Fells Forest Camp

Thank you for a great summer! We look forward to seeing you next year!

Fun and nature exploration abound

Our camp engages children in self-guided explorations of the forest, helping to develop their curiosity, critical thinking, and sense of connection with nature. Dedicated camp staff provide positive and enriching learning opportunities for children through unstructured time-in-nature, opportunistic nature interpretation, and by encouraging self-directed learning and exploration.

The beauty of the Fells Forest Camp is that there is no deeply set schedule. Each day’s activities are guided by the kids’ interests and staff use teachable moments to build a deeper understanding of the forest and what the campers are experiencing.

Our Summer 2022 camp weekly sessions began Monday, June 27 for children aged 4-12. Registration for the 2023 season will open in March of 2023.

For younger children, see our free Babes in the Woods and Hike ‘n’ Seek programs.

We prepared for a safe and rewarding camp experience

The health and welfare of our campers and staff are our highest priority. We built on our experience throughout the pandemic in preparations for camp in 2022. This summer we successfully navigated COVID and remained a healthy camp community throughout the camp season. Camp continues to comply with all guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. We will continue to provide any updated COVID-related policies and procedures in the spring.

View session details

The Friends of the Fells offers camp sessions in three age groups:

Registration for the 2023 season will open in March of 2023. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.

Medford High School

489 Winthrop St., Medford

— AM Session (9-11:30 AM)

— PM Session (12:30-3 PM)

Our youngest campers enjoy nature exploration activities under the careful eye of counselors with experience in early childhood education. Activities are focused on engaging your child’s innate sense of wonder and curiosity of the natural world. An emphasis on kindness to the natural world and cooperation with peers instills a nature ethic and builds a foundation of positive experiences in nature.

NOTE: Forest Kindergarten is only available in half-day sessions. There is no all-day session offered because it can be too taxing for children of this age to be outdoors that long. We want their first experience in nature to be positive!

Registration for the 2023 season will open in March of 2023. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.

Medford High School
489 Winthrop St., Medford

— AM Session (9-11:30 AM)

— PM Session (12:30-3 PM)

— All-Day (9AM to 4PM)

Campers range a bit further into the woods in their explorations with naturalist guides who help open their eyes to the unique habitats, trees, animals, rocks, and other natural features of the woods. Children are given opportunities to exercise their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Explorers also experience collaborative decision-making and are introduced to topics of stewardship and nature protection.

Registration for the 2023 season will open in March of 2023. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.

Medford High School
489 Winthrop St., Medford

— AM Session (9-11:30 AM)

— PM Session (12:30-3 PM)

— All-Day (9AM to 4PM)

Our oldest cohort of campers, Forest Adventurers foray even deeper into the forest, with longer hikes that emphasize self-sufficiency, healthy risk assessment, and plenty of outdoor science learning and inquiry. Collaboration skills are explored, and ecological literacy, conservation ethics, and natural stewardship concepts are introduced.

2022 Rates

Half-Day (AM or PM)$200
Full-Day (9 AM to 4 PM)$450
Half-Day (Wk. 2; 4 camp days)$160
Full-Day (Wk. 2; 4 camp days)$360

Rates are subject to change in the new year. Questions? Contact us at forestcamp@fells.org.

Before you register

Fells Forest Camp requires an updated certificate of immunization and health record in order for your child to participate in camp. More details will be provided when registration opens.

Please also indicate any ongoing health issues in the fields provided on our online registration form (when it opens in early 2023) and contact us if you have any specific concerns you would like to discuss in detail so we can best serve your child’s needs.

Special Requests

We strongly discourage parents from requesting exceptions to our age range cutoffs, session schedules, or other policies. However, our camp management team will consider special requests on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us before registration to discuss your requests. Requests for children to be paired in the same session as a friend/sibling must come from both parents/guardians, and are subject to available session space, logistical and programmatic concerns, and certain age restrictions. All scheduling requests must be made in writing to ensure consideration. We are unable to provide extended childcare before 9 AM or after 4 PM at this time.

Policy Requests

At any time, parents may contact us to request copies of of our background check, health care, and discipline/behavior policies as well as procedures for filing grievances.

 

Fells Forest Camp Community Values

 

  1. We behave in ways that are respectful and safe for all campers and staff. Behaving in ways that are disrespectful or that could potentially harm (physically or emotionally) a camper or staff member, is unacceptable in the Fells Forest Camp community.

  2. We share and take turns so every camper can participate in an activity and have the opportunity to explore any of the natural treasures that may be found in the Fells.

  3. We communicate, collaborate, and share our ideas. This includes all of our opinions and ideas as we plan activities and spend time together as a group. Exclusionary behavior is not encouraged at camp.

  4. We respect all wildlife. Finding animals in the Fells is so exciting! When we see any kind of animal, whether a mammal, insect, or reptile, we can look at it with our eyes to admire and learn from, but we will keep it on the ground (hands off) so we don’t cause it stress or harm.

  5. We keep flowers in the ground. We can smell them and examine them, but we must leave them for the pollinators to find, so please, no picking!

  6. We share our outdoor spaces. The Fells is “The People’s Forest,” and our camp activities share space with hikers, bikers, explorers, and other youth groups. We are considerate of other Fells visitors and allow them to enjoy the Fells alongside us!

Refunds, Transfers, and Cancellations

These policies will be provided in advance of registration opening in 2023. Please reach out if you have any questions in the meantime.

The Middlesex Fells is managed by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Our forest camp programming is conducted under their purview, and therefore any aspect of our camp activities in the Fells may be altered at their request. If a camp session must be cancelled due to a state order, we will contact you to explore rescheduling options.