SUMMER CAMP

OVERVIEW

 
 
 
 
 
Summer Camp 2020

Sassafras Naturalist, Earth & Survival Skill curriculum is for YOUTH GRADE 1 & up!

 

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 youths 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 a kid's abilities and to take on responsibility. We also offer two weeks with a water theme, deepening many aspects of the 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 the main camp on a Friday at 2:15 pm.

 

Registration

Your Summer Camp registration is complete after successfully submitting the right form for participants and accompanying payment. Financial Aid Fund and spread payment applicants will receive an electronic invoice upon registration due immediately. Repair Fund participants will not be invoiced. Our preferred payment method is by credit card (via PayPal e-invoice). 

Payment

A $100 non-refundable deposit for each week is due at registration.

Final payments are due by June 1st (spread payment plans excepted)

Non or late payment can result in forfeiting your space.

For our cancellation policy please go to the FAQ tab.

*Repair Fund

Sassafras created a Repair Fund in 2018 that covers tuition for Indigenous / Wampanoag participants, and we work towards including all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) participants. This Repair Fund is intended to make some form of reparations for the injustices of the past and present and we do not make assumptions about access to wealth. BIPOC families can choose to pay and/or donate to Sassafras. For registration, please use the Repair Fund form.

 

Financial Aid Fund

Note that Sassafras has not turned anyone away for lack of funds since we started in 2005. If you want to apply, please fill out the form titled "Registration with Financial Aid" AND a brief Application form. You will be asked to consider if making partial payments is an option for you and can indicate that choice.

Participants receiving funding through Sassafras, are asked to keep their attendance at 75% (exceptions apply), communication is much appreciated. Thanks

Week 1: Survival (FULL) & Girls Group (FULL)
Week 1: Teens (has space)

Our basic curriculum with all the above ingredients that teach kids about an array of survival, earth and naturalist skills. We celebrate the start of our summer with a good amount of games and a day at the beach. During this week we also offer an all Girls group, inspired by our successful girl's empowerment afterschool program. The Teen Leadership Program for ages 12 and up runs concurrently (see below).

Dates: July 6 -10

Times: 9 am - 3 pm

Cost: $385

How to get here:

Carpooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

Week 2: Fire 

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 coal by friction!

Dates: July 13-17
Times: 9 am - 3 pm

Cost: $385 

How to get here:

Carpool, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

Week 3: Water (FULL)

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.

Dates:  July 20-24
Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $465 

How to get here:

Carpooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

Week 4: Shelter (FULL) & Teens (FULL)

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. (For info on the Teen Week scroll up)

 

Overnight

Note that the overnight youth group is full, the Teens group has space.

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 to the building process and prepare for a future opportunity. Kids joining for the overnight will stay at Sassafras from Thursday 9 am till Friday at 3 pm, assist in making nutritious meals over a fire. Overnight is an amazing experience that is geared towards ages 8 and up.

Dates: July 27-31

Times: 9  am - 3 pm

Cost: $385  

Cost Overnight: $95 (includes dinner and breakfast)

 

How to get here:

Car pooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

 
Week 5: Water (FULL)

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: Aug 3-7
Times: 9 am - 3 pm

Cost: $465  

How to get here:

Carpooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

Teen Leadership Programs

We offer two different programs for teens ages 12-18

Teens enrolled in either program below, can attend additional weeks in different roles, depending on prior experience with our approach and their level of maturity. There are 4 options we like to discuss with parent and teen prior to enrollment:

  1. Attend as a Participant (regular tuition)

  2. Attend as a Teen Helper in Training ($190/week or 50% of regular tuition)

  3. Attend as a Teen Helper ($100/week or admin costs)

  4. Work as a Teen Leader, for ages 15 and up. Apply for Summer Camp Staff

Teen Leadership Week 1 & Week 4 for ages 12-13-14

"Teen" Week 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 leadership conduct, and address Indigenous wisdom in relation to climate crises, truth in history, we talk about the hazards of social media, and encourage you to dive into your passions for nature. 

Dates: Week 1 July 6 -10 AND  Week 4 July 27 - 31

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $385 per week 

Teen Summer Series for Ages 14-18

Join our Summer Series for Teens ages 14 - 18 on seven  Wednesdays with David Vanderhoop, Aquinnah Wampanoag elder. If desired, tuition for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) is covered by our Repair Fund*. David aims for at least 50% BIPOC teens. This program will integrate 3 areas:

  1. Nature connection, care-taking the earth and Indigenous 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.

Dates: 7 Wednesdays July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug 5 and 12 

Times: 9am - 3pm

Cost: $550 / or Repair Fund* 

How to get here:

VTA times align with this program

 
 
Week 6: Food (FULL)

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 yummy treats, kids gathered and prepared themselves. Not only does it taste so great, but it’s good for you too!

New dates: Aug 10-14

Times: 9 am - 3 pm

Cost: $385 

How to get here:

Carpooling, or use the Sassafras Van Shuttle, leaving daily from the West Tisbury Grange Hall ($80/week)

 

 
How can we help?

Sassafras Earth Education

5 Church Street

Aquinnah, MA 02535

508 645 2008

© 2018 by Sassafras Earth Education/ www.jessbhall.com