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Summer Camp 2023

About our Camp

Sassafras offers an outdoor curriculum that focuses on ancestral skills to help youth develop through real-life experiences. Our program teaches youth about indigenous and natural history, local island environments, and the importance of living in harmony with the earth and each other.


We place a strong emphasis on social justice and provide a safe space for youth to hear the truth and express themselves, fostering an equitable community. We prioritize an unplugged environment, recognizing the benefits of a screen-free space for the holistic development of young people.

Our mentoring approach is based on traditional indigenous practices. We encourage youth to challenge themselves and expand their comfort zones, developing their awareness and honing their senses. Youth works together in small groups based on age, and we also foster community across age groups. We prioritize having fun and following individual passions, as it helps youth to be comfortable in nature and with themselves.

Our daily activities include earth-centered games and tasks such as exploring woods and streams, building campsites, making fires, forts, and fairy houses, moving through the forest like wild animals, listening for bird language, carving and crafting, identifying plants and wild edibles, and playing our all-time favorite game “JTC.” On hot days, we often spend time at the water’s edge. We start and end every day in circles that include land acknowledgments, gratitude, conversation, stories, and music.

  • Six weeks in July and August 2023

  • Mondays through Fridays from 9 am –3 pm.

  • Weekly themes vary 

  • Camp is for youth entering first grade (this fall) and up.

  • Teen Weeks are for youth ages 12 and up.

  • Weekly Beach day is on Wednesdays and we walk to the beach

  • All registration, waiver, and payment requirements must be completed online during the registration process.
  • To complete registration for Summer Camp, you must submit 1) a registration form, 2) immunization records, and 3) payment.
  • Only camp participants, staff, and volunteers are permitted on the property during the day.
  • TUITION: Payment in full is required at the time of registration unless you select either of the following options:
  • PAYMENT PLAN: We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in our program, regardless of their financial situation. We offer a payment plan option on the registration form, which allows you to spread your payments. To secure your spot in the program, the first payment is due at registration.
  • FINANCIAL AID: If you need financial assistance, please let us know by indicating this on the registration form. To secure your spot in the program, a deposit of $50 is required at the time of registration. We will then reach out to you to discuss payment options.
  • REPAIR FUND: intended to provide up to 100% tuition coverage for Wôpanâak/First Nations participants and BIPOC families/households who opt-in. Qualifying households can indicate this on the registration form. If you identify as BIPOC, please make sure to note this on the form. Payment at registration is optional
All participants receiving financial aid must attend at least 80% of the program. Failure to pay, late payment, and lack of communication may result in losing your spot.


If a camp reaches capacity, you can join our waitlist here, more spots may be added in spring.


For Summer Camp registration, please read the guidelines, scroll down and answer the BIPOC yes/no question, to continue to weekly dates, themes and registration buttons. 

Sassafras is an Indigenous Wôpanâak organization located on Noepe (Martha's Vineyard) that follows traditional indigenous practices. We have limited camp and group sizes, and set aside a certain number of spots for Wôpanâak/First Nations/BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) to ensure their participation. In order to determine eligibility for these reserved spots, we ask about your family/household's BIPOC identity. Your answer to this question helps us allocate these spots to families/households who identify as BIPOC, and ensure that Wôpanâak/First Nations/BIPOC youth have equal opportunities to participate in our programs.

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