Frequently Asked Questions
Describe a typical day at Echo Lake Camp
Reveille blows at 7:00 with breakfast at 7:30. During breakfast the day's hikes and alternative activities are announced. After breakfast those wishing to hike gather at the office to set off on the day's adventure. Those choosing to do other things (bike trip, tour of one of the island's many gardens, returning to one's tent to resume sleeping) are on their own. At 1:00 PM lunch is served with more announcements if applicable. During the afternoon guests swim, make use of the boats, relax in the recreation hall, go into town to shop or explore other parts of the island and the offerings of Acadia National Park. Dinner is served at 6:00 PM followed at 7:30 or 8:00 by the activity of the evening. This may consist of a rousing game of Bingo, a slide show or interesting/amusing/informative presentation offered by a guest or a round of square dancing. Quiet hour starts at 10:00 pm and continues until 7:00 AM when guests arise to do it all again.
How strenuous are the hikes?
There are three levels of hikes offered. "A" hikes are faster-paced, more challenging hikes where hikers move along at a reasonably rapid clip with fewer rest stops. For those wishing to move at a slightly slower pace, "B" hikes cover less ground and progresses at a slower, more leisurely rate with more rest stops. The "C" hike is the most casually paced of the three. Hikers for all hikes travel to the trailhead on the camp's bus; often starting at different locations but ending up at the same place. In addition, there is a walk sponsored by the camp's naturalist. These are slow-paced and are characterized by frequent stops to discuss the flora and fauna along the way. These hikes are suitable for campers who desire a shorter, flatter, more leisurely walk.
How old should children be before bringing them to Echo Lake?
Echo Lake Camp's location on the lake makes it unsuitable for children younger than the age of four. Each family is solely responsible for the supervision of their children.
Are there programs specifically for children?
There is plenty for children to do at Echo Lake. In addition to the variety of hikes offered at different levels of ability, swimming and boating, Echo Lake Camp offers the Junior Naturalist Program which allows children up to the age of twelve to learn more about Acadia and its natural environment. Children of all ages partake of camp life enjoying the games and activities in the rec hall, participating in the many tournaments organized by the Evening Leader and performing in the talent show on Friday night. In addition, Acadia National Park sponsors numerous child-oriented programs.
What do we do on rainy days?
Rainy days move at a slower pace and can be a welcome respite from the more vigorous sunny day hikes. There are almost always rainy day hikes offered on one or more of the island's many carriage roads. In addition, the Dining Room is made available for games and informal gatherings. The rec hall and library are available for games and quiet reading. There are often fires going in all three camp fireplaces. Mt. Desert Island has many attractions perfect for rainy weather and staff in the camp office can help campers find excellent activities to occupy them during the occasional rainy days.
Describe the shower and bathroom facilities
The camp has one large, central bath and shower facility located near the parking lot. This newly renovated building offers four private showers with changing areas and one bathtub. Flush toilets occupy the other half of this handicapped-accessible facility. There is plenty of hot water available but guests are encouraged to avoid "rush hour" times (late afternoon seems to be most popular) in order to minimize waiting. There is another toilet facility near the tents on the hill.
Describe the sleeping arrangements
Sleeping arrangements consist of platform tents equipped with cots, mattresses and pillows. These tents can house from two to five people depending on needs. Each tent also contains a bedside table, wooden chairs and a wastebasket for campers' convenience. For those in need of them, bed boards are available to increase the firmness of the mattresses. Linens and blankets are provided although it may be helpful to bring along a warm comforter or sleeping bag for those cool Maine nights.
Can I bring alcohol to camp?
Alcohol is allowed in the camp but guests are asked to confine "happy hours" to the vicinity of their tents unless otherwise announced.
Can Echo Lake's kitchen accommodate special diets?
Echo Lake Camp meals consist of wholesome, abundant family style food. Fruit baskets and salads are included with lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, the camp is not able to accommodate special diets.
What are some of Echo Lake's traditions?
Like any camp, Echo Lake has traditions that have been included in the camp experience year after year. One of these is the Banathalon, a multi-activity relay race for five-member teams involving a banana which is passed between members like a baton. Another tradition is the Friday night talent show. This is a chance for adults and children to strut their stuff and show the world their talents. Also, on Tuesday evenings, there is a lobster picnic at Thompson Island Picnic Area overlooking the ocean, and on Thursday evenings a mussel bake at camp.
What should I bring to camp?
A list of items to bring is included in your acceptance letter in the spring. The following few items may help to make your stay a little more comfortable.
- Extra pillows if desired (the camp supplies one per person)
- Items for talent night depending on your talent (CD's, instruments, skit scripts)
- Slides of interesting trips or experiences to share with other campers
- Metal containers to store food and snacks in (the chipmunks and red squirrels can be very persistent and have eaten through many a backpack)
- Binoculars, cameras, personal hiking equipment etc...
- Folding chairs for outside the tent
- Towels (both bath and beach) and washcloths
- First aid supplies including insect repellant and sun block
- All those books you have not had time to read during the winter
- Digital photographs, PowerPoint, and slides to share