Squirrel Island

Summer in full swing

Posted:  Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 2:30pm

Summer is in full swing on Squirrel Island. The island is full of happy families, young and old, who are taking full advantage of the warm weather by spending time together outside.

Since the rain has ceased, the tennis courts have been full at all hours of the day. The tennis pro this year is Matty Fay, an islander who plays soccer for Saint Michaels College. Matty can be found on the courts with kids and adults of all ages, playing doubles or practicing serves.

SOAP directors E.J. Thomas and Lucy Hastings have been busy hosting several events every day for the island youth. Between the arts and crafts, games, cooking classes and movie nights, it’s a wonder the kids have time or energy for anything else.

On Friday, the kids took an excursion to go mackerel fishing, only to return with big smiles and lots of laughter. In the upcoming weeks, SOAP kids can look forward to Pirate Day, a trip to a ropes course, and much more.

The volunteers of the Squirrel Island Community Garden are looking forward to a second great summer of organically grown vegetables. One of the most tranquil spots on the island, the garden is currently host to lettuce, sweet peas, squash, several types of flowers, and much more.

Recently the SOAP kids painted drift wood signs to label all of the produce in the garden. The garden would not exist without the abundance of dedicated volunteers who spend their mornings watering, pruning and picking the gardens. They are always looking for more community involvement, so see you there.

On Wednesday, July 10, Jim and Ruth Marshall hosted the 10th annual Squirrel Island Horseshoe Tournament. A large crowd turned out for the event, which occurred on a foggy afternoon and lasted for almost three hours. People of all ages competed in both the singles and doubles categories, in order to win a coveted S.I. Tournament hat.

The horseshoe courts, which Jim and Ruth donated in 2003, look exceptionally good this year and have seen a lot of use since the tournament.

Saturday was a busy day filled with baked goods, tennis and photography. In the morning, the Ladies Improvement Association held their annual Bake Sale and Art Fair. Lots of goodies, including cookies, cupcakes and blueberry syrup, were for sale, as well as beautiful art by a few local artists.

The annual Danforth Invitational Tennis Tournament also took place in the morning, which is a doubles tournament where each team has to have an age difference of at least twenty years. There was a great turnout this year, with an intense final match for the trophy and bragging rights for the year.

Finally, the evening Mike Leonard, a Portland based photographer, taught his course “Mike’s Photo 101” to about 20 islanders. This program, which was presented by the Squirrel Island Historical Society, gave money and time-saving tips to help you make better pictures.

The Chapel is pleased to announce that Mathias Reed is back for his third summer as Resident Organist. Mathias, a music student at Lawrence University, is a talented organist who brings a strong presence to each service. One of the favorite parts of each day for many islanders is when Mathias plays the chimes in the evening. Anything from the Beatles, to a Disney classic or a hymn can be played on any given night, and it is always exciting to hear what has been chosen.

Thanks to a generous donation from the All-Island Lobster Bake fund, the chapel now has handicap ramps which provide easier access to the chapel for those who need it. The ramps, which are one-step and two-steps, are portable and have handles. They are a great asset to the island, as they can be moved to other locations if needed.

Squirrel Island has lost a huge presence on the island, with the passing of Ellie Hastings in January. Ellie had spent her summers on Squirrel Island since she was a girl, and lived in recent years in Boothbay Harbor during the winter.

On Sunday, a celebration of her life and artwork was held at the Farmhouse after Chapel. Ellie was an artist in cross stitch, counted thread and needle work of all types; she held the distinction of Master Craftsman from the Embroidery Guild of America and had been a teacher and mentor in the world of needlework.

The house was filled with her beautiful artwork, which ranged from an exquisite map of Squirrel, to sweaters, tapestries and much more. It was a beautiful celebration, with lots of laughter, love and Ellie’s favorite food.