Our programs are selected to balance COA’s academic mission with the lure of Mount Desert Island, seeking to introduce people to the region’s natural history, cultural richness, artistic potential—and to the human ecological mission of College of the Atlantic—while also enhancing funding for student scholarships and faculty research.

New this year is Best of Acadia, a week of speakers and field trips designed for lifelong learners who stay on our oceanfront campus. Participants spend their days visiting the island’s historical gardens and its museums showcasing the rich cultural heritage on Mount Desert Island, and attend talks about contemporary politics, interpreting local and regional American history, and exploring coastal Maine.

Campus space and facilities are available to outside groups for one day or week-long conferences. COA is the summer home for Samba Meets Jazz Workshops—musicians dedicated to promoting the study and appreciation of Jazz, Brazilian Music and World Rhythms; The Acadia School of Traditional Music & Arts focusing on music from Ireland, Canada, Scotland, New England, Louisiana, and Appalachia, and Celtic culture; and this past summer marked the 15th Annual (and final) Bar Harbor Brass Week for high school and college/pre-professional participants.

This summer, COA was host to the international Waterbird Society Meeting with 200 participants from all over who gathered together to combine academic presentations and take advantage of local birdwatching excursions in Acadia National Park and Maine’s outer waters and islands; Deutsch Woche for the American Association of Teachers of German; and the annual Abbe Museum Native American Festival, to name a few.

Family Nature Camps are week-long overnight camps for families in July. FNC was named one of the top five family camps in the nation by Good Morning America and Family Fun Magazine. Participants stay in campus housing, enjoy COA’s award-winning cuisine 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. Family fun at its best!

Summer Field Studies offers one- and two-week day camp sessions based at COA’s Dorr Museum of Natural History. 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 and kayaking in Frenchman Bay and on the island’s lakes and ponds. Recently, we’ve expanded our offerings to include farm-based sessions at COA’s two organic farms and implemented more challenging experiences for teens.

Summer Field Institute, taught by COA faculty, is a field-based immersion program in human ecology for high-school students and is eligible for college credit. This year we offered the course Islands Thru Time for 16 students who spent a portion of their study out at COA’s Blair Research Station on Mount Desert Rock, a remote island situated approximately 25 nautical miles south of College of the Atlantic, and the Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island, home to some of the largest known breeding populations of marine birds.

This year COA offered two Adult Learners classes; both were two-week classes - one in Conservation Photography taught by Dr. Randy Fitzgerald and Dr. Nancy Harris, and another in Botanical Illustration, taught by renowned artist Jean Masseau.

Wedding CeremonyAnd finally, the front lawn of The Turrets, listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, fronting on Frenchman Bay, is available for wedding ceremonies.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our Summer Programs.

                                     1-800-597-9500 / summer@coa.edu

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