Summer Retreat Program at Shin Pond, Maine
for Animal/Humane/Environmental Studies
The 300-acre Camp Muse at Shin Pond, near Patten, Maine, is the site of a Summer Retreat Program for writers, scholars, artists, educators, and other cultural producers and knowledge workers focusing on animals and/or their humane treatment, and/or on environmental trends or threats relevant to animals and their well-being (habitat loss, climate change, land conservation, environmental degradation, inter alia). The program, operated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), invites all interested parties to apply for a residency at the property, which is open between Monday, July 3 and Friday, September 29, 2023.
Camp Muse, a wooded retreat at the edge of a pristine and peaceful pond just ten miles from the northern entrance to Baxter State Park, offers an idyllic atmosphere for research, contemplation, writing, and other creative work. The purpose of the retreat program, operated through the generosity of longtime HSUS board member K. William Wiseman (1921-2014) and his wife Elizabeth (1922-2022), is to encourage scholarly, cultural, and practical projects relating to animals and nature, and to provide an environment for enhanced productivity.
Applications for use of the Shin Pond property are evaluated by an ad hoc committee at the HSUS.
There is no application form to submit, but the applicant must present a statement of interest that includes information on the project the applicant will pursue; a statement concerning the likely value or benefit of such a project to the work and mission of animal protection, and if relevant, of the HSUS and its family of organizations; the specific work product that will result; details of the likely outcome or application of the work undertaken; any applicable scheduling concerns or preferences; and two professional references. Applicants may be asked to submit copies of prior publications. To maximize the use of the property and to facilitate transitioning between participants, check in/arrival time is Monday at 2 p.m. and check out time/departure is Friday at 10 a.m.
If approved, the applicant is expected to cover the costs of transportation to and from Shin Pond, local transportation while staying there, food, beverages, entertainment, recreational activities (including admission to nearby Baxter State Park), long distance telephone services, and all other costs connected with the applicant's use of the property. The HSUS will, however, pay for local telephone service, electrical utilities, and routine maintenance.
Participants may take up to three household members (including spouses, significant others, and children) with them. Please note that because Camp Muse is a Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust-protected wildlife sanctuary, companion animals require specific prior approval and applicants may not be permitted to bring them. In all events, approved cats must remain indoor, and dogs must be on leash at all times.
The house at Shin Pond has the amenities common to any comfortable home, including all uilities and a full complement of furniture, kitchen ware, and other household equipment.
There is a telephone line and high-speed Internet access. There is convenient food shopping at Shin Pond Village and the town of Patten.
The broad guidelines for work appropriate to use of the retreat include:
- major projects such as a book, a chapter on an animal-related topic;
- a case study, or an on-line course in animal studies;
- analytical or conceptual work for a pro-animal or environmental campaign;
- artistic, literary, or cultural projects that celebrate animals and the natural world; and
- projects of smaller scope and/or shorter duration.
We prefer a commitment of at least two weeks.
Requests for use of the property for shorter periods will be given lower priority. The property is not generally available for brief stays, e.g., an overnight or weekend visit. Applications should be sent to Dr. Bernard Unti at the Humane Society of the United States, at email@example.com. Applications will be received on an ongoing basis.