Category Archives: EcoKids

Five Reasons Kids Love Our Camps

At Mass Audubon camps, we celebrate the long, warm days of summer by exploring our natural surroundings, from the wooded hillsides of Lenox to the sandy beaches of Wellfleet Bay. Year after year, families tell us how happy they are to have found us because of the people they meet, the places they go, and the things they do together.

Here we share the top five reasons kids (and parents) love Mass Audubon Camps.

Our Staff

Enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable—these are just a few of the words used to describe our counselors. Many are environmental educators, and some have grown up with our camps. Others are students from farther afield, with a worldliness and sense of adventure that inspires campers to become informed, thoughtful stewards of nature. No matter their life pursuits, they all share a common goal of creating fun, meaningful outdoor experiences for kids.


Playing Outside

“Discover, explore, be outside” is the mantra of camp since nature investigation forms the basis for many activities. Campers enjoy fresh air and space for their active bodies and leave camp filled with new knowledge about their surroundings. Life science lessons abound, and young learners are encouraged to ask questions and reconcile seemingly disparate facts about the ecosystems they visit.

Wildlife Encounters

Whether encountering a gray squirrel, watching a tiger swallowtail, or spotting a red-tailed hawk, campers brim with excitement when they observe animals up close. As campers begin to understand the creatures around them, they build a sense of place and belonging, helping them to see how they fit into the web of life.



Hands-on Activities

Experiential learning is central to all activities because it connects campers directly to what they’re studying (also, it’s fun!). Campers are free to get dirty while they learn about a range of subjects, from wilderness survival to plant identification. Moreover, they have opportunities to explore their interests and build confidence through new endeavors. By incorporating practical lessons, such as how to use a field guide or build a campfire, campers are able to become independent students of nature and continue learning on their own.

Other Campers

Last, but certainly not least, friendships are an important part of any summer camp. Our campers meet children from different backgrounds and build relationships based on mutual respect and empathy. They are able to find companions who share their interests and participate in group activities that require teamwork, strengthening interpersonal skills and making memories to last a lifetime.



Guest Post (and previously printed in Connections) by Adrienne Lennon, Camp Director & Teacher-Naturalist at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport.



Summer Camp 2014 Highlights

Before we say an official goodbye to summer 2014, here’s a look back at some highlights from our camps across the state—and beyond!

New Programs

Many camps offered new programs that brought campers closer to nature in exciting ways.

Stony Brook trip camp

  • Stony Brook Nature Day Camp in Norfolk offered its first Adventure Camp for teens, which travelled to Douglas State Forest, Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, The Bog and Poutwater Pond & Barre Falls Dam, Quabbin Reservoir, a fish hatchery, and Mt. Watatic allover the course of one week.
  • An enthusiastic group of high schoolers launched the first digital Environmental Education Project, known as DEEP, at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Merging the technical world with the natural world, campers became virtual land planners, set up wildlife cameras on Boyce Field, and even programmed a mobile adventure game that was tested (and approved!) by younger Drumlin Farm campers!
  • Wildwood offered a new and well-loved Discovery Group activity called “Spider Army,” during which overnight campers searched for and identified insects and arachnids to aid “mad scientist” counselors in inevitable world domination.

Science Exploration

Don’t tell the campers, but science learning is at the heart of all of our programs!

  • Middle-schoolers at the North River Nature Camp in Marshfield built their own microscopes and plankton nets, and used them to explore ”invisible” ocean critters.
  • Wilderness campers at Wachusett Meadow Day Camp in Princeton harvested tall grass and wove it into a 25 foot rope. They tested the strength of their rope with a few rounds of tug-of-war and also discovered that, when used as a swing, it could hold two teenagers!

Wildlife Sightings

Campers discovered all kinds of wildlife wonders during their nature explorations.

Moose Hill bone ID

  • On a field trip to Cape Cod’s South Beach, Wellfleet Bay Natural History Camp-goers found horseshoe crabs, live quahogs, razor clams, shorebirds, and seals. They loved the experience of being on an “island” and feeling as though they were discovering uncharted territory.
  • Moose Hill campers in Sharon discovered a mammal skeleton during a walk through the woods. Using their natural history science knowledge and some team work, they determined it belonged to a raccoon.

Service Projects

Many of our summer programs incorporate stewardship projects to demonstrate to campers that they are capable of making substantial improvements for our environment.

  • Camper Care Crews at Moose Hill Camp kept the sanctuary up to snuff by turning the compost pile, filling the bird feeders, and weeding the garden.
  • Campers at Broad Meadow Brook Summer Day Camp in Worcester came up with a way to give back with a favorite camp activity—making friendship bracelets! Some campers donated their bracelets to the gift shop, where they are sold for $1−$2 each to support the sanctuary’s Camp Scholarship Fund. So far the bracelets have raised $38 to help future campers!

Art and Nature—the Perfect Combination

Arts and crafts are a favorite activity of any summer camp, and ours are no exception.

MABA dana_instruction_group_ceramics

  • Arcadia Nature Day Camp in Easthampton and Northampton offered a new Nature Photography program, bringing nature together with art to celebrate the beauty of the natural world.
  • Wild at Art campers at the Museum of American Bird Art loved having the chance to work with professional artist and instructor Dana Schildkraut during pottery and clay weeks. Dana helped them experiment with nature treasures to create textures and patterns on their sculptures.

While every camp had unique adventures this summer, they all agree that everyday had campers feeling like this:

Today is the best day ever

It’s never too early to start planning for next summer. Check out all 17 day camps and our overnight camp at Wildwood online, and look out for camp registration starting early January!