What does it mean to be America’s Environmental College? To be — and prepare — leaders in sustainability science?
It means looking beyond the standard limits of higher education. It means bringing environmental education and sustainability initiatives wherever they’re needed, whether you’re a recent high school graduate, a middle-schooler, or well into your career, whether you’re looking to go back to school full-time, part-time, or just looking for a little adventure. Being America’s Environmental College means opening our doors to everyone, and sharing our passion for sustainability, environmentalism and the great state of Maine to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Every summer, when traditional students head home or off to internships, Unity College’s events team knows their work is just getting started. Instead of allowing campus resources — a beautiful, centralized location within the state of Maine, capable staff and faculty, sustainable housing, classrooms and dining facilities — to go to waste, summer programs invite a larger Unity community to experience environmental education firsthand.
Educational summer camps finished their fourth year this past season, with Environmental Science Camp, Marine Biology Camp, Young Actors Camp and Warden Camp bringing nearly 50 children between the ages of 11 to 19 on campus to experience a variety of educational initiatives. Campers went stream wading to collect and analyze water, learned to snorkel, grew coral, gained search and rescue skills, and mastered how to tell their own stories with emotion and drive. This summer the events team is adding two exciting new options: Wizarding Adventure Camp and Zombie Survival Camp, where students will learn how to care for “magical” creatures and train in basic wilderness survival, respectively.
Campers and travelers alike are welcome to stay in the college’s newest sustainable residence halls, constructed to meet LEED Silver standards with the latest energy-efficient air source heat pumps, which provide both heating and cooling, and furnished by a sustainable manufacturer, limiting the environmental impact of a stay in Maine. The campus is surrounded by beautiful natural resources: mountains, woodlands, rolling fields, rivers, streams, ponds and lakes — including our own Lake Winnecook.
Summer programs is prepared to bring groups of up to 150 people on campus, offering meeting spaces of varying sizes; a creative, eco-friendly catering service; a performing arts center with 200 seat theater; and even team-building activities on the college’s high ropes course and rock wall. From reunions to retreats, conferences to weddings, Unity College is a great environmentally conscience event venue.
“We held a three-day retreat at Unity College and had the most amazing experience,” Katrina Ruffner, Director of Education for the Maine Association of Nonprofits, said. “Unity staff were responsive, accommodating, and incredibly friendly. The meeting spaces, accommodations, and food were exemplary. We can’t wait to host another event at Unity!”
This upcoming summer, Unity College will highlight an appreciation of Maine’s diverse and spectacular environmental gifts with its first series of Eco Tours, using the campus as a home base to explore places such as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the Penobscot River, and Monhegan Island. Enjoy freshly made Amish donuts learn to fly fish, and hike, bike, and paddle the wonders of Maine. Group sizes are kept small, with all travel, food, and accommodation provided in one flat fee.
No matter your age or purpose, there’s something for everyone at America’s Environmental College.