Sassafras Afterschool Fall Series
For kids ages 6 and up
Our Wednesday after-school program meets 8 times in fall, 8 times in winter and 8 times in spring 2019. Being outside in nature is fun and healthy! Come to our afterschool program for all the things we do in summer camp, but with a seasonal twist. Games, explore woods and trails, learn earth skills, relax and play with friends after school on our beautiful land and camp in Aquinnah. We will make fires and cook over it, harvest, craft and whittle, and ask kids for their input too. Come dressed for the weather!
Kids can take the school bus to Aquinnah from the West Tisbury, Chilmark, or Charter School, and will be picked up at the Aquinnah Town Hall bus stop. Parents pick up at Sassafras at the end of the program in our parking lot.
Dates: Fall Series of 8 Wednesdays from Oct 16 - Dec 11, 2019
Note: due to a NE-er, the original start date of Oct 9 is postponed one week.
Time: Wednesdays from 3:30- 5:30pm
Cost per Series: $150
Forest Kindergarten Series
Suitable for children ages 4 to 7.
Parents and scientists alike, are beginning to recognize what our ancestors already knew; the vital importance for young children to spend time outdoors, in the wild, and to discover the world through unrestricted play and curiosity. Children’s innate curiosity for nature brings about connection, and learning naturally follows in their own unique rhythm.
Sassafras’ nature connection mentors truly listen to their stories and help deepen experiences. Children spend the day outside, while we do have a yurt to give us a break from very cold or wet weather. Children will move their bodies, wander and explore, take on responsibilities, practice fine motor skills, do hands-on projects, tell their own stories, make up songs, and play to their heart's content. As Richard Louv’ points out, we need vitamin “N” (Nature time) to become whole and Sassafras offers unlimited nature time in a structure that can be compared with the setting of a small village.
Our excellent programming is based on Nature Connection Mentoring, also the 8 Shields Model. Our network's collective experience over the past 30 years, has shown that children coming up through NCM programs, consistently develop healthy attributes that are so needed in today’s world like happiness, vitality, inquisitiveness, empathy, helpfulness, and a deep love for all that lives. We have 8 spaces available and offer payment plans and financial aid.
Time: 9 am – 3 pm at Sassafras
Cost: $480 Series of 10 Fridays (rain or shine)
Fall Series: Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, Dec 6, 13, 2019.
Winter Series: Jan 10, 17, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, Mar 6, 13, 2020
NOTE: Friday March 20 and 27 are postponed.
Spring Series: Apr 10,17,24, May 1,8,15,22,29, Jun 5,12, 2020
Try-out Policy: We invite your child for a try out day. Please schedule a visit with us.
Girls Afterschool Spring 2020
For girls ages 8-12
After-school program on 8 Fridays for girls & pre-teen girls to deepen the connection with the land, themselves and each other. Explore woods, trails, streams, and coastline, delve into natural mysteries, find wild edibles and medicinals, play games that heighten your awareness, laugh with friends and express yourself. Engage in storytelling, cooking over a fire, singing, and following your passion. Learn to take the lead and work as a team to experience the empowerment of meeting edges together with other girls, guided by women mentors.
Girls can take the school bus to Aquinnah and will be picked up at the Aquinnah Town Hall bus stop. Parents pick up at Sassafras at the end of the program. There is an optional overnight experience towards the end of the series and the additional cost is $75.
Dates: 8 Fridays in April, May, June, 2020 (exact dates t.b.a.)
Time: 3:30- 5:30pm
Cost Series: $150 (with Overnight $225)
Saturday Youth Series
Ages 6 and up
Fall Series: Fire, Shelter, Wild Harvest, Fire Cooking and Overnight option.
Winter Series: Exploring, Carving, Cooking, Caretaking (see dates below)
Spring Explore: A new adventure each week in a different island location.
Sassafras’ Saturday Youth program is an ongoing outdoor program during the school year for ages 6 and up. We spend the day outside, finding nature’s mysteries, honing outdoor and earth skills, and playing games. Developing common sense and learning how to be safe in the woods is balanced with timeless exploration, play, and crafting. All-time favorites are shelter building, ancient fire making, cooking over an open fire, whittling, sneaking and stalking, tracking, bird language, storytelling, JTC, and many other nature games. As soon as you are ready for some fantastic outdoor adventures and learning some new skills, bring a lunch and a water bottle in a day pack, and wear clothing that will keep you warm and dry for a day outside!
The fall overnight is on Dec 7 (rain date is 12/14) for ages 8 and up, and pick up is the next day (Sunday 12/8) at 10 am. Cost of $75 includes dinner and breakfast.
Times: 10 am – 4 pm
Cost: Note we have payment plans, financial aid and repair fund options.
$360 Series of 10 Saturdays ($435 including Overnight)
$200 1/2 Series of 5 Saturdays ($275 including Overnight)
$45 Walk-in for 1 Day ($120 including Overnight)
Spring Series: April 11,18,25, May 2,9,16,23,30, June 6,13, 2020
Saturday Youth Walk-in Days
Ages 6 and up.
Walk-in days are great for youth with busy schedules but still want to fit in Sassafras’ Nature Connection experiences. Please refer to the description above in Saturday Youth Series
Times: 10 am – 4 pm at Sassafras
Cost: $45 Walk-in, or pick 5 dates in a series - in advance - for $200
April Vacation 2020
Grades K and up.
Join a “classic” day at Sassafras in April Vacation, for outdoor skills, games and fun survival challenges! Sign up for the entire week titled “Spring into Nature” that Sassafras is a part of. It’s organized by Felix Neck and the MVEEA, with a different location every day.
Date: Tuesday in April Vacation
Time: 8:30 am – 3 pm
Registration thru Felix Neck
Outdoor Home School
Sassafras’ Outdoor Home School program provides naturalist-, earth- and life skills training, through hands-on outdoor experiences that are balanced with reading & writing on outdoor topics. Our curriculum includes nature observation, sensory awareness games, tracking, crafting, creative storytelling, research and journaling, bird language and playing music. Experience a natural way of learning, by following the seasonal changes and place-based curriculum, through quality mentoring.
Public / Private School Programs
Sassafras offers a variety of programs for schools and other organizations. In the past, we have facilitated day programs as well as overnight experiences, for the Oak Bluffs School, the Chilmark School, the Charter School, and schools off-island. Together with the school’s team or teacher, we create a format that includes the school's objectives and work with elementary middle and high school students.