Summer Camps for Kids who Love Nature - 18 Mass Audubon Day Camps + 1 Overnight Camp
My kids taught me everything there is to know about frogs, fiddler crabs, horseshoe crabs, tidal pools, the marshes, and shorebirds. And they learned everything there is to know about these important things at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Natural History Day Camp. For three years, they happily spent hot summer days mucking in the marshes, digging at the sandy shore, and skimming bugs from a fresh water pond - and loved every minute of it.
Mass Audubon has 18 day camps across the state, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands. The organization has been running summer camps for over 60 years, and if our experience in Wellfleet is any indication, the quality of its programs is hard to beat.
Mass Audubon day camps can start at as young as age 4, and can go through high school, depending on the location. Many of the day camps offer extended day options with early drop off and late pick-up. Registration is currently open for all the summer camps, but sessions do tend to fill up quickly.
Campers spend the majority of their time outdoors, connecting with and exploring nature alongside like-minded friends and counselors. Each camp has a unique focus designed to take fullest advantage of its location. Campers learn about the natural history elements of the particular sanctuary - from hawks and owls and falcons in Boston and forest animals in Milton, to meadows and wetlands in Ipswich, and the beach habitat in Marshfield and on the Vineyard.
All of Mass Audubon’s camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited with the exception of Joppa Flats and in Lawrence. (These camps are new and are still undergoing the accreditation process.) An ACA accreditation is a great thing for parents to look for when choosing a camp, as accredited camps adhere to stringent guidelines designed to ensure safe, enriching programs for kids. Check out this article for more information about what the accreditation means.
Mass Audubon has 12 camps in the greater Boston area:
- Blue Hills in Milton
- Boston Nature Center in Mattapan
- Broadmoor in Natick
- Drumlin Farm in Lincoln
- Habitat in Belmont
- Visual Arts Center in Canton
- Ipswich River in Topsfield, Essex & Marblehead
- Joppa Flats in Newburyport
- Lawrence in Lawrence
- Moose Hill in Sharon
- North River - South Shore in Marshfield
- Stony Brook in Norfolk
And if your family is planning a trip to the Berkshires or Cape and Islands, a week or two at an Audubon camp at your vacation destination is definitely an option. Camps that are farther afield include:
- Pleasant Valley in Lenox
- Arcadia in Easthampton
- Wachusett Meadow in Princeton
- Broad Meadow in Worcester
- Felix Neck in Vineyard Haven
- Wellfleet Bay in Wellfleet
Mass Audubon also has an overnight camp, Wildwood, which is in Rindge, NH and is for ages 9-14. Wildwood also offers Teen Adventure Trips and a Leaders-in-Training program. And it’s not only kids who can have all the fun at camp. Wildwood offers a family camp option for everyone from toddlers to grandparents.