Hoop Dancer Jen Appleby July 16-19

Jen guiding morning mindful stretch 

Hello future hoop friends!

My name is Jen Appleby and I will be bringing Wingspan Mindful Movement to Searsport Shores July 16-19th. I am a hula hoop dancer from Lisbon Falls Maine and I love helping kids and adults alike find joy in learning to hoopdance. I am a long time mover and have dabbled in tai chi, yoga, ballet, and baton before finding a home in hoopdance as ‘flow art’ five years ago. I love engaging in the physical exploration of moving with a prop and expressing myself through dance. Hoopdance is truly an art and a science. It also affords a person’s mind and body a uniquely creative means to connect to the present moment and to one’s own personal, physical experience. Hoopdance is good for balance, flexibility, attention, energy regulation, stress reduction, weight loss, core toning, immune strengthening and self-expression. I will hold two sessions daily on the 17th and 18th with an evening jam on the 16th and a morning mindful stretch on the 19th. Morning classes will focus on meeting the day with gently and gracefully. We will gather on the beautiful ocean deck and focus on using the hoop as a tool for meditative stretching. In the evening we will jam out on the bball court during which time I will demo some basic dance moves and offer one to one instruction as we all dance together. Both classes are open to all ages and abilities, though the am. class may be more conducive to children over 12. I will have hoops available for use as well as purchase. Please give yourself the gift of silly and serious fun. Come join the circle!

Giant bubbles!

I will also be blowing giant bubbles and will have them available for purchase!

Ever wondered what is the biggest bubble you could blow? Come join Jen before hoop class on the basket ball court and experience the giant fun of creating enormous soap bubbles. With some basic know how, the right weather conditions and a little patience, you too can enjoy this whimsical and mindful art. Jen will have wands to try and wands for purchase. Come be amazed and then stay on for hula hoop dance party!


They’re here!

It’s so much fun to finally arrive at Memorial Day Weekend…we plan, we clean, we prepare…and then the guests arrive in magic numbers to celebrate the beginning of camping season! With the help of friends, family and dedicated staff, we’ve been able to open the park with fanfare because we’ve never looked better so early in the season.  It’s a chilly 45 degrees while I write this but the beach if full of combers, the rec hall behind me is buzzing with families playing ping pong and reading stories by the fire and we’re planning a beach bonfire tonight with fried bread and ghost stories.

Campsites and Souvenirs

The other day Bill Carr and Bob Vermilyea came by to talk to Steve about building a pickle ball court for campers and some of our neighbors…do you play pickle ball? The name made me laugh but the players are very serious and it sounds like a game we could really get into so we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, since the court is an investment of both $ and space, we’d love to hear if it’s something you think would be an asset to the campground.
Have a marvelous weekend,
Astrig & Steve

And the days go by…

What do we do in February?…eat well, exercise and play with string.

The goats get restless so several times a week we get them to the beach for a stretch and a belly full of seaweed
Knitting with a dear friend
Knitting with friends
pizzicato play
pizzicato play
a new tajine to play with
a new tajine to play with
Every snowstorm brings a new distraction
Every snowstorm brings a new distraction

January is for Planning

December always seems to be a blur because of holiday decorations, parties and the inevitable bumpy shifting of gears from closing the campground to being closed. By the second week of January we’re rested, filled with happy memories and fueled to begin planning for the summer season to come…impatiently caught between enjoying our icy imprisonment (the road into the campground thawed from its slick icy state just last night) and projecting our thoughts towards the camping, gardening and arts that will fill the summer months.

Icy Days...when the water is coldest, the mussels are sweetest
Icy Days…when the water is coldest, the mussels are sweetest

In our “Ice Prison” as friend Anna calls it, I’ve been spinning, weaving, sewing and simmering in the pleasure of making things to eat, wear and cosset the house in our ever changing vision of what is “perfect”…(yes my friends, Pintrest and I spend a lot of time together 😉  Steven has been playing with his mandolin more and has tackled woodworking projects we’ve been thinking about for years (and resulted in a gorgeous dining table that expands to seat 18 + a floor to ceiling bookshelf that finally contains all of my books and project boxes).  We try to get outside everyday for a ski, snow shoe or slog through the mud as the conditions permit…and then there are the series to catch up on: Downton Abbey- check, Parks and Rec.- check, Better Off Ted-check.

Looking towards summer we’ve mapped out a plan on a large white board that functions as a mind dump for all of the plans we’re making.  The brilliance of a white board is that it acts like a reality check: exactly how many kayak trips, special events, group projects and adventures have we listed?  Right now I’m working on our 2014 Artist in Residence schedule (we have 3 weeks still open if you’re thinking of applying), launching Fiber College and submitting our calendar of events to the myriad of websites and booklets that target tourists during the summer.  Steve’s re-vamping the website with more recent photos, getting us sorted out with YouTube, preparing this summer’s camp wood and ordering seeds for the garden.

While all of this is going on we’re answering e-mails and phone calls, taking reservations and posting the deposits.  Last year was a great year for us (definition: busily filled with people we really like, who really liked being here AND paid our bills);  This year is looking more promising.  Weather is always the wild card but because the majority of our guests seem to be of the “bring it on” mentality, Maine’s temperamental climate doesn’t concern us as much as it does some of our fellow campgrounds.  There’s so much to do within an hour’s drive of the park + the beauty of the beach during “inclement times” multiplied by the comfort of the rec hall (didn’t that new heated porch make a difference last year !?!) and the art studio, we seem to have found the answer to vacationing in Maine…come with the intention of enjoying whatever it brings…because it’s all beautiful!

Speaking of beautiful, a family from Kentucky visited last July and stayed on the second row.  I got these photos in my e-mail yesterday and wanted to share Sarah’s vision of the campground with you while we watch the eve’s drip from the window here in Searsport.  While we always think of the ocean as being the biggest draw to the park, it’s interesting to see that Sarah appreciated the gardens and the goats more.  Thank you Sarah for sharing!

IMG_4710 IMG_4711 IMG_4712 IMG_4714 IMG_4715 IMG_4716 IMG_4717 IMG_4719 IMG_4734 IMG_4750 IMG_4752 IMG_4761 IMG_4769 IMG_4775 IMG_4782 IMG_4805

P.S.  With these photos, the note read…”I
want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed myself on our vacation at your
campground and in Maine.  After we left your campground we headed down to
Old Orchard Beach.   There were so many tourists and the beach was
crowded and in my opinion, not that clean.  The only thing I found
pleasant was some of the good food we discovered in Portland.  If we ever
make it back up that way (and I certainly hope we do) our destination will be
definitely be farther north where you are located.  The scenery and the
people were something that I will never forget and we will long to visit
again.  Thank you for opening up your property to us and making us feel at




Pictures of campsites and a desperate plea for a photo filing system!

I’ve been looking for a postcard image since I made coffee two hours ago and still no luck…but as I slog through the pictures, I spend most of my time smiling because of the memories they bring back. Because it’s reservation season and we seem to have more “new” guests than we’ve ever had, I thought you might like to see some pictures that show specific campsites.

These are photos that we’ve accumulated in no particular order. Nothing has been staged and most are snapshots taken for a different reason than showing the site. I say this because you’d think that because I live in paradise, it would be easy to show you breath-taking pictures. Well, the truth is, most of the activity that I’m involved in during the camping season generally happen in other areas of the campground (like the rec hall, lobster shack, art studio and gardens), not on people’s campsites. AND it feels a bit close to stalking when you barge in on someone’s campsite and ask to take a picture…do you know what I mean?

With the aforementioned caveats in place, have a marvelous, good-surpise-filled day and I hope that these pictures are helpful if you’ve never been here before and that they trigger a smile if they remind you a time you’ve spent here in the past.

extreme camping site 13
Looking at site #42 from Site 50
site #6
ocean tent site #6
site #15
standing at low, low tide looking up towards the premium RV sites
standing at mid-tide rising looking towards the ocean tenting side of the campground
Ocean tent #14
site #50
platinum site #2
Shirley on site #12
picnicking in early June on site #51
sites #43 & 44
site #9
Hanging on site #6 or 7
Ocean tent #4

So here are two requests: 1. If you have nice pictures of your campsite, could I please have copies and 2. If you have a fool-proof photo filing system, I really need to hear about it.

You know you’re in New England when…

Since we’ve been back from the Berkshires, Steven’s been working on the grounds as much as possible…you know you live in Maine when over the course of the week you work outside in snow, sleet and 60 degree sunshine within the time it takes to finish your chores.  I only went outside to take pictures when the sun was out…gray skies and cold rain mean I’m inside cooking soups and playing with wool.

November Men's Work