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Sassafras Earth Education

5 Church Street

Aquinnah, MA 02535

508 645 2008

© 2018 by Sassafras Earth Education - design: www.jessbhall.com

SUMMER CAMP

OVERVIEW

 
 
 
 
 
Summer Camp Curriculum:
Naturalist, Earth & Survival Skills

Our outdoor curriculum of naturalist, earth and survival skills, helps youth develop tangible outdoor skills, through authentic life lessons. In small age groups kids learn about the local island environment, the natural history, and about the original people of Noepe and their deep connection with the land. Working together, having fun, and expressing our individual gifts are important components of Sassafras that help youth to be comfortable in the woods, with themselves and to consider others.

Our approach is called Nature Connection Mentoring, it offers children bite size edges to expand their comfort zone, increase their awareness of our natural surroundings, and to hone all the senses. Sassafras is an unplugged environment by choice, we believe that providing a screen free space is important for the development of wholesome young people. 

Days are filled with nature-based games and activities that kids love to do: exploring woods and streams, build our own campsites, making fires, building forts and fairy houses, move through the forest like wild animals, listen for bird language, whittle and craft, ID plants and our favorite edibles, and our all time favorite “JTC”. During hot days we often spend a day at the water’s edge. We start every day with gratitude and we end by sharing stories and singing nature songs.

All weeks are equally suitable for new kids and for returnees as we mentor in small groups, and many youth enjoy signing up for multiple weeks each summer. Each week we deepen a theme, however in our small setting there is always room for play and to come up with fun ideas and creative expression. Some weeks have an overnight option on Thursday night, a great opportunity to test kids abilities and to take on responsibility. We also offer two weeks with a water theme, deepening many aspects of island and marine life, and to make the most of our island summers.

At the end of each week, we invite parents to join us for our closing circle at camp. Staff and youth share highlights of the week, and we appreciate all involved in a beautiful community gathering to celebrate our week. Please make a point of joining us for at least one closing circle (if your child is registered for multiple weeks) and join our magical location in main camp on a Friday at 2:15pm.

 

Parents describe Sassafras as boosting children’s confidence, their respect for nature, self and others, and for honing their individual passions. Kids describe Sassafras mostly as super fun, filled with adventures and epic!

Week 1: Survival for All & Girls Group is FULL

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist.

Our basic curriculum with all the above ingredients, mixed with a good amount of games to celebrate our first week of summer is open to all kids. This week we also offer an all Girls group for ages 8 and up, inspired by our successful Girls Afterschool empowerment program (see description under Programs).

Dates: July 1 - 5, 2019

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $370 for one week  

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)

Week 2: Shelter (w/Overnight) is FULL

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist.

In addition to our basic curriculum, this week’s focus is on SHELTER. Depending on the children’s age, that can be anything from making fairy houses and forts to functional survival shelters.

 

Overnight

Shelters built this week will be used to sleep in during the (optional) Thursday overnight. Kids that are too young or not ready, can contribute in the building process and prepare for a future opportunity. Kids joining for the overnight will stay at Sassafras from Thursday 9am till Friday 3pm, assist in making nutritious meals over a fire. The overnight is an amazing experience that is geared towards ages 8 and up.

New dates: July 8 - 12, 2019
Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $370 / $445 with overnight 

How to get here:

Car pool, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)

Week 3: Water Week is FULL 

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist.

A long time favorite at Sassafras Summer Camp. We balance days in camps in the shade, with days along the shore. We go crabbing, clamming, fishing, netting and learn the tricks of the trade from life-long fisherman and local native, David Vanderhoop. We play to our heart’s content in sand, mud and shallows, learn about marine wildlife and our island's cool natural history.

New dates: July 15 - 19, 2019
Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $445  

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)

Week 4: Fire is FULL

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist.

This week’s focus is on FIRE making, in addition to our basic curriculum. Fire is a favorite of kids all ages, and learning about it contains so many valuable life lessons. We learn how to gather and harvest good fire-wood, set up a fire structure and how to tend it well in a safe way. Older kids will learn how to make fire by friction, and when ready, they carve their own bow drill set. It’s such a magic moment to light your own fire and make a coal by friction!

 

New dates: July 22 - 26, 2019

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $370 

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)

 
Week 5: Water Week II  is FULL

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist

A long time favorite at Sassafras Summer Camp. We balance days in camps in the shade, with days along the shore. We go crabbing, clamming, fishing, netting and learn the tricks of the trade from life-long fisherman and local native, David Vanderhoop. We play to our heart’s content in sand, mud and shallows, learn about marine wildlife and our island's cool natural history. 

New dates: July 29 - Aug 2, 2019
Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $445  

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)

T(w)een Leadership & Skill Training 

Please note that we now offer two different programs for t(w)eens

Week 1 for T(w)eens  -  is FULL

"Teen" Week 1 for ages 12-13-14, is a rich week filled with outdoor experiences and activities that help young people navigate today’s world. We practice outdoor skills, and address tween/teen issues around social media, racial & gender diversity, wellbeing and health, and encourage you to dive into your individual passion.

Teen Summer Series

Join our Summer Series for Teens ages 13 and up, on 7 Mondays with an overnight experience at the end. Supported by the MV Vision Fellowship, Sassafras offers full scholarships for Wampanoag/Native Youth and Youth of Color and aims for 50% participation of Native Youth and Youth of Color. 

 

This new teen program will integrate 3 areas:

  1. Nature connection, care-taking the earth and permaculture practices.​

  2. Decolonizing our minds and hearts; taking a look at the actual history of Native People and People of Color, historic trauma, and White privilege.

  3. Healthy lifestyle choices, sit spot, wild/ancestral foods, and peaceful communication skills.

 

The culmination of this program is an overnight from August 12-13 with an optional solo experience for those that are ready for a challenge to get to know themselves better.

 

Teens enrolled for either of these programs can choose to assist for 1 or more additional weeks in Summer Camp ("Nature, Earth & Survival Skills). 

Weeklong Program: takes place during SC Week 1, July 1-5 (M-F)

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $370

Teen Monday Series: 7 Mondays during Summer Camp, plus an Overnight

Times/Dates: 9am - 3pm on Monday July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and Aug 5, plus an Overnight Experience from Mon Aug 12, 9am to Tue Aug 13, 3pm.

Cost: $550 or full scholarship

How to get here:

VTA times align with this program (VTA is for 12+ only!)

 
 
Week 6: Food is FULL

This week is FULL, but you can still register and be placed on a waitlist

For this week we focus on wild food and outdoor cooking. We will harvest wild edibles, make our own medicinal teas, roast treats over a fire and learn how to cook on a rocket stove and in a stone oven.

 

The best part is tasting the yummi treats, kids gathered and prepared themselves. Not only does it taste so great, it’s good for you too!

New dates: Aug 5 - 9,  2019

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $370 

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($75/week)