One of the most magical things about camp is how a few creative ideas and a can-do spirit can turn a rainy day into the best day ever. A little rain certainly didn’t stop us this week: we created musical instruments out of vegetables and fruit, did the limbo, and a few brave souls even went for a paddle once the threat of thunder had passed. When things dried out a bit, it was right back to fun and games with archery, ropes course challenges, tie-dying, and a heffalump hunt.
Session 3 is off and running and we are BUSY with swimming, kayaking, making friendship bracelets, playing tag, building gnome homes in the forest, and making lots of new friends. Check out the highlights below and see the full slideshow on SmugMug.
This week has flown by so fast, it’s hard to believe this is our last update of Session 2! We had a visit from a couple of animal ambassadors from Drumlin Farm (a Blue Jay and a Diamondback Terrapin turtle!), played Knockout on the basketball court, folded origami animals, transplanted native wildflowers, hit the slip-and-slide to beat the heat, tried our hands at outdoor cooking, and enjoyed (from a respectful distance) a nest of baby robins and one as-yet unhatched egg on the windowsill of one of our buildings.
Session two is here and we’re kicking things off with lots of swimming, wilderness shelter building, friendship bracelets, Freeze Tag, archery, and more. And in between all the activity, we’re still making time to just chill and relax and reflect in nature.
It’s hard to believe the first week of camp is almost over already! We swam, paddled, made nature puppets, played soccer and volleyball, learned about pond ecology by canoe, and so much more! We could try to tell you all about it, but you’d be much better off hearing about it from one of these happy campers. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from the second half of session one! See a few highlights below and view the full album on SmugMug.
Summer is finally, fully underway at Wildwood! Sunday was opening day for the first session of overnight camp and we are already having a blast! Here are a few highlights from opening day and Monday/Tuesday. Check out the full album for more!
These families know how to kick off the summer right! Wildwood welcomed the first session of the season on Wednesday with a terrific group of families arriving to spend four days with us, enjoying the beautiful property and celebrating the advent of summer.
Here are few highlights from the first day of Family Camp Session 1.
That’s a wrap! Today was the third and final day of Field School—an annual gathering of all the Mass Audubon Camps staff from across the state where we learn, connect, and enjoy the beauty of Wildwood. The week was filled with silly songs, sunshine, campfires, s’mores, skits, laughter, and learning. It seemed like everyone had a blast!
Here are a few highlights from Field School this year. You can check out the full slideshow here. Now it’s on to final preparations for Opening Day of summer camp! FINALLY!
DG stands for Discovery Groups. Each day after breakfast, counselors describe the DG activities they are running that day—everything from activities on the water and field games to nature walks and arts and crafts—and campers get to choose two activities for that afternoon. DGs change every day and we often try out new ones; our staff get just as excited to dream up and run them as our campers do to pick them!
Some examples of popular DGs include:
Feed Your Face (creating spa treatments from common kitchen ingredients)
Quidditch on the activity field
Sailing on Hubbard Pond
Zip-lining on our High Ropes Challenge Course
Folding Origami at the Arts & Crafts building
Building “Gnome Homes” in the forest
Herp Hunting (looking for frogs, snakes, and salamanders) in wetland habitats
What DG are you most looking forward to this summer?
This February, Wildwood partnered with Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary and Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary to offer our first-ever vacation week Teen Adventure Trip! We spent an amazing week together exploring winter destinations throughout New Hampshire.
The trip started off Sunday afternoon in Belmont with some
quick get-to-know-you games in the nature center at Habitat. We then moved to
Wildwood in Rindge, New Hampshire, and settled into our home base for the next
three nights: camping out in a Yurt!
Monday morning brought us an almost bird-free bird walk but
Paul and Lucy from Habitat were still able to teach us much about the nature of
Wildwood and Annett State Forest. One highlight of the day was learning about
ice travel and crossing a frozen pond to access normally hard-to-reach sections
of the state forest. One teen trekker described the experience of crossing a
frozen pond as “surreal” and later called it a highlight of the entire trip.
Tuesday was widely considered a top highlight of the trip as we learned the basics of winter mountaineering with EMS Climbing School during a summit of Mount Monadnock. Everyone had a blast learning the basics of self-arrest and the use of ice axes and trekking poles to help move up steep rock and ice. Despite temps below zero and some stiff winds, we enjoyed lots of sunshine and everyone successfully summited.
Wednesday brought us to AMC’s Cardigan Reservation on the
southern edge of the White Mountains. After showers (hallelujah!), a good
night’s sleep, and a hot meal prepared by the amazing staff at the lodge, we
geared up and headed out for two days and nights of putting our new winter
skills to the test with some backpacking.
Thursday afternoon found us traversing the exposed ridge
that makes up Firescrew Mountain and Mount Cardigan—a moment many were still
talking about at the end of the week. We again faced stiff winds with gusts
well above 50 mph and temps below zero, this time without much sunshine to aid
Much of our time on the ridge was spent on snowshoes as we
crossed deep snow or occasionally solid ice. Most of the ridge, including the
sparse trees, was covered in rime ice, which occurs when fog, harsh winds, and
extremely low temperatures combine to coat most surfaces with a layer of solid
ice. Despite the harsh conditions needed for the formation of rime ice, it’s a
fascinating and beautiful natural phenomenon. A cozy night at AMC’s High
Cabin—a shelter just below the tree-line on Mount Cardigan—was a fitting
ending to a challenging day.
High Cabin was a hit! Not only was there a wood-burning
stove to keep the temperature up, there was a Boogie Bass (singing fish) someone
had hung above the door to serenade us with Bobby McFerrin. The cabin also
provided a sheltered spot for everyone to learn some new card games.
Friday morning we were up before the sun for a short hike
out to PJ Ledge to watch the sunrise, for which Mount Cardigan is famous. A
mellow hike through beautiful hemlock groves brought us off the mountain and to
the final test of our winter camping skills, a night spent outdoors with tents,
tarps, and no buildings in sight.
A short hike Saturday morning took us back to our van. On
the way back to Belmont, we stopped for some hot chocolate and reflections, a great
chance for everyone to share their highs, lows, and what they’d learned. The
trip culminated with a walk around Habitat and some final reflections on how building
outdoor skills and adventures like Winter in the Whites connect us to nature
and equip us to explore more of the stunning nature available to us here in New