ABA Adventure at Acadia National Park July 7-12, 2024

The ABA is partnering with the National Parks to provide an amazing adventure for younger birders, ages 9-12, with an accompanying adult. This unique experience provides an all-inclusive birding vacation set in the pristine landscape of Schoodic peninsula in Acadia National Park with all the comforts of private lodging, delicious meals prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, expertly planned daily outings, a puffin and seal boat trip, and in-session transportation. Allowing you to fully enjoy your time in Maine’s Acadia National Park.
(Photo credit: NPS Staff Photo, Schoodic Institute, Holly Merker)
ITINERARY: July 7-12, 2024
(Please note: This is a proposed itinerary which is subject to change pending weather, local conditions, and other circumstances)
Sunday, July 7

Day 1 – Arrival at Schoodic Institute (9 Atterbury Cir, Winter Harbor, ME 04693)

Check-in 4-4:30 PM

Arrival by vehicle – Parking on the Schoodic Institute campus is free; however, a park pass is required for driving and parking within the national park. A pass can be obtained online or at the welcome center.

Arrival by plane – ABA Shuttle service from Bangor Airport
Airport pick up time 2:00 PM. Flights should arrive no later than 1:30 PM.

5 PM – Welcome and “scavenger hunt” Orientation
6 PM – Dinner
After Dinner: Trivia Game “Birds of Schoodic”
Free time: Settle into cabins/lodging
(“Free time” indicates time for families to be on their own during unstructured time and not supervised by ABA instructors.)

Monday, July 8

Day 2 – Puffins and Seals

Optional early morning bird walk or seawatch with scopes (decided by instructor), meet at visitor’s center and end at dining hall for breakfast.

After breakfast we will get ready for our Acadia puffin and seal cruise, departing from the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge. After a picnic lunch at the Millbridge Commons Wellness Park we will work our way back to Schoodic with a bird stop or two along the way.

6 PM – Dinner
After Dinner: Bird Bingo
Evening: Free time

Tuesday, July 9

Day 3 – Schoodic Exploration Day

Optional early morning bird walk or seawatch.

Birds and biodiversity of Schoodic Point. We will pick up a bagged lunch after breakfast for a picnic depending on choice of day’s activities. The tide will be low this morning so we will head to Frazier Point to meet a National Park Service Ranger for a custom tide pool program to learn about Atlantic coast marine life. We will have the opportunity to experience field science by conducting a mini green crab survey and learning about iNat with a Schoodic Institute Early Career Professional. Take part in touch tank exploration or the Jr. Ranger Program. Opportunities for hikes/walks of different distances and difficulty abound.

6 PM – Dinner
Optional for adults: Ornitherapy presentation
Optional for youth: Constellation flashlights
Adults and Youth: National Park Ranger-led Night Hike

Wednesday, July 10

Day 4 – All About Common Loons and Mount Desert Island

Today we will take a trip to the other side of Acadia, Mount Desert Island. We will orient ourselves with a stop the at Thompson Island Information Center. Visit a Somes Meynall Wildlife Sanctuary Common Loon and speak with a resident loon expert, Billy Helprin, about the monitoring program. Lunch at the loon sanctuary and the remainder of the day holds possible visits to a Peregrine Falcon aerie at Precipice to meet the park rangers and a drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest coastal mountain along east coast. An afternoon ice cream stop rounds out the day on our way back to Schoodic.

6 PM – Dinner
Evening: Free time

Thursday, July 11

Day 5 – Downeast Blueberry Barrens Loop

Optional early morning bird walk or sea watch.

Following breakfast at Schoodic, we will take bagged lunches and drive to nearby Downeast birding hotspots and never be more than two hours from campus. The circuit will allow us to visit the largest blueberry barrens in the eastern US and experience a rare sand beach in this part of Maine. Late afternoon return to Schoodic Institute.

6 PM – A lobster dinner/cookout tops off the week’s experience.
Campfire with s’mores
Certificates and Awards

Friday, July 12

Day 6 – Departure Day

Check out is at 10 AM
Airport shuttle departure time TBD

Dates: July 7-12, 2024

Number of days and nights: 6 days / 5 nights

Start and end point:

  • Starting: 7 July 2024, Schoodic Institute or Bangor International Airport (BGR)
  • Finishing: 12 July 2024, Schoodic Institute or BGR Airport


  • Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME. Private cabin or apartment with 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom.

Group size:

  • Staff: 4 Instructors
  • Maximum number of participants: 16


  • Adult tuition: $1,950 per person
  • Child tuition: $1,800 per person, ages 9-12.


  • 5 nights of lodging
  • 3 meals per day from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 6
  • In session transportation to and from sites visited and transportation to and from BGR airport
  • All guiding fees for local guides
  • All entrance and park fees, to sites mentioned in the itinerary.

Not included:

  • Transportation to and from the starting point of camp
  • Purchases of a personal nature, including (but not limited to) snacks and meals during travel, souvenirs, checked baggage fees, etc.
  • No insurance is included. We strongly recommend the purchase of a comprehensive travel insurance policy, which includes “cancel for any reason” type coverage.

Participants must agree to the 2024 Health and Safety Policy for ABA Programs.

Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in WRITING. A full refund less a $100 administration fee will be made for cancellations received by April 30, 2024. Cancellations received after April 30, 2024 will forfeit 50% of the registration fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after May 31, 2024.

Booking and secure payment:

2024 Health and Safety Policy for ABA Programs