- Courses for K-12 Teachers
- Family Nature Camp
- Conferences and Events
- Summer Field Institute for High School Students
- Summer Field Studies for Children
- Summer Classes
Family Nature Camp Activities
field trips, presentations, and more!
Family Nature Camp is designed to offer a balance of structured activities and ample free time. Each day, families will participate in guided activities including the following:
- An orientation and geological introduction to Acadia National Park
- Naturalist guided ecology hike
- Tide pool walk
- World of Bats presentation with COA's bat expert, Bruce Hazam
- Pond ecology and exploration
- Owl presentation with Grayson Richmond of Birdsacre — Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary
- An evening with Tony Sohns, the "Bug Man"
- Diver Ed's Dive-In Theater cruise
- Acadian Boat Tours — your choice of a Nature Cruise or 1/2 Day Fishing Trip
- Nature arts and crafts for the artist in your family
- Visit COA's Dorr Museum of Natural History anytime you want!
- Opening and closing activities
In addition, when you arrive at COA, you'll have the option of signing up for additional activities, all included in the cost of registration:
- Sunset visit to the top of Cadillac Mountain
- Early morning bird walk with a local ornithologist
- Assemble the bones of a real minke whale skeleton
- "Catch and release" insect hunt
the field trips, presentations, and boat cruises listed above are included in the cost of your Family
Nature Camp registration. A more detailed description of each of these
field trips and presentations can be found in the pdf file below.
Free time can be spent socializing with other families, visiting Bar
Harbor or exploring other areas of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. You may use your own vehicle or the Island Explorer, a
free, island-wide shuttle making daily stops at the College of the Atlantic
campus approximately every 15 minutes. If
you and your family plan a day-long outing, the dining hall will make sure you
have a delicious bag lunch to take with you.
A la Carte: Additional Boat Trips
If you wish, you may compliment the scheduled field trips with up to two additional boat trips, offered to you at special discounted rates through Family Nature Camp. These include guided kayak tours, a schooner cruise on the Margaret Todd, a whale-watching expedition with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, and the Bass Harbor Nature Cruise or Frenchboro trips offered through Island Cruises.
For more information, click below to download the following:
A Typical Week at Family Nature Camp - PDF file
A Full Description of Field and Boat Trips - PDF file
Frequently Asked Questions - PDF file
2013 Returning Families Week
(July 28 through August 3)
Book early - spaces are limited!
This will be our third summer offering a week specifically designed for families who have attended Family Nature Camp in the past. Most families who attend Returning Families Week have been to COA multiple times. If you are a returning family and want to experience exciting new field and boat trips, this may be the week for you!
Some of the activities and ideas we are developing include:
· JUST ADDED! A visit to Whales and Nails. Dan DentDanto has invited us to visit his shop as he works on his current and most exciting project to date - cleaning and identifying the bones of a humpback whale and "articulating" them (much like putting together the pieces of a puzzle) for an upcoming exhibit. This particular whale will be the second largest humpback in the world on display in a museum - scheduled for this fall at Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. This is a rare, not to be missed opportunity - watching Dan doing the "behind the scenes" preparations for this amazing display.
· Take the ferry to beautiful Swan's Island where we'll spend the day exploring this remote island. We will enjoy a picnic lunch and tour the Hockamock Head Lighthouse, Swan's Island Lobster and Marine Museum, the Carrying Place and Quarry Pond.
· Hike up Gorham Mountain and back down to a picnic lunch on Sand Beach.
· Delve deeper into the local environment with edible botany, ornithology and astronomy programs.
· Tour the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden (back by popular demand!)
· Explore the history and ecology of Bar Island on a naturalist-guided trip
· Visit Birdsacre - the Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Trails.
And don't forget when you register to select a second boat trip. You will have the option of either venturing out on Diver Ed’s Starfish Enterprise – a big hit with young and old alike; a kayak tour around Frenchman Bay with naturalist Rich MacDonald of the Natural History Center; or a nature cruise or fishing trip with our new neighbors, Acadian Nature Cruises.
If you would like more information on the programs we are developing for Returning Family Week or any other family week, please contact the Summer Programs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-597-9500.
2013 Sessions & Rates
June 30–July 6, 2013- Full
July 14–20, 2013 - Full
July 21–27, 2013 - Full
July 28–August 3, 2013 Full
(Returning Families Week)
$900 per adult
$460 per child (ages 5–15)
Registration costs for all sessions include lodging, meals, and all scheduled field trips. There is an additional $50 per family application fee.
Payment may be made by check or credit card. A non-refundable
deposit of $550 (including $50 application fee) is due with your initial
What People are Saying...
"As a returning family, it's nice to have additional choices in the new activities offered after many years of coming to COA. We always find the program to be fresh and exciting. The staff is a big part of the success of the Family Camp weeks. Their love of the area and desire to share their experiences is truly felt and appreciated." –The Gumperts, Douglassville, PA