Yesterday’s Beach Party was such a blast! DJ Cheryl was dropping the hottest summertime jams all afternoon and leading the ensuing dance parties while campers swam, paddling, played volleyball and badminton on the beach, went ponding for lake creatures, and played table games on the shore.
One camper was a little reluctant to take the big jump into the water, so she asked Cheryl for some support: “I’ll jump in if you do it with me!” Sometimes all you need is a little help from your friends 🙂
And the surprise hit of the session has been—believe it or not—Rock-Paper-Scissors on the dock! The “loser” has to jump into the water, a welcome consolation prize on a hot summer day!
The first week of session 3 has been great—the weather continues to improve and we have been enjoying every moment of it.
We’ve learned about the ecology of Hubbard Pond by kayak and along the shoreline with our dipnets. We’ve done tons of swimming and paddling around the pond, and played LOTS of Gaga. We’ve tackled all kinds of challenges at the ropes course, facing our fears and pushing our comfort zones. And we’ve made Oobleck, animal masks, and reverse tie-dye in arts and crafts. Be sure to check out the photos of Carson Unit doing a “big reveal” of their amazing tie-dye works of art from earlier in the week!
The second week of Session 2 has been a little rainy, but we have a great time no matter what the weather is doing at Wildwood. This week we made “tape resist art” at the Arts & Crafts pavilion, took the plunge on the zipline, played LOTS of Gaga Ball in the new Gaga pit, sharpened our archery skills, and so much more.
What a fantastic week we’ve had for the start of session 2! We took advantage of the good weather earlier in the week to spend lots of time on, in, and around the water, exploring the ecology of Hubbard Pond and making a big splash in the Fun Zone.
Some campers made bird nests out of natural materials during a “Things With Wings” Nature Group (NG) led by the amazing Alex Dohan from Mass Audubon’s Education team, while others made wall art with sticks and string at the Arts & Crafts building during Discovery Groups (DGs).
And a few brave campers even took on the Burma Bridge at the Ropes Course during afternoon DGs! Below are a few highlights, but you can see more of all the fun we’ve been having in the full slideshow here.
We’ll be saying a bittersweet goodbye to the one-week campers this weekend and looking forward to even more fun with the two-week campers next week!
The rain may have driven us inside the last couple of days, but that just means we get to play lots of board games and Magic cards, act out funny skits and improv games, and make lots of friendship bracelets.
And we’re still riding high from Wednesday’s big excitement: Zip Line! It’s always so fun to see campers challenge themselves, flex their bravery muscles, and take that big leap off the platform. It’s not uncommon to see faces change from apprehension and even a little fear to big smiles, exhilaration, and pride.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Volunteer projects include:
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
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!
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?
As registrations are rolling in, we are busy excitedly prepping for summer 2021—including hiring new staff! We are happy to welcome Collin & Stephanie Tourgee and their adorable daughter Eva to our Wildwood Family. Collin and Stephanie are our new caretakers and live onsite year-round, keeping a watchful eye on the property.
Collin grew up in nearby Sharon, NH, and Stephanie in Greenfield, NH. They were high school sweethearts! Collin spent his younger years going to camp just down the road from Wildwood at Camp Takodah and is currently working in construction. Stephanie has a background in customer service, loves to cook and bake, and is now busy as a stay-at-home mom.
They both love everything about living in rural New Hampshire and are truly enjoying the quiet life at Wildwood. Stephanie and Eva have been exploring the trails and discovering lots of animal tracks, scat, and other wildlife sign. Winter is their favorite season as they are avid skiers and snowboarders. Collin even built a snow tunnel and slide for Eva to enjoy in the backyard.
Welcome to the Wildwood family, Tourgees! It’s going to be a great summer!