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Borestone Mountain Art and Writing Retreat

Calendar Next session starts Sep 23, 2018
1 additional session on Sep 23, 2018

Instructors: Alan Bray (Art) & Kimberly Ridley (Writing)

This inaugural retreat is part of a collaboration between Maine Audubon and Monson Arts. Taking place over four days in September at Maine Audubon’s Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary, participants will engage in intensive study in either writing or art, gathering together for meals and staying in the sanctuary’s rustic, secluded lodges at the base of Borestone Mountain. 10 students in each discipline will enjoy a communal 5-day/4-night retreat away from modern distractions to focus on their individual creative work.


About Borestone:

The Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary features spectacular lodges located between Midday and Sunset Ponds. Designed and built in the early 1900s and recently renovated with modern kitchen and bath facilities, the four lodges are authentic, rustic, Adirondack-style log buildings. 

Meals will be provided. These are all shared bunk rooms with twin, bunk beds, or a few double beds. Please see the room chart and photos of the lodge rooms on our website. Room preferences will be accommodated based on the order of student registration.

Once a student has registered for the retreat, a staff member will be in touch to confirm preferences and logistics. Information about scholarship opportunities is available for students and others upon request. 

For questions regarding the workshops please contact, Dan Bouthot at Monson Arts,

For questions regarding the accommodations, please contact Beth Pauls at Maine Audubon,

There is no internet or cell phone connectivity at the Borestone Lodges.

Monson Arts is a new artists' residency and arts workshop program being developed in Monson with the support of the Libra Foundation. Learn more at



“Drawing/Painting at Borestone Mountain” with Alan Bray

The lodges on Borestone Mt. are a spectacular place, located in a bowl shaped depression, which holds three small ponds halfway to the top of the mountain. It is a place of great beauty and a profound silence from the everyday world. This workshop is open to any medium you prefer as long as you can carry it in your pack. There are no studios as such but ample room on the porches and of course on the mountain and the grounds. This will be an opportunity to immerse oneself in the study of a natural world that has been untouched for 100 years or more.

Alan Bray was born in 1946 in Waterville, Maine. He grew up in Monson, Maine, and attended the Art Institute of Boston, The University of Southern Maine, and earned a MA in Painting from The Villa Schiffanoia Graduate School of Fine Art in Florence, Italy. He currently lives and works in Sangerville, Maine, and is represented by Garvey/Simon Art Access in New York and Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, Maine.


“Wild Words: Nature Writing” with Kimberly Ridley

“We may not have wings or leaves, but we humans do have words. Language is our gift and our responsibility. I’ve come to think of writing as an act of reciprocity with the living land.” –Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

How do we awaken to the wild world around us and find the words to share what we discover? How do we weave personal history and natural history into a greater whole to better understand ourselves and mend the rifts between humans and the rest of nature?

We will write our way into these questions as we observe and explore the Sanctuary’s forests, mountains, and ponds. Through the work of writers such as Robin Wall Kimmerer, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and others, we will examine craft and a range of styles and approaches to writing about nature. Generative writing exercises will provide opportunities to experiment with new ways of seeing and writing about nature and make new connections between our own stories and the wild world around us.

Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, naturalist, and former magazine editor whose essays and articles have appeared in Downeast Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. She has worked with scores of emerging and established writers in bringing stories of hope, wildness, and possibility into the world. A Maine native, Kimberly is the author of award-winning nature books for children. She lives in Brooklin, Maine with her husband, the painter Tom Curry.

Create a Seashell Wreath
Registration Unavailable

Create a Seashell Wreath

Calendar Next session starts Aug 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Members $17, Nonmembers $20

Location: Scarborough Marsh

Join us for an evening of creativity and sculpture as we make unique wreaths out of seashells and sea glass. You can bring your own shells and sea glass or use ones we have collected. Participants will be guided through the process of how to create the base and add the shells to the wreath. Whether you are a Maine resident or just a visitor to our shores, you will be able to bring back the beauty of the salt marsh to display in your home for all to enjoy.

Advanced registration necessary. Call (207) 883-5100

Cancellation Policy

Growing Up WILD


with Linda Woodard

Calendar Next session starts Jul 25, 2018 at 9 am

Member: $23, Nonmember: $25

Growing Up WILD is a resource that is invaluable for early childhood professionals. With growing recognition of the need for young children to spend time outdoors, this guide provides practical suggestions for planning activities that are developmentally appropriate and includes all educational domains.

Developed with the vision of changing the culture of early childhood education to embrace learning in the outdoors, Growing Up WILD is the first nationally distributed early childhood professional development program and activity guide that integrates environmental education into the early childhood curriculum.

The activity guide, Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children:

•Is written especially for early childhood educators of children ages 3-7. 

 •Features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based, ready-made thematic units and over 400 experiences in a full-color 11”x17” activity guide.

•Includes outdoor explorations, scientific inquiry, art projects, music and movement, conservation activities, reading and math connections and "Healthy Me" dovetailing with the Let's Move Campaign.

•Involves social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive domains to help foster learning and development in all areas.

•Supports developmentally appropriate practice allowing children to learn at levels that are individually, socially, and culturally appropriate.

•Is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains.

Contact hours provided.

If you need to make a payment with a method other than credit card, please call Beth Pauls at 207-781-2330 ext. 273 to register.

Sketching by Canoe
Registration Unavailable

Sketching by Canoe


with Sally Powers

Calendar Next session starts Aug 11, 2018 at 2 pm

Member $12, Nonmember $14

Join artist Sally Powers for this special guided canoe tour will give artists of all ages a unique opportunity to practice nature sketching.  Participants will view nature close-up while slowly paddling in the midst of the ever-changing salt marsh. The winding curves of the river, populated with the graceful snowy egret and the prehistoric double crested cormorant, will provide endless opportunities for artistic inspiration. Whether you are interested in sketching landscapes, wildlife, or both, this canoe tour will unique experience for all.

Advanced Registration Necessary. Please call (207) 883-5100.

Stratton Island Trip
Registration Unavailable

Stratton Island Trip

Calendar Next session starts Jul 19, 2018 at 8:30 am
1 additional session on Jul 19, 2018

Members $63, Non-members $78

Not far from the Scarborough shore, Stratton Island is a nesting colony and roosting site for a remarkable diversity of coastal birds. A project site of National Audubon’s internationally-recognized Seabird Restoration Program, Stratton is normally inaccessible to visitors. On these special outings, however, we will be able to land and have a uniquely intimate experience among the 1,000 pairs of terns.

Observation blinds provide remarkable photographic opportunities. The island’s extraordinary bird colony includes Common, Roseate, Arctic, and Least Terns; little blue heron; Black-crowned Night-Herons; Snowy and Great Egrets; Glossy Ibis; Blue-winged Teal; Gadwall, Sora; and one of Maine’s rarest breeding birds: the American Oystercatcher.

You will also hear the latest research from the seabird biologists and view the challenges they face spending a summer on an island. Participants must be able to get in and out of boats and inflatable dinghies for this trip.

Information Sheet

We will meet by the Lobster Co-op at Pine Point in Scarborough at least 15 minutes before the appointed time and will leave promptly on time.

(A portion of the fee includes a donation to the Sea Bird Restoration Project.)


Session 1 and 3 Linda Woodard

Session 2 Noah Gibb

Session 4 Doug Hitchcox

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