Author Archives: Cheryl

A Day at Wildwood Day Camp

While day camp at Wildwood technically begins at drop-off, every day at camp should always start with plenty of sleep and a good breakfast. While we wait for the last day campers to be dropped off, the counselors and campers apply sunscreen and bug spray, make sure our backpacks have all the essentials, and check-in with how we’re feeling for the day. 

Camp days are busy, so sometimes a chill game of Connect Four is just the ticket
Camp days are busy, so sometimes a chill game of Connect Four is just the ticket

Then, we’ll walk up to the beautiful, woodland Day Camp Headquarters and play a fun morning game—sometimes Camouflage, sometimes Hide & Seek, sometimes fort-building!

Afterwards, it’s time to come together for Nature Groups. Our focus for Nature Groups changes every day: we may learn about birds and bird nests, food webs, erosion, ecosystems, climate change, animal tracks—the list goes on and on! We’ll discuss what we know and what we want to learn more about, and oftentimes we get a chance to go into nature hands-first and come up with our own ideas!

After Nature Groups we’ll often hit the activity field for some fun group games. Sometimes it’s a running game like Fishy Fishy Cross My Ocean or a teamwork game like the Hula Hoop Lift, and sometimes it’s a good, old-fashioned ball game like Gaga. And, on very special days, we’ll head on over to the ropes course or the archery range and work on our skills there!

Once we’re all tired out, it’s time to pick a shady spot outdoors, refill our water bottles, and have some lunch. One of our favorite lunch conversation topics last summer was “Who Would Win?” or “Would You Rather?” 

Ponding for interesting creatures along the shoreline
Ponding for interesting creatures along the shoreline

After lunch, it’s time to get into our swimsuits, reapply sunscreen, and head on over to the waterfront to get fitted into PFDs and hit the water! Campers have fun jumping off the dock and running on the splash pad. Along the shore, campers look for frogs and build sandcastles. On special days, we break out the canoes and kayaks and have some fun out past the buoys.

Then, it’s time for Siesta. We head back to HQ for a snack and some quiet time activities, like drawing and cards. This is also the time campers sign up for their afternoon Discovery Group activities; typically there are three each day to choose from. A few personal favorites are watercolor painting by the creek, kickball, making oobleck, and gardening. 

Finally, at the end of the day, we pack up all of our belongings and wait in the parking lot for pick-up. As we wait, we’ll play some parking lot games like Night at the Museum or Red Light, Green Light. And after the counselors have waved goodbye to the last camper, we do some clean-up and prepare for the next fun-filled day!

Written by Arianna W., a Wildwood Day Camp Counselor

YOU Can Do Hard Things!

If you are reading the Word from Wildwood blog and haven’t attended camp yet, you may be wondering: What are the people at Wildwood like? What is the atmosphere like? Are people as friendly as they seem? To answer your questions, let me tell you my lifeguarding story.

Once upon a summer, I was a new hire at Wildwood—it was my first time as an adult camp counselor! I was very nervous and a little overwhelmed with all the new information coming my way. One evening, our wonderful program coordinator, Cheryl, emailed me about lifeguard training for the counselors. Right away I declined the offer. While I knew I could swim, I didn’t think I could swim nearly as well as the other counselors could. I didn’t want to push myself outside of my comfort zone. And besides, I was a new counselor at camp! Why would I choose to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of strangers?

But Cheryl, keeping with Wildwood’s “Challenge by Choice” philosophy, suggested I come to the waterfront before lifeguard training and test my endurance with a few other counselors. It would be a casual and low-pressure way to test my limits and see what I could really do. 

Now remember, I didn’t think that I was all that strong of a swimmer. When the day finally came, I was embarrassed to get into the water and nervous to meet the other staff members. I thought, “Look at me, an adult acting like a shy young camper!” But immediately I was welcomed. Cheryl helped introduce me to the other counselors and we sang a few silly songs together during our swim test.

And then something wonderful happened. All of us, banding together and cheering each other on, began the endurance swim across Hubbard Pond to First Point. I wasn’t sure how long I would last. But Matthew, an amazing staff member, called out to me, “We’re going to finish this together! We got this!” And I went! And kept going!

I was floored by how well I performed. I had never challenged myself before in this way and didn’t know what I was capable of! Before I knew it, Matthew, myself, and all of the other counselors were finished and pulling ourselves back onto the dock. I came out of the water feeling incredibly powerful—and, on top of that, supported. The counselors all finished the endurance swim with cheers and high fives. It was like magic—all of a sudden, I was part of a team. 

Lifeguards practicing safety and rescue techniques at the waterfront.
Lifeguards practicing safety and rescue techniques at the waterfront.

In the end, I did end up going through with the full lifeguard training. I can proudly say that I am now lifeguard certified (something else I never thought I would be capable of)! I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without the encouragement of Cheryl, the non-judgmental atmosphere of camp, and the rousing support of my fellow counselors.

Wildwood is a place where even the adults can be nervous, make mistakes, and be supported as they try new things. I was challenged and grew at Wildwood! Wouldn’t you like to be, too?

Written By Arianna W., a lifeguard and Day Camp Counselor at Wildwood

Being a Problem Solver

I love problem-solving! As a camp counselor, I feel that some of the most fulfilling and rewarding work I’ve done was when I did my best tackling a big problem. But I’m not alone—I’ve found that campers are some of the best problem solvers I have ever met. 

Once, we had a young camper who became frustrated building a cardboard boat. He had a brilliant plan for how he wanted the boat to be structured—an idea that no one else on the beach had thought up—but the duct tape wasn’t cooperating with him. The camper was so angry he wanted to throw scissors and sand. I sat with him and we discussed how he was feeling.

Once the camper and I started talking, he began to problem solve at lightning speed. He identified that he was hungry, decided that he needed a snack, and headed over to the dining hall, all on his own. At the end of the day, he and I worked together to make the biggest and strongest cardboard boat on the lake—it held the weight of 34 rocks and still didn’t sink.

I’m fond of this story because the camper was willing to step away from the trigger for the emotion and break down what the true causes of his feelings were. After a little encouragement, the camper showed maturity and self-awareness by problem-solving on his own. 

On a different occasion, another camper was also waist-deep in cardboard, trying to create a pair of human-sized wings. It was not an easy task. He waved his work around weakly, unimpressed with himself.

“It won’t work. Nothing I ever make works,” he said. But even as he said these words, I could see the camper’s brain working furiously. He knew the kind of product he wanted—he just had to problem-solve in order to get there.

The camper tried a new tactic, and then another. He experimented with different types of cardboard and different taping techniques. The camper pushed through trial and error until he had a masterpiece: a lifesize pair of cardboard wings that he could attach to his arms and wear like a backpack. He proudly wore it for the rest of the day and later brought it home to show his family.

Even when the camper was seriously doubting his abilities, he didn’t let the scary idea of failure stop him. Instead, he showed deep determination and problem-solved his way into creating something that he could be proud of. 

Campers must cooperate and work together to pass the marble along to the finish line without dropping it
Campers must cooperate and work together to pass the marble along to the finish line without dropping it

What I love about Wildwood is how welcoming and forgiving the community is. It is a place where every mistake can be a learning experience and every problem can be an opportunity to grow.

Everywhere you look at Wildwood, there’s a problem-solver discovering something new or challenging or exciting or different. It is inspiring to see, and brings home the idea that anyone can solve problems, no matter their age, experience, or knowledge. At camp, anyone can be a problem solver—even me, and even you!

~Written by Arianna W. Day Camp Counselor

Two weekends of Wildwood Getaways left!

Fall at Wildwood is absolutely beautiful and we have two more weekends left where you can come and spend some time as a family here at camp.
Friday October 1 – Sunday October 3
Friday October 8 – Monday October 11.

The view across Hubbard Pond in autumn.

You can choose from any of the following lodging options:

  • Bring your own tent: $85/night
  • Yurt / Wooden Tent: $110/night
  • Cabins: $120/night (cabins have electricity)

We will assign one family only to each unit. Each unit has a firepit, wood, sink, toilets, picnic table, trash & recycle cans. Families bring their own bedding, personal items, food, and all cooking/cleaning gear.

The waterfront is open from 10:00 am–noon and 2:00–5:00 pm , starting on Friday at 2:00 and ending on Sunday at 5:00pm and is included in the nightly rate. Waterfront activities include canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding & swimming.

The shower house is a shared space and families can chose to shower at any point over the weekend.

Check in anytime after 1:00 on Friday and leave on Sunday anytime before 6:00pm.

Call the office today and register your spot while you still can. ! 603-899-5589

Learn More and Reserve Your Getaway Today!

Wildwood is uniquely beautiful dressed in fall foliage!

Wildwood Family Fun Days 2021

Wildwood is uniquely beautiful dressed in fall foliage!
Wildwood is uniquely beautiful dressed in fall foliage!

Come and visit Wildwood during the beautiful fall season during Family Fun Days!

The Details

Date: Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17
Time: 11:00 am–4:00 pm—Families can arrive and depart at any time
Sign Up: Registration is required—sign up today!
Cost: $10 per person, children under 5 are free
Stay safe: We will be outside the entire time, however, please bring a face covering for when social distancing cannot occur.

Enjoying lunch on the beach at Hubbard Pond
Enjoying lunch on the beach at Hubbard Pond


Choose from a variety of activities, or just come and relax on the beach!

  • Re-unite with old friends or make new ones
  • Pack up a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the beach at Hubbard Pond
  • The archery range will be open—try for a bullseye!
  • The Gaga pit was a huge hit this summer and we’re sure your kids are dying to teach you how to play
  • Bring a white t-shirt and make a unique tie-dye shirt for you to take home
  • Paddle Hubbard pond by canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard, with a view of nearby Mount Monadnock

We are excited to have you join us and look forward to making more great memories here at Wildwood. Register here for fall family fun in the outdoors!

Family canoeing on Hubbard Pond
Family canoeing on Hubbard Pond
Sunset on Hubbard Pond

Wildwood 2021: Session 1

Sunset on Hubbard Pond

What a fun, exciting session we have had so far here at Wildwood! Our days have started with various optional PBJs (Pre-Breakfast Jaunts), such as an early morning swim and paddle, berry-picking, a bird walk, and even some morning meditation. Those early risers are being kept busy at 7:00 am.

After our delicious breakfasts of scrambled eggs, chocolate chip pancakes, French toast, breakfast potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and cereal, our campers have been growing into amazing scientists. We have spent time learning about different bugs and tiny critters and even went on a dragonfly hunt. Campers have learned how to be good observers of nature. They have discovered new plants and compared them to other things that they might remind them of. Campers have gone out in canoes and studied the ecology of the pond and all of the cool creatures that live in Hubbard Pond.

Basketball DG

Our afternoon Discovery Groups (DGs) have been chock-full of variety. We have been to the archery range, tried stand-up paddleboarding, played board games, played in our brand new GaGa pit, and even tried our hand at some improv games. We’ve been extra crafty as well, made tie-dye shirts, pet rocks, and friendship bracelets.

Gaga game

On Thursday we changed up our afternoon DGs: we split the campers up by age and had an afternoon of adventure! Carson and Leopold campers went to the High Ropes course, made Oobleck, and had a tower-building competition with mini marshmallows and spaghetti.

Fossey and Thoreau campers did archery, an egg drop experiment, and also took part in a Fox Box Regatta. What, might you ask, is that?! We used cardboard boxes and duct tape to make boats and then the campers put on a lifejacket and got in their boat to see how long it would float—it was so cool to watch!

Egg Drop Experiment

Abbey and Dillard campers had an amazing time with two of Mass Audubon’s finest naturalists! Tia Pinney and Alex Dohan came to Wildwood to spend time with our teens. They then took them on a canoe trip across Hubbard Pond and on an amazing hike to First Point.

Our evenings have been filled with even more fun. We played Predator-Prey, had a Heffalump Hunt, and an amazing campfire as well.

Throughout the week we have been having a lot of fun. There has been learning, laughter, and a lot of smiles. It has been wonderful to see campers being able to enjoy nature, try new things and make new friends, and in some cases rekindle friendships from the past. Wildwood is happy to be open for the summer of 2021 and we are off to a great start!

Wildwood staff and campers digging in the garden

Wildwood Volunteer Day 2021

The Wildwood team is getting ready for campers to arrive and we need your help!

Join us on Sunday, May 23 from 9:30 am–3:30 pm to help clean and prep camp. Volunteers of all ages are welcome as we have all kinds of projects that need to get done. Lunch will be provided for our wonderful volunteers and at the end of the day, we will open the waterfront for anyone that wants to boat or swim.

These dedicated campers transplanted wildflowers into our new native flower garden
These dedicated campers transplanted wildflowers into our new native flower garden

Volunteer projects include:

  • Trail maintenance
  • Getting both the vegetable and flower gardens cleaned and planted
  • Sweeping out all of our cabins/yurts/tents
  • Washing tables, chairs, and floors in the dining hall
  • Raking the beach
  • Painting
KP Duty - Everybody helps keep our dining hall clean
KP Duty – Everybody helps keep our dining hall clean

To join us, please register on our website so we have a headcount. We look forward to seeing you on Volunteer Day!

Hermit Thrush © Mark Rosenstein

Join Wildwood’s 2021 Bird-a-thon Team!

This year, celebrate Mass Audubon’s 125th anniversary by joining the Wildwood Bird-a-thon team! There are so many ways that YOU can participate to support Wildwood—and you don’t have to be an experienced birder to join in the fun.

During Bird-a-thon weekend, Friday, May 14–Saturday, May 15, all teams will compete head-to-head in two ways—by earning points from birding and nature activities, AND by birding in strategic sub-groups in an effort to identify the greatest number of bird species in 24 hours. You can take as much or as little time as you like and go outside anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to look for birds—each unique species you identify is worth one point!

Hermit Thrush © Mark Rosenstein
Hermit Thrush © Mark Rosenstein

But you don’t have to be an expert birder to participate! Check back the week of May 10 on the Bird-a-thon page on our website to see the official list of all the different activities you can do to earn points, like completing a nature scavenger hunt, creating bird art, or even picking up litter! You can also download the 2021 Official Species Checklist and read the updated rules and guidelines to learn more.

In addition to participating in birding and other nature activities, you can also donate to and raise funds for the Wildwood Kids-to-Camp Fund, which helps remove barriers for more campers to come and experience the joys of Wildwood. 2020 has been a difficult year for many families, and kids need camp. Please consider donating to or fundraising for the Wildwood team. In 2020, Wildwood raised over $2,000 to send kids to camp—will you help us to exceed that number this year?

Wildwood Winter Getaways

Need a getaway? Want to play in the snow? Join us this winter for a fun family getaway at Wildwood!  We are turning our health center into a winterized lodge for camp families. Wildwood will be all yours to use as your winter playground. During your visit we hope you will enjoy the natural world, relax, and play in beautiful New Hampshire. There will only be one family at Wildwood at a time.

Snowshoe, cross country ski, sled, build a snowman, have a snowball fight—all are fabulous options for your family getaway at Wildwood!

The Health Center has the following amenities available for your family:

  • Sleeps 7
    • Fitted and flat sheets are available
    • Bring your own blankets and pillows
    • One bedroom with a queen bed
    • One bedroom with a single twin bed
    • Two bedrooms with twin bunk beds and adjoining ½ baths
  • 3 Bathrooms, one with a shower
    • Bath towels are provided
  • Full Kitchen
    • Includes a gas stove, full-size refrigerator, coffee pot, coffee grinder, stand mixer, microwave, food processor, tea kettle, tables, and chairs
    • Fully furnished with pots & pans
  • WiFi
  • 32” TV
    • You can plug a laptop in, but bring cords and adapters for Apple products
  • Washer & Dryer

Dates:  Weekends, December 11, 2020 through April 4, 2021


  • $325/family for Friday through Sunday night
    • Families must book both nights
    • Thursday or Sunday night costs an additional $100 (please call to add either or both nights on to your stay)
  • Wildwood is gear available for purchase
    • Please call and we can have purchases available in the health center upon your arrival 
    • Tie-Dye Blanket – $25 (twin size)
    • Blue Blanket – $20 (small lap blanket)
    • Warm Wildwood Socks – $10 (small, medium & large available)

Check-in: Any time after 9:00 am on Friday

Check-out: By 5:00 pm on Sunday