AUGUST 14th – 20th, 2023

Maine Astronomy Retreat

A Vacation for You and Your Telescope

No need to bring a tent, or sleep in a sleeping bag, or eat so-so food. Medomak has comfortable, private cabin facilities with real beds, hot showers, electricity, and amazing, chef-prepared food. Limited to 40 observers and it’s all included in your tuition.

Power ready observing pad

And it’s only a few steps away from your cabin. Convenience is key, and our camp is ready for it. You’ll enjoy convenient stargazing at any time of night. Sign up using the Registration Form below.

Limiting visual magnitude of 6.3

(SQM value of 21.3 MPSAS) From relatively dark suburban areas, the Limiting Magnitude is frequently close to 5 or fainter, but from our site in Maine the Limiting Magnitude is higher than 6, allowing a much greater viewable spectrum.

IDA compliant facility

For unhindered observing. We are dedicated to preserving the night sky by reducing sky glow and limiting light pollution. This results in some of North America’s best viewing conditions.

COVID-19 Statement



Covid Safe. That’s our goal for 2023.  For now, getting a Covid-19 vaccination appears to be the path back to pre-pandemic camp operations, free of many of the restrictions we have learned to live with for the past couple of years.  With the expectation that Covid-19 vaccinations are available to all age groups by Summer 2023, so long as a person is medically eligible, being fully up to date on vaccinations will be a requirement to attend, work or visit Medomak, without exception.  

Should conditions change, we will continue to take into account the most current guidance from the CDC, the State of Maine, the American Camp Association, and industry best practices, putting plans in place to allow for fun and safe programming. 

The safety of our customers, staff, and community is paramount and is the responsibility of all of us who will make up the Medomak community.



To absolutely limit the chance for transmission of the virus while at Medomak, we will require all campers, participants, staff, and visitors to be up to date on their Covid 19 vaccinations, and to provide proof prior to coming to camp.

If my vaccinations are up to date, why insist we follow all the other protocols?

Vaccines have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing severe disease. With all campers, participants, staff, and visitors being up to date on their vaccinations, we believe we can now relax many of the more restrictive protocols. This decision, however, is predicated on everyone doing their part in maintaining Covid protocols to further lessen the risk to others. We will continue to expect all campers, participants, staff, and visitors to observe all precautions outlined in our Covid practices.


The CDC indicates testing vaccinated individuals if they present symptoms or have a confirmed exposure. Should a participant be symptomatic for COVID-19 or have a confirmed exposure, Medomak will require testing of the participant. Should a positive test be confirmed, the participant will need to leave Medomak or isolate in their cabin. We are not equipped to provide medical treatment due to Covid.


Medomak will follow current CDC recommendations on mask-wearing, as well as any mandates that may come from local and state authorities. 


Medomak is not equipped to offer medical treatment for Covid disease. So, if any participant tests positive, they will have to leave Medomak, or isolate in their cabin for the health and safety of the others on site. We are required to report to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services any Covid exposures and track any potential spread.



Entering another participant’s cabin increases the risk of viral spread, and therefore entry into another dwelling other than your own is not permitted. Any maintenance or repairs needed during your stay will be completed without guests present, and staff will be properly masked.


Cabins will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to your arrival. 

Will you service cabins during our stay?

For the safety of our staff and the safety of our guests, we will not service cabins while the program is in session. Trash collection and linen exchange will be done on request


Dining will occur indoors in a well-ventilated dining hall. Outdoor dining will be available for those more comfortable eating outdoors.



Programs and activities will be conducted to the extent that they can be done safely; social distancing and masking for larger groups may be required. Wherever possible, activities will be held outdoors or if indoors in open, well-ventilated spaces.



A non-refundable 10% deposit will be required to register your family and reserve a cabin. 50% of the balance will be due February 1st, with the remaining balance due May 1st. Registration after February 1st will require 50% of the balance to register. Registration after May 1st will require 100% of the balance to register.


Cancellations within 14 days of your arrival will result in a full credit applied toward a future stay at Medomak. In the event Medomak must cancel a program, a full refund will be given.

Sorry, but Medomak cannot be responsible for nonrefundable airline tickets or other travel or indirect expenses associated with cancellations.


A cash discount of 2.6% will be applied to payments made via check, or money order.


The policies and procedures for Medomak this summer make foremost the safety of our campers, participants, and staff. It’s in everyone’s best interest to know what to expect in preparation for coming to Medomak. As an assurance, we will require as part of the registration process that each of our attendees along with any individuals who accompany the attendee to sign a waiver agreeing to our procedures.

What happens if I or any member of my family does not comply with the provisions of the waiver I signed for myself and on behalf of members of my family?

If you or anyone who attends Medomak with you knowingly fails to comply with Medomak Covid policies and procedures, Medomak reserves the right to require that you and all members of your party leave the property immediately with no refund.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Our Star Guides

Amateur astronomer, nightscape photographer and instructor, telescope maker and gadget guru. Bruce is a past president of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston where he’s served in various capacities including president and observatory director.

Sara J. Schechner, Ph.D. is the Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments and a Lecturer on History of Science at Harvard University.

John Dennis of Nova Scotia’s Eskasoni Mi’kmaw Nation is a musician and storyteller who offers traditional stories about the star lore of the Mi’kmaq Nation.

A star party like no other

This gathering will provide activities for amateurs, to deep-sky observers and astrophotographers. Enjoy engaging presentations given by J Kelly Beatty (Sr. Editor, Sky & Telescope), Bruce Berger (Amateur astronomer, telescope builder and Director of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston Research and Imaging Observatory (ARIO). Here’s a partial list of the presentations planned:

  • An Introduction to Light Pollution
  • A Tour of the World’s Greatest Observatories
  • The Search for Another Earth
  • Meteors, Meteorites, and Meteorwrongs

  • Mythology and Lore of the Night Sky
  • Portraying the Night Sky
  • How Accurate were Lowell’s Martian Canals?
  • Top 20 Summer Deep-Sky Objects That You’ve Never Seen

Lake & Activities

Medomak shines during the day as well.

Medomak is located on a beautiful Maine lake that’s perfect for swimming, paddling, sailing, fishing, or just relaxing on the docks.

Play. Relax. Indulge.

You can play basketball, hike the property or settle into an adirondack chair in the shade and enjoy a good book. Mornings are free time, designed to let you have fun, explore the region, or just sleep in.
Each afternoon will feature a series of presentations designed to teach you about astronomy, the night sky, telescopes, and how to view/photograph all those celestial wonders, also included in your tuition.

Ping pong
Board games
Blueberry picking
Overnights at North Star Lodge
Morning walk
Local Beer & Cheese Tasting
Stand Up Paddle boards

Lodging & Food


Each private, one-room cabin has a bathroom and a shower. Simply put, our cabins are simple, in the New England tradition. Cabins are supplied with linens and towels for each guest. There are a few creature comforts like reading lights, rocking chairs, comfortable beds (two twin beds that can be pushed together), and a writing table. Outside each cabin you will find two adirondack chairs to enjoy the warm days and a good book.

If you are staying up late to watch the sky, it is nice to comfortably sleep in through the morning, and get a nice hot shower.

The Food

All our meals are chef-prepared, small batch and from scratch.
This isn’t institutional food. Most of our fresh produce comes from a certified organic farm in our town, and our lobster comes straight from the coast. There is always plenty to go around of our hearty, healthy, comfort food. Coffee, tea, fruit and snacks are available all day and well into the night, so you can keep your eyes open waiting for that next brilliant shooting star.

Medomak has two organic gardens that supply many of the delicious ingredients for our meals. And we also have a local organic farmer.

We are also committed to using fresh produce and other products produced by local farmers such as jams, fruits, honey, eggs and poultry. And, of course there is our abundant Medomak blueberry patch. Blueberry pancakes anyone?Most of our fresh produce comes from a certified organic farm in our town, and our  lobster comes straight from the coast.

Maine Attractions

Medomak is just minutes from the picturesque towns of Rockland and Camden and a 2-hour drive from Acadia National Park. Local attractions include:

Farnsworth Museum and Wyeth Center in Rockland, Maine

Baxter State Park/Mt. Katahdin

Maine Lobster Festival – if you’re coming to camp at the end of July or the beginning of August you might want to plan a side trip to the festival.

Windjammer Schooner Tours out of the beautiful town of Camden.

Owl’s Head Transportation Museum

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Rockland Golf Course (1/2 hour from camp)

Samoset Golf (1/2 hour from camp)

Birch Point State Park – One of our camper’s favorite box lunch day destinations. Great tidal pools where the pines meet the Atlantic ocean.

A fun activity is to plan a sea kayaking trip with Maine Sport.

Monhegan Island is an artist colony with plenty of walking trails. Drive to the coastal town of Port Clyde and visit the lighthouse highlighted in the film “Forrest Gump”, stop in to the Dipnet for a lobster roll & root beer and take the Laura B to Monhegan Island.

Dating to the 1700’s, one of the United States’ oldest surviving wooden military buildings can be found at Old Fort Western. This is a National Historic Monument located in Augusta, Maine.

Camden Hills State Park has beautiful views of Penobscot Bay and groomed trails for hiking. Head into town to Cappy’s for their clam chowder for lunch.

Liberty Graphics – Everyone’s favorite 2 dollar t-shirts

Excellent community radio station broadcasted out of Blue Hill

L.L. Bean

Spruce Mountain Blueberries excellent blueberry chutney and other blueberry things.

Cellar Door Winery

Hope Spinnery is a small wind-powered fiber processing mill a few miles inland from the Coast of Maine in the town of Hope Maine. The owner, Bill Huntington, is our lead instructor at our Knitting Retreat.

Seacolors is a source for high-quality wool. All their yarns are sun dyed in seawater using colors inspired by nature. Their wool is grown on the backs of fine-wooled sheep and goats still grazing on the hills of our farmstead in Maine. The farm is located in Washington Maine.

Black Locust is a Bed and Breakfast and cashmere goat farm located in Washington Maine.

Savage Oakes Winery a great place to stop on box lunch day!

Sweet Grass Local wines and distilled brandies and gin.

Moody’s Diner featured on CBS’s Sunday morning…you gotta try the pie. Check out the Four Berry Pie, yummy!

Union pottery – Hand painted stoneware this quaint shop is close to camp. A perfect spot to pick up a Maine souvenir.

A-1 Diner in Gardiner Maine, 30 minutes from camp, has been highlighted on the Food Network’s popular show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Day-long horseback riding camps in the town of Washington.

Red’s Eats in Wiscasset. Some say they have the best lobster roll in Maine!

Sweet Season Farm, Market and Cafe…Dave’s favorite place to eat on his day off. Locally sourced produce and meat, pick your own berries and ice cream, too! Plus the best burger in the mid-coast!

Primo Restaurant in Rockland

Café Miranda in Rockland

Information on Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park area

Town of Belfast chamber of commerce site

The Maine Office of Tourism offical website.

Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, of which we are members, has great info on regional businesses and attractions.

Union Chamber of Commerce has interesting facts on the towns of Washington, Appleton, Hope and Union.

The Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pictures of Pemaquid light house (most photographed spot in Maine)

The Official Flag of Washington, Maine

Old farmer’s almanac–good stuff about New England


May I bring my personal telescope?

Of course, this is a vacation for you and your telescope. There is plenty of space to set up and observe.

How can I store my telescope?

We provided dedicated space to store your equipment in our main activities structure. You are also welcome to store your equipment in your private cabin, as there is plenty of room.

How secure is my telescope?

Very. Medomak is private property, set several hundred yards off the main road in a secluded setting. Our retreat is limited to 40 participants, so all persons on property are very well known to management.

Do we provide telescopes for observing?

Medomak has a 14” Dobsonian mounted reflector telescope, which we keep pointed upwards all evening. Our facilitators bring along various other reflector and refractor scopes, as well. Participants are more than welcome to join us for observing, instruction, and learning.

I’ve got a great new telescope…can you help me learn how to use it?

Absolutely. Our facilitators are here to help show you how to get the most of your equipment.

Can we provide extension cords?

Medomak has a healthy supply of extension cords to supplement you in case you forget to bring your own, or yours is not long enough.

What are the rules governing use of white lights?

Car lights
No cars will be permitted beyond the parking lot after sundown. This is so you don’t light the observing fields if you need to leave the property after observing has begun.

Flash photography
No flash photography will be permitted after sundown.

Low power red light flashlights are fine as long as they are directed downward and not flashed in the eyes of observers. Red head lamps are discouraged.

Computer/Tablet/Cell Phone Screens
Devices with lit screens may only be used on the observing field if equipped with a red filter. Laptop tents for astro-imagers are required.

Is the facility Red Light equipped?

Main building is equipped with red bulbs. Outside cabin lights have red bulbs. Cabin interiors can have a desk lamp outfitted with a red bulb, upon request. Please refrain from using the interior overhead white lights from 30 minutes after sundown on observing nights as the lights can shine onto the observing field. We are happy to tape your light switches if you think you might absent-mindedly forget in the middle of the night.

How far from the cabins is the observing field?

Most are a couple hundred feet away or less”.  Others are a short walk down a hill, but right next to our dining hall and lodge

Can you describe the observing field?

The most open horizon seen from observing field favors the southern sky. The perimeter of the field does have trees, however their height is not overly tall. From the center of the observing area we estimate that approximately 80% of the sky is visible favoring the southern sky.

Is there wifi on the observing field?


Is the observing field ‘power ready’?

Our observing pad is power ready. If you choose to set up anywhere else on the field, you will need an extension cord, which we are happy to help you with.

What are the general rules of etiquette on the observing field?

Aerosols/Bug Spray
No aerosol sprays on the observing field. One drop can permanently damage the delicate optics of a telescope or binoculars. If you apply insect repellant, carefully and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.

No loud music on the observing field. If your neighboring observers ask for you to turn down your music, you will be expected to abide by their request. Headphone use is preferable.

Help us keep the facility looking nice and presentable. Please clean up after yourself. Trash cans and redeemable/recycle bins are located in the main areas and your cabin.

Smoke can be harmful to telescope optics. No smoking on the observing pad or around people’s equipment. Smoking may only take place in the designated smoking area, and NEVER in cabins or buildings.

What are the cabins like?

Cabins are simple and uninsulated, but clean and comfortable.

Are there bathrooms and showers in the cabins?

Yes, cabins have private bathrooms, and hot showers.

Do we need to bring linens?

No, we provide a pillow, blanket, sheets and towels. If you have your own favorite blanket or pillow, you might want to bring it along for your own personal comfort.

Are the cabins red light equipped?


What is the food like?

Our food is delicious! We cook in small batches, with most things from scratch. We buy most produce directly from local farmers or use herbs from our own organic gardens.

Do you serve Lobster?

Of course! This is Maine!

Can we accommodate food allergies and concerns?

We provide well-balanced, varied meals. With notice, we can accommodate vegetarian/vegan diets. All meals have essential components that are gluten-free, but folks with celiac disease may be concerned that our kitchens cannot account for cross-contamination. Folks that prefer to eat gluten-free (or other special diets) may wish to bring along personal items to supplement their preferences.

When are meals served?

COLD Breakfast (breads, cereal, yogurt, fruit) is served from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
HOT breakfast is available anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Lunch is served at 1:00 p.m.

Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.

How are meals served?

Meals are served family style, plattered on the table. Help yourself, don’t be shy, and eat as much as you like.

Are there snacks and refreshments available throughout the day and into the evening?

Yes, coffee and tea are available all day and late into the night. Fresh fruit and snacks, too.

Is alcohol permissible?

Yes, but we ask that you drink in moderation, and be a good neighbor to your fellow participants.

Alcohol is BYOB. There are fantastic breweries in Maine, and we even have a local gin distillery, which is amazing.

Is there a place to store any personal food and/or beverages?

Yes, we have a common refrigerator in our dining hall that is available for your use.

Can we keep food in our cabins?

We highly discourage it, as it attracts unwanted “guests.”

What kinds of activities are available on the property and the surrounding area?

See Maine Attractions

Tell me about the lake?

Washington Pond is the centerpiece of the property. During the day, please enjoy a cool dip in the lake, a nice canoe, kayak, or sailboat excursion all around the lake. It is lovely.

Are Laundry machines available for use?

Yes, you may do laundry for $2/load (wash and dry). We provide soap.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations within 14 days of your arrival will result in a full credit applied toward a future stay at Medomak.  In the event Medomak must cancel a program, a full refund will be given.

Sorry, but Medomak cannot be responsible for nonrefundable airline tickets or other travel or indirect expenses associated with cancellations.

A cash discount of 2.6% will be applied to payments made via check, or money order.

Click here to register for the Maine Astronomy Retreat at The Medomak Retreat Center

June 5-August 31

178 Liberty Road
Washington, ME 04574
(207) 845-6001

Until June 5

12230 Clarksville Pike, Suite C
Clarksville, MD 21029
(301) 854-9100
Toll-free: 1-(866)-MEDOMAK

We would love to hear from you!