Fish Camp coming to an end after 39 years
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Fish Camp has been a staple at Spring Point Shoreway in South Portland on the campus of Southern Maine Community College since 1978, but this summer will be the last hurrah for campers.
Camp directors Jeff and Deb Sandler, also known to campers as Mr. and Mrs. Fish, made the decision to end Fish Camp. It's been 39 years since they were paired together to teach marine science to kids 7 to 13-years-old. They didn't marry until 1987 because they didn't get along at first according to Mrs. Fish, but eventually learned how to make things work and make camp great.
"To be able to bring that world to the children and let them know what's going on right at our door step has just been a real thrill for me," said Mrs. Fish.
It's impossible to count the amount of smiles and laughs had at Fish Camp, but thousands of campers have singed up for a summer of ocean learning over the years. Claire McDonald has been attending camp every summer since she was 7-years-old. Now thirteen, she's disappointed knowing she won't get the chance to be a camp councilor along side the Sandlers.
"Probably inviting and hilarious because those are the two things that make them special because even if you don't know them you feel like you know them because they have so much personality," said McDonald about Mr. and Mrs. Fish.
The last day of camp will be August 11. Hard to grasp for the thousands who have had a fish camp experience over the years. An end that Mr. and Mrs. Fish had a hard time deciding on, but that made sense after almost 4 decades of teaching.
"We're not getting any younger and we haven't had a real summer off in almost forty years, so I think it's time," said Mr. Fish.
On August 12, the day after the last day of camp, Mr. and Mrs. Fish are inviting all staff members who have ever worked at Fish Camp to join them for an evening of reminiscing. Though camp is ending, the couple plan on continuing to travel around to schools educating elementary students about marine science.
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