Maine Audubon's Hog Island offers several youth, family and adult camps each summer. The five-day "Natural History of the Maine Coast" program costs $825 per person. Other adult camps include field ornithology, kayaking, a workshop for educators, retreats and yoga. Prices range from $225 for the three-day yoga program to $1,125 for the "Naturalizing by Kayak" camp; meals, workshops and lodging included. Sessions still to come this summer include "Om on the Island" Aug. 23-25 and Family Camp Aug. 15-20. Info: 888-325-5261, www.maineaudubon.org.
GETTING THERE: The camp is about 60 miles northeast of Portland and about 600 miles north of Washington. You can fly nonstop on United or Independence Air from Washington Dulles for about $162 round trip. From the airport, take Mid-Coast Limo (800-937-2424, www.midcoastlimo.com) to the town of Damariscotta for $45 each way. The camp van will pick you up in Damariscotta.
WHAT TO BRING: The camp provides a detailed list of recommended clothing and supplies. DEET, waterproof gear, field guides and binoculars are musts. Bring sweats and a change of clothes in a carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost: The island's gift store offers some clothes but not a wide variety. If you'd like a cocktail, bring your own; no alcohol is served. Cell phones don't work well on the island, but a boat goes to the mainland each day for a short period so campers can use the pay phone; bring a credit card or phone card because it doesn't take coins.
OTHER OPTIONS: Several other groups offer nature-oriented camps each summer. While most have already completed their sessions for this season and not yet announced next year's schedules, here are examples of the types of camps held each year. Choices include:
* Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary (877-777-8383, www.hunthill.org) in Sarona, Wisc. The sixth annual "Wade Into Ecology" adult camp ($695 per person), held in early July this year, explores the habitats of northwestern Wisconsin.
* Wolf Camp (360-319-6892, www.wolfjourney.com) in Monroe, Wash. Several sessions are offered each summer; choices this year included a seven-day "Wildlife Tracking & Birding" camp ($475 per person with camping accommodations) and a four-day "Herbal Medicine & First Aid" session ($325 per person).
* Elderhostel (877-426-8056, www.elderhostel.org), for adults ages 55 and over. Several sessions are offered in camp-life facilities that focus on nature. For example, a "Wealth of the Appalachians: History & Culture of the Mountains" session ($430 per person) will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 3 at the Mountain Retreat & Learning Center in Highlands, N.C.
* Audubon Center of the North Woods (888-404-7743, www.audubon-center.org) in Sandstone, Minn. Several ecology programs are held. Choices this summer included a four-day "Mammals of the Badlands" ($750 per person).
-- Carol Sottili