Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Scanga

Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Scanga

If you have visited Wolfe’s Neck Center in the past two years, it is highly likely that you have crossed paths with Chris Scanga. Chris and his partner Debby Schwartz have volunteered at Wolfe’s Neck Center since their first visit in 2021. Chris and Debby have spent the winter months volunteering in Arkansas before returning to Wolfe’s Neck Center where they contribute their skills and experience to various projects as volunteers – Chris, primarily on the trails or in the shop, and Debby, supporting our staff on various projects of strategic importance.

Happily, Chris and Debby will be returning to Wolfe’s Neck Center in the coming months. Upon his return, Chris will be leading the effort on the maintenance and improvement of our trails. Anyone who has enjoyed walking the trails at Wolfe’s Neck Center knows how important this work is, especially given the challenging weather last summer.

We asked Chris to share more about his experience volunteering at Wolfe’s Neck Center and why he continues to give so much of his time to this special place.


What first brought you to Wolfe’s Neck Center?

The need for an RV dump station, actually. In 2021, Debby and I were about to winterize our trailer three days before the end of October. Wolfe’s Neck Oceanfront Campground was the only campground still open after Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and we camped in West Bay the last two days of the season. While walking behind the Wishcamper Livestock Education Barn, we ran into a staff member and asked if Wolfe’s Neck Center ever needed volunteers. That helpful staff member turned out to be none other than executive director, Dave Herring! He connected us to the right staff and we became volunteers the very next season. 2024 will be our third season in Freeport.


What do you enjoy about volunteering at Wolfe’s Neck Center?

I really enjoy hands-on work, and there has been plenty of interesting outdoor and [workshop] projects to satisfy that itch. More importantly, I have enjoyed the working relationships I’ve built at Wolfe’s Neck Center. Working on projects with talented, energetic, and friendly people has been wonderful!


Chris works closely instructing farm campers on a project
Chris works with WNC’s Farm Campers on a project at “The Shop.”


What has been your most enjoyable volunteer project at Wolfe’s Neck Center? What projects are coming up or ongoing?

Trail work is at the top of my list. In 2022, I noticed a backlog of trail maintenance and Wolfe’s Neck Center supported my efforts to address them 100%. Trail work once again was my primary engagement in 2023; the challenge of an excessively rainy spring and summer kept me busy right up until December. The challenge continues in 2024 as I continue my work to make the trails even better.


What do you love about trails? Work on trails? Why is it important to you?

At Wolfe’s Neck Center, we have an amazing set of natural habitats including salt marsh; forests bordering pastureland; a tidal river; mossy slopes, and deep ravines adjacent to the coastline. Our trails provide ready access to these beautiful natural spaces. Trails offer exercise, contemplation, adventure, and learning. Sometimes trails simply offer some essential peace and quiet!


Chris is ready to take off on his bicycle
Chris’ main form of transportation at the farm is his blue bicycle.


What would you share with folks who are considering volunteering their time at Wolfe’s Neck Center? 

Volunteering at Wolfe’s Neck Center is a way to join with like-minded people in preserving and enhancing a community treasure. There is an opportunity to make lasting friendships, to learn new skills, and to make a positive difference in the world. You will contribute to, and become a part of, something meaningful. There is more at Wolfe’s Neck Center than a campground. There is more than an organic dairy and vegetable farm. There is more than kids camps. There is more than the history of coastal Maine. There is a lot more!


If you’re interested in volunteering with Chris and others at Wolfe’s Neck Center learn more here or contact mmessina@wolfesneck.org for more information!

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