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:

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

All of 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 or puffin 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

2014 Returning Families Week 
(July 27 through August 2) 
Book early - spaces are limited!

This will be our fourth 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!
2014 Returning Families Week will offer a range of experiences including, but not limited to, the following excursions:

  • Traveling to beautiful Islesford (Little Cranberry Island) where we'll spend the day exploring and learning the history of this remote island - combing the beaches and visiting local artists and artisans
  • Hike to the top of one of Acadia National Park's breathtaking summits and back down to a picnic lunch on Sand Beach
  • Delve deeper into the local environment with programs on edible botany at one COA's organic farms and astronomy programs in Acadia
  • A tour of Southwest Harbor's Charlotte Rhoades Butterfly Garden
  • A naturalist-guided coastal ecology hike and tide pool walk from Ship's Harbor to Wonderland.

 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; an excursion through the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company; a schooner ride on the Margaret Todd; or a nature cruise or fishing trip with our neighbors, Acadian Nature Cruises

If you would like more information, please contact the Summer Programs Office at or call 1-800-597-9500. 

2014 Sessions & Rates


July 6–July 12, 2014 

July 13–19, 2014: FULL

July 20–26, 2014 

July 27–August 2, 2014

(Returning Family Week)


$935 per adult

$480 per child (15 and under)

Registration costs for all sessions include lodging, meals, and all scheduled field trips. There is an additional $50 per family application fee.

Registration costs for all sessions include lodging, meals, and all scheduled field trips. There is an additional $50 per family application fee.

Secure Registration

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Payment may be made by check or credit card. A non-refundable deposit of $550 (including $50 application fee) is due with your initial registration.

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

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Contact Information

Summer Programs

College of the Atlantic

105 Eden Street

Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone: 1-800-597-9500


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