Volunteer opportunities on Eagle Island
There are many ways to volunteer with The Friends of Peary's Eagle Island.
Perhaps you would be interested in one or more of the following opportunites:
We coordinate an annual Trail Day held every year in July and work with the Eagle Island Park Manager to spruce up the trails and grounds on Eagle Island among other jobs. No experience necessary and all levels of activities are available to suit any personal limitations.
Gardening is ongoing on Eagle Island and our Friends' group is fortunate to have a master gardening program. Come learn about the flora of Eagle Island and help tend Eagle Island's historic gardens. Again no experience necessary, we can show you how to determine a plant from a weed.
Maintenance of the structures, beaches, grounds and all around handy work is performed by a Friends' work crew. We have jobs for all levels of experience.
Fundraising and research are always needed.
Contact us through this link to learn more how you might help.
Would you like to be a docent? Here is what you need to know:
******The 2020 Eagle Island Docent Program is suspended until further notice due to COVID-19******
Two miles off the coast of Harpswell, in beautiful Casco Bay, lies Eagle Island, the summer home of Admiral Robert E. Peary, America's foremost explorer, and the discoverer of the North Pole. This unique property is a Maine Historic Site administered by the bureau of Parks and Lands, and has recently been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Although the state is responsible for maintenance and day to day operations, much of the preservation work and operation is carried out by the non profit group, The Friends of Peary's Eagle Island, who are the sponsors of the Docent Program.
"What is a docent?" you may ask. A docent is a guide, but at Eagle Island we strive to go beyond that simple definition. Docents are the ambassadors of the island, and we work very hard at making a visit to Eagle Island as informative and enjoyable as possible for each visitor. Last season, over 4000 people visited the island, and were met by one or more docents who shared the history of the island, Admiral Peary, and the unique home he built there--now a museum open daily to the public.
A typical docent day begins at Dolphin Marina in Harpswell where we are met by the Park Ranger for the twenty minute boat ride to the island. We bring everything we will need for the day -- lunch, water, a book (in case the day is slow), and warm clothing (the weather can change quickly in Casco Bay) -- because once there, we are there for the day until the ranger brings us back to the Dolphin Marina at 5:00 pm. At the island, one docent will man the Visitor's Center, showing the introductory video, handing out the tour wands, answering questions, and selling souvenir items at the Trading Post. Another docent is posted in the museum, answering questions, managing traffic flow through the house, demonstrating Admiral Peary's player piano, and sharing anecdotes about the house, the Admiral and the Peary family. On weekends, a third docent is present to help where needed. Some days are slow, with only a few visitors, some days we have to scramble to even find time to eat lunch, but all days are fun and rewarding experiences. And each day, slow or harried, we enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the smell of salt air, and the sound of surf and seagulls as a backdrop to the important work we are doing.
We have 35-40 volunteers in the program, some working only three or four days per season, others signed up for a regular day each week. The time commitment is pretty much a matter of individual preference. Each year, for various reasons, we lose people from the program, so we are constantly recruiting for new volunteers to join us.
Do you need to be a history buff or an expert on Arctic exploration to be a docent at Eagle Island? No, not at all. We provide training materials, and always schedule new docents with veterans, from whom a great deal can be learned. We have people involved from a wide variety of backgrounds and of various ages. Being a docent at Eagle Island is a unique opportunity for a fun and rewarding volunteer experience. If you are interested in becoming a docent, please contact the website with your name and contact information which will be forwarded to the program coordinators.
Ok we might not ask you to mow the lawn but there are many different ways to contribute to Eagle Island. No experience necessary. Come enjoy spending a day on a beautiful island on the idyllic coast of Maine.
Master Stone Mason John Cornish from Cornish Stoneworks volunteered his time and knowledge to help the friends build this stone wall along the handicap entrance to the Welcome Center. John showed us all how true craftsmanship can add beauty to a project. phone 207-737-2120