New England BHA 2018 Rendezvous
Aug 10 - Aug 12
Starting at 9am
Swan Island Wildlife Management Area
Richmond, ME









43 Attending

New England BHA 2018 Rendezvous

Please come for the day or camp for the weekend and join your fellow BHA members and friends for what is shaping up to be one heck of a good time! The island weekend will feature outdoor skills workshops, backcountry archery 3-D challenge course and practice range, potluck wild foods dinner, stories from the backcountry, an outdoor gear raffle, new member incentives, and more.


About Swan Island

We’ve lined up the best of what New England has to offer in the way of scenery, company, and experience. Managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), the Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area on Swan Island is accessible only by water, but is easy to get to and big enough to feel like you’re getting away from it all. The island truly has something for everyone with opportunities like:

  • Camping (We’ve reserved the group campground with room for 66 people)
  • Swimming
  • Backcountry 3-D Archery Course
  • Fishing in the Kennebec River
  • Mountain bike the 4.5 mile dirt road
  • Explore 7 miles of hiking trails
  • Bring your own kayak or canoe or rent one to enjoy Merrymeeting Bay,
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Historic sites and buildings
  • Trout pond with fishing gear provided for kids 15 years and under
  • Enjoy the self-guided tour

You can captain your own craft to the island, or board the complimentary ferry. Fill your time with BHA workshops, or sit and watch the tide roll in - either way, come enjoy New England with other folks that love it too.

If you’re coming from out of state, Swan Island would be a great jumping off point to head inland for fishing, canoeing, or hiking in the North Woods. If you need a saltwater fix, after the Rendezvous head downriver to cast for stripers at the mouth of the Kennebec, camp on public islands that are part of the Maine Island Trail oe explore the coast.

Please note: Pets are not permitted on the island.



One of our favorite parts of BHA is the diversity of interests within our membership. Throughout the weekend we’ll be showcasing some of those unique skill sets to optimize your time in the outdoors through member-led workshops like:

  • Wild Food Walks and Cooking
  • Backcountry navigation by Map and Compass and Smartphone
  • Fly-Casting
  • Knife Building
  • Lightweight Shelter Options
  • Deer Stand Demos
  • Utilizing the Whole Animal
  • Do-it-yourself Western hunting
  • Campfire Stories, and more!


Weekend Preview

The 3-D Archery course will be open to use at your leisure all 3 days, as will all of the self-guided activities that the island offers.

Friday: Arrive and set up camp. There will be a handful of workshops in the afternoon followed by a casual campfire meet and greet in the evening.

Saturday: Select from an ongoing offering of workshops throughout the day, as well as a non-competitive archery shoot. After a day of sharing skills, we’ll enjoy an evening of sharing food and stories with a wild/local food potluck dinner followed by stories around the campfire. Bring a dish to share that represents your New England for the potluck. After dinner enjoy stories from the backcountry, and if you like come ready tell a tale about your backcountry for the open-mic portion of the evening.

Sunday: The morning will include an open forum roundtable for members and friends to share ideas about BHA in New England as well as more workshops before we all break camp and head home.


Rendezvous Registration

New England BHA has reserved the camping area on Swan Island. The campground is limited to 66 campers, so sign up early!

**Campers and non-campers must register using the dropdown menu at bottom of this page**

Registration options include weekend camping, single night camping August 10 or August 11, or single-day registrations. Registration is per attendee, so select from the dropdown options for each member of your party. The registration rates at the bottom of this page reflect the 25% Early-Bird discount in effect through July 12. Sign up now to reserve one of the limited island campsites and to be eligible for the Early-Bird rate!


Swan Island Camping

  • Campers will need to bring all their own camping and cooking gear and food.
  • There are 10 lean-to’s at the campground, but unless you enjoy sleeping like sardines with strangers we strongly recommend that you bring your own tent for privacy, and to keep biting insects at bay.
  • Each campsite has a fire pit, plus there is a large group fire pit and picnic shelter near the water
  • Potable water is available at the campground.
  • Firewood is available for $4/bundle, or may be gathered in the forest.
  • To limit the spread of invasive insects, no out-of-state firewood may be brought into Maine.


Mainland Camping

If you prefer the mainland, the Augusta/Gardiner KOA is offering a discount to Rendezvous attendees. Mention the code "SWAN ISLAND" to receive a 10% discount (cannot be combined with any other discount).


Getting There

  • Swan Island is located at the head of Merrymeeting Bay in the Kennebec River, about 2 ¾ hours north of Boston.
  • The free island ferry leaves from the Swan Island Dock at the intersection of Rt. 24 and R. 197 in Richmond, Maine with three scheduled ferry runs daily. The ferry will deliver you to the campground and can accomodate bikes as well as all your camping gear.
  • If you bring your own boat or canoe it’s about 0.2 miles to the island landing, or 1.6 miles to the island campground.
  • Whether you come for the day or the weekend there is an $8 island access fee payable in advance or upon arrival on the island.
  • Rendezvous check-in and all events will be based at the island campground.


Ferry Reservations and Schedule

  • For those who will be taking the island ferry, please make a reservation and pay the $8 island access fee in advance through the Swan Island website. Click here for the ferry schedule and here for the ferry reservation and access fee payment. (On the reservation page you will see an option to select RV type. This is just a standard form that MDIFW’s third-party reservations contractor uses - don’t worry, there are no RVs or any other visitor vehicles allowed on the island!)
  • In addition to the posted ferry schedule, MDIFW has agreed to provide a late run back to the mainland after dinner and storytelling on Saturday evening.
  • Remember, the ferry leaves at the posted time, so be sure to allow plenty of time to unload your gear and find a parking space. There is parking at the Swan Island dock and in the adjacent village lot. If your ferry schedule changes call 207-592-0579. Island staff can be reached by email at [email protected]


For Those Bringing Their Own Boats

There is a boat launch next to the ferry landing in Richmond. If you bring your own boat (other than a canoe or kayak) there is limited dock space at the campground, so be sure to bring an anchor and some extra line to tie off at the shore. This section of the Kennebec is tidal, but the landings are accessible at all tides.


Volunteers needed 

This is a volunteer-run event. Please contact Anthony Zontini at [email protected] if you can help with setup, registrations, campfire coordination, and other details.


           swan-isl-hikers-lean-to-july-2010-030-large_credit_MDIFW_opt.jpg            swan_island_eagle_mdifw_opt.jpg            swan_island_MDIFW_opt.jpg


August 10, 2018 at 9:00am - August 12, 2018
Swan Island Wildlife Management Area
331 Front St
Richmond, ME 04357
United States
Google map and directions
Anthony Zontini ·

Will you come?

$30.00 Adult Weekend Ticket: Camping 8/10 and 8/11 and all weekend events included
$20.00 Youth Weekend Ticket- 15 years old and younger: Camping 8/10 and 8/11 and all weekend events included
$20.00 Adult 8/10 Camping and Events Ticket: Camping 8/10 only and 8/10 and 8/11 events included
$20.00 Adult 8/11 Camping and Events Ticket: Camping 8/11 only and events 8/11 and 8/12 included
$15.00 Adult 8/11 Events Only Ticket: Events only on Saturday, 8/11
$15.00 Youth 8/11 Camping and Events Ticket - 15 years and younger: Camping 8/11 only and events 8/11 and 8/12 included
$15.00 Youth 8/10 Camping and Events Ticket- 15 years and younger: Camping 8/10 only and 8/10 and 8/11 events included
$10.00 Adult 8/10 Events Only Ticket: Events only on Friday, 8/10
$10.00 Youth 8/11 Events Only Ticket - 15 years and younger: Events only on Saturday, 8/11
$10.00 Adult 8/12 Events Only Ticket: Events only on Sunday, 8/12
$5.00 Youth 8/10 Events Only Ticket - 15 years and younger: Events only on Friday, 8/10
$5.00 Youth 8/12 Events Only Ticket - 15 years and younger: Events only Sunday 8/12