Maine Audubon news

“Life-changing” Audubon Camp Celebrates 70 Years

BREMEN, Maine, January 2006 — Seventy years ago this summer on a spruce-covered island off the coast of Maine, a new brand of environmental education was born.

In 1936, in a cluster of 19th-century farm buildings on the northern tip of Hog Island, the National Audubon Society offered its first residential nature program. The Nature Study Camp for Teachers and Adult Students was founded on the belief, highly unconventional for the time, that once connected with the natural world, participants would want to support wildlife conservation. Today that thinking is a pillar of environmental education nationwide.

Awaking to the same sounds of lobster boats and warblers and sharing meals together in the same dining room that campers did seventy years before, today adult, youth and teen campers still enjoy a variety of engaging sessions about nature, culture and history each summer on Hog Island, which is now operated by Maine Audubon.

“If everyone had the opportunity to spend a week at a place like Hog Island, I believe our world would be a much different place,” says adult camper Stacie Moon from Bowie, Maryland, “because living in nature can really change one’s opinions of the world.”

Led by renowned naturalists, campers spend their days exploring the island’s spruce-fir forests and rocky tide pools or cruising to other local islands and natural destinations. Evenings feature presentations by special guests.

“I was just nine years old when I read an account by Roger Tory Peterson about a magical place called Hog Island Audubon Camp,” said Kenn Kauffman, international birding authority, author, and educator. “Now I teach a session or two there every year, helping carry on a tradition with results that are felt across the continent.”

Results are felt across the continent as well as in the heart.

“I cannot say enough about my week at Hog Island,” said Moon. “It was an incredible experience that has changed me in many ways.”

Hog Island Audubon Camp’s 2006 offerings

For Adults

Field Ornithology, June 25-July 1 ($1,050)

Join nationally known ornithologists Kenn Kaufman, Scott Weidensaul, Steve Kress, and others to explore the marshes, beaches, barrens, seabird colonies and forests of Hog Island and beyond, where Rachel Carson and Roger Tory Peterson once birded.

Natural History of the Maine Coast, July 2-8 ($1,050)

Soak in the sights, sounds and smells of coastal Maine while exploring tide pools, checking out seabird islands, searching for butterflies and more. This signature session has delighted participants for 65 years.

Workshop for Educators, July 9-15 ($1,000)

Science and nonscience educators: rejuvenate your spirit and learn from peers and renowned instructors how to incorporate environmental education into your lesson plans. Session includes field trips, boat cruises, take-home materials and more.

Cultural and Natural History of Coastal Maine, July 16-22 ($1,200)

Explore islands and rocky ledges, search for evidence of prehistoric human settlements, and visit seabird colonies and Maine’s richest lobster habitat in spectacular Muscongus Bay.

Naturalizing by Kayak, July 16-22 or August 28-31 ($1,200/$695)

Explore secluded coves and marshes, thread through rock ledges, and visit other islands in beautiful Muscongus Bay.

Hog Island Reunion, July 24-26 ($195)

Relax, reflect, and reconnect with nature and old friends as the camp celebrates 70 years of operation.

Audubon Leadership Workshop, August 13-19 ($700)

Audubon chapter or center leaders: network with peers and learn and how to raise funds, energize volunteers, incorporate Audubon initiatives, and offer your compelling nature programs.

A Maine Island Experience, August 20-26 ($985)

Leave behind the busy tourist route and spend a week walking trails along the rocky shore, exploring tide pools, searching the forest for colorful birds, learning about lobsters and other marine life, and more.

Om on the Island Yoga Retreat, August 28-31 ($395)

Deepen your connection to nature and motivation to take care of it through a weekend of yoga and exploration on spectacular Hog Island.

Field Ornithology 11: Migration and Conservation, September 10-16 ($985)

Travel to local migration hot spots such as blueberry barrens, tidal marshes, and the outstanding migrant trap Monhegan Island. On Hog Island, enjoy presentations and discussions with experts.

For Teens and Youth

Bird Studies for Teens, June 25-July 1 ($1,050)

Teens ages 14 to 17: with renowned birder and author Kenn Kaufman, study birds, venture out to a seabird island with Audubon’s Project Puffin, and work alongside biologists as they monitor endangered piping plovers.

Natural History for Teens, July 2-8 ($1,050)

Teens ages 14-17: discover and explore by kayak and foot the interrelationships between coastal Maine’s plants, animals, habitats and landscape.

Coastal Kayaking Adventure, July 10-15 or July 25-29 ($995/$850)

Teens ages 14-17: based from a tenting site on a remote cove of Hog Island, combine sea kayaking, backcountry camping and investigation of the natural world along the Maine coast.

Youth Camp, July 30-August 5 ($1,050)

Boys and girls ages 10-13: learn about yourself, nature and how it all relates. Small sessions promise plenty of personal attention.

For more information about Maine Audubon camp programs, visit or call (207) 781-2330.