About Us

I’d rather be outdoors here in Maine than anywhere else in the world

Penobscot Bay is the deepest body of water in the Gulf of Maine…and I live at its shores with my husband Steven, father Zaven, a flock of sheep and goats, three hives of honey bees, extensive gardens and lots of space to make art and good food.

Together we run a family campground that was established in 1965 and steward the land…we provide a place for people to come and relax, wander through the organic gardens, explore the beach and re-connect with themselves and others. We’re proud to be part of the working waterfront of Maine where recreation, fishing and shipping ply the same waters and provide a sense of purpose for all sorts of people.

Living in the center of a campground is the perfect backdrop for my life.

Unlike the “real world,” here there are no clearly defined roles to play. Asked for or not, we all offer opinions on what the other is doing…and many of our guests feel free to throw their thoughts into the mix. On a bad day it feels like living in a fishbowl, but on the majority of the days it feels like being wrapped in a warm breeze scented by May flowers. Imagine a continual swirl of creativity that’s more like a chorus than a handful of soloists.

My artistic passions run towards colorful wool and everything of the fiber world…spinning and weaving and knitting and sewing.  The goats provide us with all the mohair and cashmere I can use and are an integral part of Steven’s gardens…they process the waste and provide nourishment for the soil…but more importantly, they’re a constant source of happiness for everyone with their friendly dispositions and playful antics.  September brings Fiber College to the grounds…the East Coasts’ largest fiber festival devoted to education and community…more about it here.

Fiber College is a festival devoted to quilters and weavers, spinners and knitters…wood workers and so many more!

Steven is a master teacher and he applies his endless energy to the plants in the gardens.  We have water gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards and flowers everywhere.  Each spring he starts 100’s of plants with a focus on heirloom seed varieties and plants that improve the soil and feed the insects that keep our world pollinated.  We’re committed to a green approach to all that we do in the campground so you can rest assured that the tomatoes you pick or the grass you play on is non-toxic and friendly.  This all sounds rather crunchy and organic but actually we’ve found these to be very good business practices.  Besides, good goat poop is a lot less expensive than 10-10-10 fertilizer.

The gardens are home to four hives for pollination and our supply of honey

We’re lucky enough to live on 40 acres with a quarter mile of ocean frontage. The property has a stream that runs through the middle, stands of 200 year old oak trees, massive red pines and extremely fertile soil. No two days are ever the same and there are endless opportunities to be creative. We garden extensively with native plants, emphasizing those that attract birds and butterflies. I can paint signs and buildings any way I choose, we do all our own marketing (for better or worse), create family craft projects and plan meals that we share with many of our guests.

The first and third generations of our family
The first and third generations of our family

This is our 29th summer catering to visitors and we’ve finally reached the point that when something goes wrong, we know the world won’t come crashing down.   Our home is set in the middle of a 125 camping sites complete with beach, boardwalk, a playground to make any child bubble, recreation hall for potluck suppers, a supply store and lots of flowers. My husband does the hardscaping and I choose the plants. Dad comes and goes as he pleases and is our reliable sounding board for advice and planning.  I run the front office. We all tend to the needs of our guests and our roles become well meshed during the summer. We all love to cook and eat, so every Saturday night there’s a big lobster bake on the beach.

Did you see Steve on the Cooking Channel's Man Fire Food?
Did you catch us on Man Fire Food?

My life oscillates between simple and frazzled but never seems to hover in the middle. You’re as apt to drive in and find me leading a beach walk as you are to find me behind the computer in the office.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to own a campground or work closely with your family…here’s a chance to peek through the windows and see what it’s like.  Life is never boring at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground and I hope that you enjoy the ride. I’ll try to include photos to fill in the blanks and of course the best thing in the world would be if you stopped by and said hello if you happened to be in Searsport.

It’s been a few years now that there’s wi-fi throughout the park…so we’re embracing social media and hope that you’ll join in to the general conversation…You can follow us on Facebook.

12 Comments on “About Us

  1. Hello Astrig & Steve,
    I love your blog – and find your writing absolutely fantastic. Keep up the great work! The draft of the new logo is fabulous. I think it’s pretty and does indeed meet all the goals you were aspiring to. Can’t wait to see the final draft. I do agree that the rack cards are modern; FYI: we would be happy to have them displayed at our community-info-shelf at our shoppe if you decide to get them made!
    Can’t wait to see all the photos as you add them and I look forward to continual updates on your blog.


  2. Hello Astrig,
    Welcome Back! I know Steve missed you because I actually learned from my husband, Shawn Smith (who works with Steve) that you were away. Guy talk from work doesn’t usually make it home to my ears. It sounds like you had a great time. You deserve the rest.

    Thanks for the invite to clean-up weekend. We have a big family wedding happening at the Captain A.V. Nichols in Searsport on Saturday night so I’m afraid that we will have to decline the invite. I’m sure that Mac will be disappointed that he can’t make it down to help out. Maybe he’ll use clean-up weekend as an excuse to miss the event, I know he would rather be at Searsport Shores, who wouldn’t? But family comes first, you know.

    I love the blog. Shawn and I are taking a course in Technology Use in the Classroom. Blogging was an expectation for the course as well as building wikis and simple websites…we have enjoyed getting to know about all the opensource opportunities that are out there. You have done a great job with your blog site. I’ll look forward to reading it in the future.

    Karen Hawthorne, Sandy Point


  3. Astrid, I hope this is the place to write to you. Being a California native, and traveling through the east coast was such a change for us. Every city so different, the more east we drive, the older things got, the towns, the homes, the graveyards, the wonderful trees. We love the history and the beauty of the east coast. I mainly wanted to say that Searsport was such a wonderful adventure for us. You and your husband and your dad and whomever else involved, does a tremendous job running your campground. You worked so hard to make your customers feel at home and be happy. The lobster cookout was such a great treat to Don and I. It was like we were kids, our first Maine Whole lobster and all the wonderful muscles we had never had and that we enjoyed very much. Thanks for all the hard work, that you made seem like it was so easy to put on. The views of the bay and the low tide, high tide and back to low tide, high tide was so much fun to watch and walk on when it was low tide. Loved the bon fire and the singers. We really hated to leave, but we needed to start sometime to head home. I don’t think anyone would ever have complaints about Searsport and how it is run. If they do, shame on them. Just know, you are doing a great job. There are people who just are out there to complain. Just ignor them.Thanks again for making our stay in your beautiful Maine so wonderful. Nice knowing you. Laura and Don Bumpass and Lucy the coon hound. From California


  4. Pingback: And the back of my neck tingled | Flit Flitter

  5. What are the costs if we leave an RV all year at the park so that we do not have to haul it? Is there some way to put it on “Vacation” during the winter months?


    Austin, TX


    • Hi Barbara,
      Sure you can…we’re open for guests between Mother’s Day and Columbus Day…if you’ll like to rent a “seasonal site”, you can choose one and leave your camper there every winter…these sites range from $2900-$4900 depending on the site…several of our guests have this sort of arrangement and if you’d like, we can take care of winterizing in the fall and opening it in the Spring…with a complete Spring cleaning before you arrive if you’d like.


  6. Hi Astrig and Steve, we think of you both and your dad a great deal. We think back on our summers with you early on when you were working so hard to make a go of it. We are due a day trip to Belfast soon and will come by to see you both.

    Love you both!

    Loretta& Leda (aka Ben) Dumond


    • We’d love to visit…just tell us when and we’ll plan on it! Happy New Year to you both,
      Be well,
      Astrig & Steve


  7. Hey Astrig and steve,
    Had a very relaxing wonderful time at your campground. it was beautiful.
    definitely will come back and recommend as well.
    The Radels


  8. Dear Astrig and Steve;
    I want you to know that this has been a wonderful stop and respite from the road. As I told you earlier today, my only regret is not booking a longer stay; however, we will be back next year, hopefully as seasonal guests, having fallen in love with this heavenly place. We already have plans to introduce several of our friends to you as well! We have to leave at 6:00 AM in the morning, and won’t be able to say goodbye in person ( and we’ll be very quiet as we leave), but I will call you when we have a moment in the next few days and discuss our stay next year. We have found the people here very friendly and have already made some local friends in town today! We ate at a very good Italian restaurant in Belfast and will try the lobster when we come back. We are off to Vermont in the morning to visit Ben and Jerry’s and then on to Niagra Falls, then on a varied list of stops on the way to my brother’s home in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Let us both keep in touch and updated! Thank your father for helping Irv with our trailer. He is a sweetheart!
    Much love. Missing your smile already. Patches says bye too. He loved it here!
    Paula & Irv

    Liked by 1 person

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