Session 3, Part 2

It is amazing how fast the last few days have gone this session! Though we were greeted by a thunderstorm and rain, we had a fantastic day. You can see from the pictures as the campers were able to perform skits as we made our own “television channel”. We had episodes about food, news, weather, and even a quiz show. Unit Night was also a huge success! We had Carson in the dining hall decorating cookies and showing off their art skills with chalk on the blacktop. Thoreau was out on the ropes course doing the flying squirrel. Dillard headed to the sandpit for a fun game.

With the weekend fast approaching, we have lots of fun plans ahead. The campers head out on their overnights starting tomorrow afternoon. Abbey and Dillard will head to Mondanock from Friday until Sunday morning, the girls will head out to First and Second Point for their campout on Friday and the boys will head out Saturday afternoon. We can’t wait to set up our tents and sleep under the stars.

See all the Session 3 photos here.

Campers play icebreaker games at the sports field.

Session 3, Week 1

Session 3 is starting strong. Last night, each unit had their own campfire as they began to get to know the other staff and campers in their unit. This morning, we did NGs and this afternoon was spent getting oriented to camp. Campers were able to play some icebreakers in the field, participate in swim checks and have a tour of camp. Though hot, campers were able to get lots of swimming in this afternoon. The LITs spent the afternoon learning all about the mushrooms that can be found around camp.

Tonight campers are playing an all-camp game of Predator-Prey—a favorite here at Wildwood. Tomorrow, we will have another morning of NGs and campers will have their first set of Discovery Groups in the afternoon!

Here are some pictures from the first few days of Session 3!

Campers play icebreaker games at the sports field.

Campers play icebreaker games at the sports field.

Session 2 Part 2

As the week here comes to a close we have lots of fun memories to look back upon. Yesterday was the wackiest day of all! On Thursday we decided to shake up the schedule and the meals. For breakfast we had some tasty ravioli and for dinner we had scrumptious breakfast sandwiches. Instead of having our Discovery Groups in the afternoon we had them in the early evening. It was a fun way to be able to experience dusk in a new way including some outdoor cooking, night hikes and dusk paddles. With the afternoon free, we were able to play an awesome camp-wide game of Nature’s Wrath, a favorite for both campers and staff alike.

This afternoon we are excited for the return of not one but two of our treks. Bike and Beach Trek will be returning after spending the week on the Cape and Nantucket, and High Points will be returning from their two-week trek as they climbed the highest points in New England.

View the Session 2.2 Slideshow

Wildwood Overnight Camp Session 2

Session 2

Session 2 is getting off to an awesome start! The weather has been beautiful.

The session began with a fun evening activity where the units could all work together. Then right after breakfast on Monday, the campers began their Nature Groups (NGs). NGs are the activities that the campers participate in each morning with their units. The themes for our NGs are Earth Day, Forest Exploration, Aquatic Ecology, Nature Play, and Things with Wings.

After lunch, all the campers took their swim checks, went on a camp tour and did some fun icebreaker games. Yesterday was action-packed, with campers beginning their day with NGs in the morning and Discovery Groups and OATs in the afternoon. They ended their day with Unit Night and s’mores.

Check out the photos from the first few days of Session 2

Session 1 Week 2

Greetings from Wildwood. Though very warm we are having lots of fun here in Rindge! We are filling our days with lots of sunscreen, water, and smiles.

Tonight was “Bring a Letter to Dinner” night, so you should be seeing some mail from your camper in the next couple of days. It is also Unit Night. The campers are all over camp having fun with their units. The younger campers are out on the waterfront having a beach night and the older campers are hiking to First Point and swimming from the beach at that campsite. Everyone will end their night with tasty s’mores.

Over the weekend, 2-week campers were able to go on overnights with their units. LIT embarks on a trip to Mount Greylock today. With a wonderful group of Leaders-in-Training and four terrific Junior Counselors, we’re getting some great support all around camp, including our discovery groups, open activity times, and evening programs.

Some of the favorite camp activities this week have been Scottish Dancing, Stock Market, and Hubbard Gladiators. In Scottish dancing, some of our international staff were able to teach some dances from their home counties. In Hubbard Pond Gladiators, campers were able to search for the biggest and scariest aquatic insect they could find in the ponding area.

Tomorrow we are excited to celebrate the 4th of July with the camp community. We have Nature Groups in the morning and field and water games in the afternoon. I know the campers will love sharing the holiday with our international staff.

We’ll be sure to post pictures of 4th of July and much more in the weeks to come!

Click Here for Awesome Photos from Session 1!

Teens: Get Footloose in the White Mountains This July

Thanks to high demand for our Teen Adventure Trips, we’ve added a second session of our Footloose in the White Mountains trek to this summer’s lineup. Wildwood Teen Adventure Trip Leader Amanda is pumped up and looking for a few more adventurous teens to take on the challenge with them this July. Here’s what’s got her so excited and why you should be too! 


The White Mountains of New Hampshire: A sweet escape for the weekend warriors of Boston; a training ground for the aspiring rock climbers, backpackers, and mountaineers of New England; and home to the sweeping granite ledges of North Conway, the towering cliffs of Franconia Notch State Park, and the steep schist crags of Rumney.

For young adventurers looking to engage with gravity, the Whites are a playground of snowy slopes, swift water, rock faces and rugged trails. Wildwood’s Footloose in the White Mountains Teen Adventure Trip challenges teens to discover their potential for the skills and movement of outdoor rock climbing and backpacking in some of the most beautiful areas in the Northeast.

Footloose in the White Mountains Teen Trek Rock Climbing

About Trip Leader Amanda

I have spent the past 11 summers at Wildwood in a variety of programs, as a Camper, a Leader-in-Training, a Junior Counselor, a full-fledged Counselor, and a Unit Leader, but some of my most unique camp experiences came out of the three summers I spent as a Trekker. Footloose in the White Mountains was my very first trek.

Not only did the Footloose trek increase my confidence and self-reliance in the outdoors through hands-on skill-building experiences, it also introduced me to the sport of outdoor rock climbing, something I am still passionate about. I am so excited to be on the other side of things on this trek, creating similarly awesome experiences and memories for this year’s Footloose trekkers!

FAQ’s

Hey parents, if rock climbing sounds a little scary to you, that’s okay! Let us address a few common concerns:

A teen rappels down a cliff face on a Teen Adventure Trip

Will they be wearing helmets?

YES, they will always be wearing helmets (and harnesses) while rock climbing. We love brain-buckets and safety is a top priority for us. Trekkers always stay a body-length or more away from cliff edges.

What if they lose their grip while climbing?

The style of climbing our trekkers engage in is called “top-roping”: The rope runs from the tied-in climber up to an anchor at the top of the climb, then back down to the belayer. As the trekker climbs, the belayer takes in slack. This means that your child will never fall more than a foot or two, whether they are eight feet off the ground or eighty. Before we get started, we’ll spend a few days with professional rock-climbing guides to literally learn the ropes.

What if it’s too hard for my Trekker?

The rocks in Rumney offer options for just about everybody, with hundreds of routes of varying steepness and features. Trekkers will be able to try a range of techniques, including practicing rope skills on the ground, experimenting with movement on rock, and pushing their limits on steeper terrain. All of the climbing is challenge-by-choice, so if they don’t want to do something, they don’t have to. But we bet they will.

What’s the Biggest Payoff of the Footloose Trek?

This trek is an incredible skill and confidence-building experience for kids with all kinds of backgrounds. They WILL find something that they’ll have fun on, we guarantee it. Rocks are too cool not to be fun!

Send your teen our way and we’ll show ’em just how fun climbing and backpacking can be!

To learn more and sign your teen up for the adventure of a lifetime, visit our website

Love,
Amanda

 

Summer 2018 Wildwood Staff

Session 1 Update 1

Summer 2018 Wildwood Staff

Summer 2018 Wildwood Staff ready to greet campers for the first session of the season.

Wildwood Camp is off to a great start!  Our first evening was a success with a s’more treasure hunt and campfires at individual units.

New morning programming this summer includes Nature Groups. In these blocks, campers have been exploring the wonders of Wildwood in a whole new way. Our youngest campers in the Forest Group hit the ground running with tree identification and discussions about how trees move food up and down their trunks and branches. Earth Day Group campers have been talking about stewardship of our natural environment.

Unit staff got creative during Tuesday’s Unit Night with fun activities such as Capture the Flag in the sand pits, adjacent birthday and beach parties, and Olympics and soccer on the activity field. Unit nights are a great opportunity for campers to bond with their age groups.

Wednesday evening brought a downpour of rain which resulted in an amazing indoor evening program of “grab bag” improv storytelling.  We’ll admit, campers had so much fun they got to bed a little late last night. 

We are happy to report that while the rain continues, our spirits have not dampened and camp programming carries on with creativity and zest.

Expect camper photos soon—we had technical difficulties with the blog this week and we really appreciate everyone’s patience as new staff learn the ropes and work out the kinks in our processes. Rest assured that everyone is having a blast!

Fired Up at Field School 2018!

From June 11–13, summer camp staff from Mass Audubon Camps across the state gathered at Wildwood for Field School, a fun, hands-on, 3-day training program designed to kick off the summer and get staff ready for camp.

Camps from every corner of Massachusetts were there, from Pleasant Valley in the Berkshires to Wellfleet Bay on Cape Cod. We even got to see the fine folks from our Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Martha’s Vineyard, who took the ferry to the mainland to make the long trek to Rindge!

Staff learned new skills and brushed up on old ones, from tree identification to group management, and waterfront safety to fire-building. Special training workshops with Mass Audubon Diversity and Inclusion Specialist Lisa Harrison and Education Director Kris Scopinich encouraged folks to dig deeper on topics like welcoming and celebrating diversity at our camps and exploring potential future careers in environmental and conservations fields, respectively.

Each day was jam-packed but also included ample free time for exploring the property and having fun at the waterfront with swimming and paddling. It’s safe to say our staff are pumped up and excited to welcome campers and their families to the 2018 summer camp season!

Here are some photos from Field School to give you a glimpse of all the fun and learning that took place:

Camp Director Becky Gilles leads a workshop

Wildwood Camp Director Becky Gilles leads a workshop on teaching kids birding and nature observation skills.

Two counselors observing a deer antler

Camp counselors learned about natural science and how to bring science to life for campers.

A counselor successfully lighting her first campfire!

A Boston Nature Center Day Camp counselor successfully lighting her first campfire during a workshop on fire-building skills and safety.

Program Coordinator Meredith and JC Director Charlie examine a nest of tiny baby spiders.

There’s so much to discover at Wildwood! Here, Program Coordinator Meredith and Assistant Program Coordinator Charlie examine a nest of tiny baby spiders.

A near-empty pot of fresh popcorn on a camp stove resting on the ground.

Outdoor Cooking was a popular workshop thanks in no small part to the yummy snacks!

Learning to identify Eastern Hemlock by observing its needles.

Learning to identify Eastern Hemlock by observing its needles.

A counselor enjoys some quiet reflection and journaling by Hubbard Pond.

Amid all the excitement, many folks made time for quiet reflection in nature.

Lifeguards practicing safety and rescue techniques at the waterfront.

Lifeguards practicing safety and rescue techniques at the waterfront.

Two counselors enjoying a canoe on Hubbard Pond

Don’t worry, there was plenty of free time for fun, too!

A Letter from Our New Camp Director

Swim Time at Wildwood

Greetings, Wildwood Friends!

It’s truly a pleasure to join the Wildwood family. In my first three whirlwind weeks at Wildwood, I have enjoyed getting to know the staff, taking hikes to explore the property, and learning all the hidden trails and secret spots I never knew about. I think spring might actually arrive in Rindge, but there is still snow in many areas at camp! 

I have also toured every building and have fallen in love with the Fossey Unit Wooden Tents. I am excited to see us expand the wooden tents to the Thoreau Unit next. I am impressed with the great thought that went into designing these innovative structures which connect campers even further to the outdoors.

After more than a decade at Drumlin Farm Day Camp, it feels great to be back at a residential camp and I am looking forward to a summer full of campfires, songs, and getting to know all of the campers that come to Wildwood and their families. I can’t wait to learn Wildwood’s favorite camp traditions and even create new ones with you. The camp team and I are working hard and looking to the future to build an even better Wildwood for everyone who sets foot in this very special place. We’ve got lots of great plans in the works!

I hope to meet many of you on your first day of camp or at one of the events we have planned for this spring at Wildwood here in Rindge, NH or at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA.

Here’s to a great summer! See you at Wildwood!

Sincerely,

Becky Gilles
Wildwood Camp Director

Welcome Becky Gilles, Wildwood’s New Camp Director

We are thrilled to announce that Becky Gilles has been hired as the new Director of Wildwood! Some of you already know Becky from Drumlin Farm, where she has been Camp Director for twelve years. Becky will start at Wildwood on April 9.

Becky Gilles

Becky Gilles, Wildwood’s New Camp Director

While at Drumlin, Becky developed innovative programs that expanded opportunities for children and teens while staying true to the camp’s spirit and mission. When the camp program outgrew its on-site location, Becky built partnerships with local conservation organizations to design and operate two specialty summer camps – Assabet River and Wolbach Farm for children ages four to ten. Becky and her team also developed teen-focused initiatives including stewardship and leadership clubs, birdwatching and 4-H Clubs, and off-site, week-long hiking, backpacking, kayaking and canoeing adventures. To learn more about Becky’s work at Drumlin, see the current camp brochure.

Outside of Mass Audubon, Becky is a leader in the camping world. She has served on board committees at both the New England and National American Camping Associations, is a popular conference presenter, and has served as an ACA Accreditation Standards Visitor. In all this work, she has focused on the confluence of children, camp, and nature.

We received many enthusiastic recommendations for Becky, including an unsolicited one from a Drumlin Farm Camp staff member who said, “It wasn’t until I moved up into administration that I realized how brilliantly Becky works with her staff, adjusting her approach to each individual counselor in order to help them develop as best she can.” Staff members from throughout Mass Audubon spoke highly of Becky’s leadership, thoughtfulness, creativity, and dedication.

“I have never done anything else in the summer since I was 16 years old but work at camp! I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is my passion!”

When we interviewed Becky she told us, “It’s always been my goal to return to the overnight camp world, therefore this unexpected opportunity to apply to Wildwood Camp and potentially stay within the Mass Audubon family at an overnight camp is something I could not let pass by. Getting to know hundreds of families, and building relationships with parents, campers, and staff [at Drumlin] have been truly rewarding experiences.  Sharing the Mass Audubon mission and my love of nature and camp with everyone is honestly priceless. ”

From her initial cover letter to her final interview, Becky impressed the search committee, and we unanimously selected her as the best candidate to lead Wildwood into the future. Please join us in welcoming Becky to Wildwood!