The Acadia Amazing Race

Disclaimer: Yes, the owner of Hadley’s Point Campground happens to be my sister. Yes, the amazingly creative mind who puts together the clues for the Acadia Amazing Race every year happens to be my other sister. You may say I’m biased (of course I’m biased), but I’m also 100% sure that anyone you talk to who has participated in the Acadia Amazing Race would say the exact same thing as me…. It rocks!!!

What do you get when you mix a world-famous chef with a local campground? A recipe for fun!

Hadley’s Point Campground’s Acadia Amazing Race

The Acadia Amazing Race took place a few weeks ago. It was the eighth year Hadley’s Point Campground, located in Bar Harbor, has hosted the three-day event. Each year, the third weekend in August, contestants are provided a clue packet and must travel throughout the area, visiting local businesses and points of interest, amassing points along the way based on properly deciphering the clues and completing bonus challenges.

The beauty of the race is that it not only allows competitors to see areas they might not otherwise have visited, but it also brings business to local shops and restaurants. At the end of the race, the contestants come together for a bonfire to learn who the winners are. Prizes are given to the top three teams and include a variety of items and gift certificates from the businesses who participated in that year’s competition.

Amazing Race 1

The bonfire takes place Saturday night after the race and is where the winners are announced. Photo credit: Michelle Girasole

Jamie Oliver at Home

For the first time in it’s history,Amazing Race this year the Acadia Amazing Race had a sponsor in Jamie Oliver at Home, a direct sales company that has partnered with Jamie Oliver to bring his mission of ‘Better Food for a Better Life’ to the United States. Independent consultants use the home party model to sell Jme cooking products, while also spreading his message of the importance of healthy eating.

With this in mind, the race this year took on a ‘foodie’ theme, bringing contestants to a number of businesses, among other locations, who use locally-sourced ingredients to make real, good food.

I’ve never missed a race in the eight years it’s gone on, and although I’m not eligible for prizes, it’s always a blast. This year I was joined by all three of my kids, my mom, my niece, and my niece’s friend. Since I didn’t know how long my younger two would last, we did an abridged version, but we still got most of the clues in.

Since Seal Cove Farmthe race took place off-island this year, the first business that contestants visited was Seal Cove Farm in Lamoine. Seal Cove Farm raises goats and uses their milk to make artisan cheeses. I didn’t make it to this location, but I’ve heard they make delicious pizza!

The first clue my family solved brought us to Simon’s Hancock Farms where flowers and fresh veggies abound. We found the next clue hiding behind a pair of stone swans and then played a game of Simon Says for the bonus challenge.

Simon Hancock Farms

A display at Simon’s. Photo credit: Michelle Girasole

Finn's

Photo credit: Michelle Girasole

From there we drove to Finn’s Irish Pub. Unfortunately, we weren’t quite ready to eat yet, but I can tell you from prior experience that the food is superb and the atmosphere is awesome. My kids all banged out a song on the piano, which made me thankful that the restaurant had just opened so no one was there to grimace over the noise.

The last food-specific clue brought us to Morton’s Moo, an ice cream shop that makes homemade, small batch ice cream right on premises. We couldn’t justify leaving empty-handed, so after finding our next clue, we all got an ice cream for the road. They had sorbet for my dairy-allergic son and they were very accommodating to the two in our group who have nut allergies. Oh, and the ice cream? Absolutely delicious!

Mortons

Photo credit: Michelle Girasole

The rest of the Amazing Race was a blast, taking us to historical sites, a beautiful beach, Pyramid Studios, and finally Little Fenway, to name a few.

On Saturday evening we joined the 18+ other teams to tell our stories and find out who won the race. The prize packs were amazing, each worth well over $100, and full of gift certificates from the participating businesses, fresh vegetables, Jme cooking items, and more.

The Eighth Annual Acadia Amazing Race knocked it out of the park this year, just as it has for the previous seven years. There wasn’t a team in attendance who didn’t have a fantastic time and we all were reminded of the importance of buying local, as well as the fact that real food is also delicious food.

If all of this sounds like too much fun to miss out on, mark your calendars for the third weekend in August 2015, and make your reservations at Hadley’s Point. You won’t be disappointed!

If you’re interested in learning more about Jamie Oliver at Home or becoming an independent consultant, visit their website.

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Lauren Cormier

About Lauren Cormier

Lauren is a 30-something stay at home mom who doesn't have it all together and she's pretty sure you don't either. She hopes that by sharing her real life (not the glossy made-up version) she can encourage you to drop the act and get real. Lauren lives in Hermon with her husband and their three children. She also blogs at www.ohhonestly.net