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2017 Youth Programs

This year the Friends of the Fells is pleased to announce new Spring programming, including an April school vacation week pilot.  The Friends continues to provide nature-based learning opportunities for children aged 4-10 years throughout Summer and Fall.  For more information about our programming for ages 4-5, please visit our dedicated Forest Kindergarten website.

Note: If you join the Friends of the Fells at friendsofthefells.org/join/, we will gladly send you a $25 coupon code (valid one per child) as a courtesy of membership — just email friends@fells.org.

2017 registration available at: friendsofthefells.org/fells-forest-programs/.


NEW – expanded age groups!

Starting March 13th, the Friends of the Fells will expand on its original forest programming for new age groups — each geared at developing a sense of environmental stewardship and leadership.  Registration will be available on this website the first week of February.

During the school year, youth programs will be offered for older forest learners weekdays after school, once a week for sessions ranging up to 5 weeks long.  In Summer sessions will run Monday-Friday and offer a choice of morning or afternoon slots.

Spring class sessions will be capped at six (6) children per day and will be canceled during weeks if fewer than four (4) children are enrolled. Sessions for summer will be capped at ten (10) children per day and canceled with fewer than four (4).  Two (2) instructors will be present at all times.

The total cost for each session is $150, although the price will be reduced for any classes that fall on a holiday. However, we offer limited financial assistance to those in need, and invite those who wish to inquire about this option to contact Ann Frenning Kossuth, our Youth Programs Director.  Also, all Friends of the Fells (“FoF”) members have the opportunity to receive a $25 discount (via a special coupon code) in advance. To verify your FoF membership is current, login here. Contact our Youth Programs Director for your special coupon after verifying your membership.  The non-transferrable coupon code will also be mailed out in our Fells member newsletter.

All instructors for our Youth Programs will be CPR/First Aid certified and will have passed a CORI background check. Weekday youth programs will depart from the historic Botume House, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham.  Additional programming may take place at Greenwood Park on Pond Street in Stoneham, as needed.

Please respect our age ranges, please know that we can no longer issue refunds but will give you credit for other programs, and work with us to let us know about your child’s needs.  Thank you.

Parent/caregiver + instructor info. page – includes required combined waiver for web – 2017


Babes in the Woods & Hike ’n’ Seek Scavenger Hunts

Since 1999, Babes in the Woods is the Friends of the Fells’ popular weekday family hiking program. Caregivers and babies are welcome on these fun guided hikes through the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Babes in the Woods is an adult-paced hike designed for parents who carry their children. These hikes are not recommended for young children who walk.

Created with the graduates of our Babes in the Woods program in mind, the Hike ’n’ Seek outings are geared towards toddlers and kids. Families enjoy nature-themed scavenger hunts that give young children the chance to explore independently, while building knowledge and appreciation for the outdoors.

For both these programs, we recommend that you bring along snacks and drinks, and make sure to dress for the weather—depending on the season, some trails may be muddy or icy in spots. Please note that hikes are not accessible for strollers. No dogs, please. Our walks are cancelled only if it is raining or snowing.

The format is drop-in; there is no pre-registration or fee, though we hope you will consider supporting the Friends by becoming a member! We do ask that you print and fill out our short liability waiver form, which can be given to the hike leader when you arrive for your first hike. Our Events Calendar includes all Babes in the Woods hikes, and meeting times and locations are included in the calendar entry for each hike.

Babes in the Woods is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Middlesex Fells, Medford Family Network, the North Suburban Family Network, the Malden/Everett Family Network, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Like Babes in the Woods on Facebook to keep up with our most current updates.


School Programs

Friends of the Fells collaborates with teachers and administrators to develop educational programming in the Fells. We offer professional development opportunities for teachers who wish to learn more about how to incorporate nature-based experiential learning into their curriculum. We also work with educators to design programs that provide students with opportunities to engage in unique “hands-on” learning in the Fells, in subjects ranging from the arts and sciences, to physical education. Activities can range from single events, to regular weekly outings into the Fells, depending upon the needs and resources available. If you are an educator or parent who would like to learn more about how to incorporate nature-based learning into your school’s curriculum, please contact our Youth Program Director, Ann Frenning Kossuth.