by Terri Malloy
I’ve been a full-time RVer and workamper for over 8 years. For those of you that don’t know what a workamper is, it’s someone that lives self contained and travels to different places trading a space to live for either volunteer hours or space plus paid hours or some combination of the two.
I move about every 6 months or so depending on the contract. I’ve workcamped at many campgrounds, state parks and various other places such as rescue ranches and theme parks throughout the years. Traveling to 38 states, I’ve met a lot of people and seen a lot of campgrounds.
I found Searsport Shores accidentally. I was looking for an artist retreat to go to and Searsport Shores Campground came up in the search. When I saw “campground” in the name, I immediately called and asked if they used workcampers.
Deb answered the phone and said, “yes we do, I’m one!”.
She gave me Astrigs email address and suggested I send an email. I promptly sent off an email thinking I had about a 50% or lower chance of getting in. It’s very hard for a single to get into campgrounds the further north you go because the campgrounds are smaller and they want 2 workers for 1 site. I was hoping that being an artist would give me an edge.
I emailed Astrig and she said to get in touch with her the second week of October as she needed to wait until the end of the season to see who was coming back. This was July, so it was a long wait!
I dutifully called the second week in october and we chatted about the campground, art, music and the type of community her and Steve had spent the last 28 years building. I was in love and then elated when she said I would fit right in.
I arrived in May, just in time for clean-up weekend. This is the weekend before opening and they offer a free site for the weekend for people that will come and help clean, build, cook and bring the campground back to life after its long winter’s sleep.
I met so many people that weekend, many who have become dear friends since. Everyone worked hard, met for home-cooked meals at the end of the day and got to know each other in the evenings around the campfire. I knew then that this was a special place and this was going to be an amazing summer.
Well we’re near the end of August now and my time here has not disappointed. I’ve created art, taught art classes, played in almost every weekly Open Jam Session, met great people and made lifelong friends.
September is full of incredible events. Starting with Fiber College, then the Gees Bend Quilting Workshop which runs concurrently with Strung Together, and Old Time and Bluegrass Music Festival. You can find more information on these events and register at http://www.makersguildmaine.org.
I will be going more in depth on each of these events in next few days. We still have a couple of Artists in Residence here, including Santa Steve, and the Sea Strings Orchestra will still be playing Monday evenings in the Garden and we will still have Open Jams on Wednesday nights.
This is truly a special place filled with love, community, like minded artists and lovers of art and music. If you’re looking to disconnect from the internet, TV, your cell phone and the outside world, I encourage you to visit.
You will leave renewed, recharged, motivated to create and keep the art and music spirit inside you alive until you return.