Our programs are selected to balance COA’s academic mission with the lure of Mount Desert Island, introducing people to the region’s natural history, cultural richness, artistic potential—and to the human ecological mission of College of the Atlantic—while also providing a fun summer escape to learn something new!

Adult Courses Next summer we offer the perfect combination of learning and inspiration with our Hike, Bike & Write Workshop in July hosted by freelance writer and editor, Mary Collins and naturalist, Rich MacDonald and Best of Acadia in partnership with Acadia Senior College, a week of engaging lectures from our community of resident and Maine experts and local excursions to the most interesting spots in the area.

Family Nature Camp (FNC) offers week-long overnight camps for families in July. Participants stay in campus housing with COA’s award-winning dining with locally-sourced food from our organic gardens, enjoy guided field trips with professional naturalists that include bird-watching, hiking in Acadia National Park, exploring ponds and tide pools, and combing the cobblestone beaches of Mount Desert Island. FNC was recognized as a top family camp by Good Morning America and Family Fun Magazine. Family fun at its best!

Conferences and Events COA is host to one-day or week-long conferences over the summer. (see side panel for list of 2018 conference and workshop partners)

Summer Field Institute courses are field-based, human ecology, immersion programs, taught by COA faculty, for high-school juniors and seniors and are eligible for college credit. Our popular Islands Through Time takes students out to COA’s Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island, home to some of the largest known breeding populations of marine birds. While the Wonder of Acadia brings students into the story of Acadia National Park, steps away from COA’s own waterfront campus and across the bay on the Schoodic Peninsula.

Summer Field Studies offers one- and two-week day camp sessions based at COA’s Dorr Museum of Natural History. In small groups with individual attention, children grades K–9 learn about natural history, become citizen scientists, plant vegetables, draw, put on plays, and have fun through active learning and adventure, taking advantage of trails in Acadia National Park, our shoreline in Frenchman Bay and on MDI’s lakes and ponds. 

Wedding Ceremonies The front lawn of The Turrets, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is an ideal location for a romantic and memorable oceanfront wedding ceremony.