usually come downstairs (Julia lives above the kitchen) to help put out dessert and then I have dinner with the kitchen staff on the porch. Afterwards it's either sunset beers or if I'm feeling studious I'll head over to the evening program in the Fish House.
What is something that you've learned by working at Hog Island: I've learned how to manage volunteers and work in a kitchen that has a huge volunteer support staff. Also I've learned what it takes to manage a kitchen on a remote island from hauling food over to operating boats. Living in a close-knit community has also helped me learn how to use positive communication.
Favorite place on the island: On the south end of Hog Island is the Maine Island Trail Association's camping platforms and picnic table. It's so peaceful there.
Favorite island food: Fish tacos are my favorite but I also don't have self-control when it comes to carrot cake or strawberry shortcake.
What's one thing you can't live without on the island: My sleeping bag. I've used it all summer long. Second would be my favorite tea mug.
Name one amazing or strange thing you seen on the island: Week one on the island I walked outside to see Eric carving a woodpecker out of a tree stump with a chainsaw. Also everyone either tango dances or plays ukulele on the island.