Author Archives: Staff

Bird-a-thon at Wildwood: An Interview with Camp Director Welch Narron


Twenty-four hours of birding. Sounds like a monumental challenge, right?

Yet every year hundreds of people take part in Bird-a-thon, a 24-hour fundraiser for Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries and programs. Participants spot hundreds of different varieties of birds, from black-capped chickadees to bald eagles and everything in between. (Many of them don’t even sleep!) The competition is fierce, but most of all, fun.

This year’s Bird-a-thon will take place on May 13 and 14, and we here at Wildwood are getting involved in a special way! In addition to having fun programming for all ages (think: nature crafts, bird walks, and owl prowls), we’re also providing overnight accommodations, complete with campfire and s’mores. Whether you’re a birder or just want to check it out, we have activities for everyone!

We chatted with Camp Director Welch Narron, who told us what makes birding in Rindge so special.

What’s your favorite thing about birding at Wildwood?

There are a great number of bird species here pretty consistently, which makes Wildwood a great place to learn how to identify birds by sight and sound. Black-throated green warblers, black-and-white warblers, and yellow-rumped warblers stay throughout the summer and are often heard singing in the morning. A beginner birder can take a walk at Wildwood and end up with a solid understanding of how to identify various songs and calls.

What’s a special birding moment you’ve had at Wildwood?

Every time a great blue heron flies across the pond, almost all of the campers and staff turn around and yell “G-B-H!!!” It’s cool to see people, who don’t necessarily do a lot of birding at home, come to Wildwood and gain an appreciation for what they see and hear outdoors. A love for birding and nature in general often comes from moments like these, and that sparks a real passion.

What will families get out of a Bird-a-thon experience at Wildwood?

Bird-a-Thon at Wildwood will give families the opportunity to get close to nature with other outdoor enthusiasts in the Monadnock region. Birding will certainly be the highlight as we explore our 160 acres on Hubbard Pond in search of eagles, warblers, and spring migrators. It’s a great opportunity to practice birding at any skill level! Even more lasting will be the experience of learning and discovering nature alongside neighbors, classmates, and campers.

Interested in participating in Bird-a-thon at Wildwood this year? Visit our fundraising page or register for activities and the overnight camping experience here.

Words from a Wildwood Counselor

Our counselors are an essential part of the Wildwood camp experience. On any given day, you’ll likely see staff leading campers in song, keeping a watchful eye on swimmers in Hubbard Pond, and performing wacky skits around the campfire.


What makes the counselor’s role so special is that for the one or two weeks a camper is here, he or she acts as caretaker, teacher, role model, and—perhaps most importantly—a friend.

We chatted with Ian, who has worked as a Wildwood counselor for four years, and asked him to tell us about his experience. Originally from Amherst, MA, Ian was a Wildwood camper before he became a counselor.

What’s your favorite thing about being a counselor at Wildwood?

It amazes me every year that at the end of one or two weeks, campers leave wanting to stay in touch with kids they’ve just met and have managed to form a strong connection with. I strongly believe that we are strengthened by our communities, and at Wildwood, the campers and counselors mirror each other in the joy they find by waking up in the environment alongside each other.

Tell us more about that sense of connection and community at Wildwood.

The connection Wildwood campers feel comes through in the amount of campers I see return year after year, growing and finding new value in their camp community each summer. As a staff member, the community is there, too! Spending 11 weeks in the woods with 30 other counselors might sound crazy, but every year the staff never fails to be a loving, supportive system dedicated to creating an unforgettable summer for the campers.

What’s one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a counselor?

At Wildwood, the counselors are given the opportunity to create the programs they want to lead, as well as taking ownership over existing programs and bringing their own spin or expertise to them. Working well with other counselors, planning experiential and informative programming, and generating real enthusiasm calls upon the use of a lot of skills. I’m pleased to say that it gets done very successfully and consistently with myself and other counselors!