Family Nature Camp will engage your entire family in a week of fun and adventure! Join professional naturalists on guided field trips that include bird-watching, hiking in Acadia National Park, exploring ponds and tide pools, and combing the cobblestone beaches of beautiful Mount Desert Island. Learn more about these and other Family Nature Camp activities here.
Families stay on College of the Atlantic’s oceanfront campus in Bar Harbor, enjoying meals in our award-winning dining hall, and staying in the Blair-Tyson dormitory suites. Click here for information about accommodations, getting to campus, and more.
College of the Atlantic’s Family Nature Camp was named in the May/June 2011 National Geographic Traveler as one the best outdoor family vacations in the U.S. and has been ranked one of the top five family camps by Disney’s Family Fun Magazine and Good Morning America.
2016 Family Nature Camp Sessions: July 3-9, 10-16 and 17-23 (this week is almost booked)
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
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 local ornithologist and naturalist, Rich MacDonald, of The Natural History Center
- Assemble the bones of a real minke whale skeleton
- “Catch and release” insect hunt
2016 Returning Family Camp - July 24-30, 2016 (Booked for this season)
A sneak peek of Returning Family Week activities as they are developing:
- An all-day adventure to the Schoodic Peninsula via COA’s research vessel, the Osprey, including a visit to the Winter Harbor Whale Museum and a morning of hiking and tide-pooling with Rich MacDonald on Little Moose Island before hiking and touring other areas of the peninsula
- A Native American “Place Names Tour” of MDI with Abbe Museum educator, George Neptune
- A guided morning hike to the top of two of the backside peaks - Acadia and Flying Mountain, followed by a picnic lunch and refreshing swim and (small) cliff jumping at Echo Lake
- A tour of Acadia Wildlife Foundation’s Nature (and Rehabilitation Center) where you will view a River Otter, a bat colony, three species of turtles, two species of owls, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Double-crested Cormorant, two Turkey Vultures, an albino Red-tailed Hawk, and one of Maine’s few captive Bald Eagles. All of these animals were once patients in rehabilitation, are unreleasable due to permanent injury
- ….and many more adventures