ARROW Retreat 2014

We met at the Crossroads of Art, Science & Writing


During April 21-24, 2014, young writers, illustrators and scientists explored the multidisciplinary nature of a good story, honed their own skills and had a great time. IRW’s ARROW Retreat was open to homeschoolers and sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from Mount Desert Island, Trenton, Swans Island, Frenchboro and the Cranberry Isles. It was free of charge to all participants.

During four exciting half-days on the campus of the MDI BioLab in Salisbury Cove on MDI, ARROW participants worked with professional writers, artists and scientists in real hands-on work that finished in a grand exhibition that was open to family and friends.

Participants met on the MDI BioLab campus from 12:30 to 5 p.m. each day. They all received a journal, art supplies, and their own copy of Patrick Jennings’ book, We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes.

Peer Groups & Facilitators

Every young person was part of a peer group of 10 students under the guidance of an adult facilitator who helped with hands-on projects and ensured the groups got to where they need to be each day. Peer groups stayed together throughout the week.


As a grand finale, friends and family members of participants were invited to a reception at the MDI BioLab, where the writing and artistic works produced during the week were on display in a grand exhibition. It was a chance for ARROW graduates to share their work and celebrate a terrific week of discovery and creativity. Their art is viewable here.

Before the retreat, participants entered into a contract where they agreed to:

  • Read We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes before the retreat.
  • Complete the assignments each afternoon before the next day’s session.
  • Participate in group discussions.
  • Keep track of their journal and other materials.
  • Have their own transportation to the MDI BioLab campus in Salisbury Cove.
  • Bring a snack.
  • Work hard and have fun.


IRW was excited to partner with the MDI BioLab for this second annual ARROW Retreat. For more information about the MDI BioLab, visit