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.
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 and vicinity (no vehicle needed). We will pick up a bagged lunch after breakfast for a picnic depending on choice of day’s activities. You Decide! Meet a National Park Service Ranger. Tide pool and touch tank exploration. Experience field science and learn about iNat with a Schoodic Institute Early Career Professional. 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
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.
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.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS 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.
The 2024 American Birding Association (ABA) program policies and guidelines have been modified and updated as of November 21, 2023. The ABA reserves the right to change our program policies and alter itineraries at any time, at no penalty. The purpose of this policy is to help prevent COVID-19 transmission and safeguard the overall health and safety of our participants, staff, and the community at large.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance to recommend people be Up to Date with COVID vaccinations. For all ABA programming we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE all participants to be fully vaccinated, but it is not required.
Please follow CDC guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 exposure and testing prior to traveling. Participants and staff, regardless of vaccination status, are REQUIRED to submit a negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours of their arrival. Participants and staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test or have known exposure with symptoms of COVID-19 within 10 days of arrival, may not attend. If you present upper respiratory symptoms while at camp you will be required to wear a face mask in shared spaces and while indoors and you will be tested for COVID-19. See below for procedures for illness during an overnight program.
Sick Participant Procedure
Participants exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, fatigue, aches, loss of smell, headache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea) will be asked to mask once symptoms are identified.The participant will also be asked to test for COVID-19.If a participant has a positive test they will be asked to quarantine until their departure plans are finalized. The affected participant will need to depart within 12-24 hours and at the participant/family’s expense.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
All cancellations must be made in WRITING by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
We strongly recommend the purchase of a comprehensive travel insurance policy, which includes “cancel for any reason” type coverage.