- Courses for Adult Learners
- Family Nature Camp
- Conferences and Events
- Summer Field Institute for High School Students
- Summer Field Studies for Children
- Summer Yucatan Intensive
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
- 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-597-9500.
2014 Sessions & Rates
July 6–July12, 2014
July 13–19, 2014
July 20–26, 2014
July 27–August 2, 2014
(Returning Family Week)
Early Bird: (book before 2/28)
$885 per adult
$450 per child (15 and under)
Regular: (book after 2/28)
$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.
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