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The Next Step In Your Adventure

Join us this summer for an outdoor adventure steeped in the natural world, rooted in a strong sense of community, and infused with a wild sense of play. If you like our school programs, you'll love our summer programs.

Click Here to Find out What Makes Kestrel Programs Special


Ages 4 to 7

Experience the world through the eyes, ears, nose and paws of a different animal each morning. Start the morning with animal stories at our meeting circle, then begin the days ramblings. Search the meadows and marshes for food that animal might eat. Follow tracks and signs, and see if we can find and observe the animals themselves!

We learn about animals by imagining we are those animals. The morning is filled with playing games, inventing games, spontaneous creations, and just exploring in the wild. We might walk like a raccoon and learn to catch clams, or play osprey tag and look for fish. Each day holds surprise and wonder.

  • Session 1: July 10-14
  • Session 2: July 17-21
  • Overflow Session: July 24-28               (not open until first 2 sessions are full)
  • Price: $200 per session (Multisession discounts apply)
  • Times: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Location: Cox Reservation, Essex

        Session 1 Focus Areas

    • Land and Air: Insects, Bobolinks, Cottontail rabbits, Deer, and Coyote


    Session 2 Focus Areas

    • Water: Snails, Minnow, Shellfish, Egret, River Otter

    Financial aid is available. Click here  to download our application. Deadline to apply is May 15.

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    Survival! Rockport 

    Ages 8 to 12

    Practice the arts of survival and community building in nature. Search for underwater discoveries. Figure out what it would take to live comfortably in the local woods. Along the way, meet new friends and learn about wildlife.

    Our site is nestled in a beautiful woodland alongside several ponds and streams in Rockport and potentially another location. Alongside a merry band of intrepid explorers, you will learn how to build shelters, identify wild edibles, purify water, try to catch fish, craft tools, and track animals. The plan for each day is decided at a morning meeting, by all of us together. You get to be the leaders as we find a way to survive and live off the land!

    • Session 1: July 17-21
    • Session 2: July 24-28
    • Session 3: July 31-August 4
    • Session 4: August 7-11
    • Overflow Session: August 14-18 (not open until first 4 sessions are full)
    • Price: $320 per session (Multisession discounts apply)
    • Times: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Aftercare: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.   $50 / week
    • Price Includes: Survival Gear (Firesteel, carabiner, orienteering compass, and bandana) and S'mores!


    • Sessions 1 and 2: TBD    
    • Sessions 3, 4, and Overflow: Gott Lane Woods, Rockport

    Possible Scenarios:

    Lost in the wilderness!

    • Orienteering

    • Map Making

    • Fire Building Skills

    • Shelter Building

    • Wild Edibles

    • Raft Making


    •    Diving for Sunken Treasure

    •    Celestial Navigation

    •    Fire Building Skills

    •    Shelter Building

    •    Wild Edibles

    •    Raft Making

    Stranded on Mars!

    •    “Making Water”

    •    Plant Growing

    •    Soil Chemistry

    •    Communication to Outside World

    •    Making Solar Electronics

    •    Shelter Building

    •    Warmth and weather

    •    Entertainment 

    •    Scientific Discoveries

    Financial aid is available.Click here to download our application. Deadline to apply is May 15.

    This camp must comply with regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and be licensed by the local board of health

    Travel Adventures

    Ages 11 - 16

    A set of fun nature challenges guides us on a week of adventures around the Cape Ann area. In this teen leadership program, you may take on the challenges and use them to make calls on where we will go and what we will do out in nature each day. You will even get a small budget for adventure expenses. We can hike, swim, and explore. Be wild, be creative, go places!

    After a brief gathering at our Get Outside Center, hop in our "Adventure Vehicle" and go! Visit woodlands, beaches, marshes, lakes and streams, depending on the week's challenge and your imagination. This truly is your adventure to choose.

    Every week adventurous teens will be in charge of trying to solve our   Coastline and Water Adventure     Challenge.

    Learn more about the"Adventure Challenge" here!

    Teen leadership and student led adventure are the cornerstones of this program. Mentored by our staff, participants will play a key role in planning the week with other members of the group. 

    • Dates: You decide! (Must be approved by Kestrel)
    • Group Enrollment: Find 8 Travel adventurers and contact us to sign up! Sign up must happen 45 days in advance.
    • Cost: $300 per traveler
    • Times: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Meeting Location: Get Outside Center, 186 Main Street, Gloucester

    When you participate in a Kestrel Summer Adventure, here is what you can expect:

    Education Our instructors are well-trained, practiced, professional educators, which means we never rely on canned or scripted summer activities. We think - and research shows - authentic learning occurs when children are encouraged to learn by doing. We create real and lasting growth through a focus on sensory awareness, imagination and systems thinking. 

    Adventure The hallmark of a great adventure is that you have no idea what is going to happen next. With Kestrel your child becomes the central character in an unfolding story. Though we take great pride in thoroughly preparing for each program, we never plan the outcome, which we believe should happen naturally and spontaneously, drawing on the unique qualities of the landscape, and the particular interests, questions, and experiences of the children who participate. On a summer adventure, you learn to expect the unexpected. 

    Play Playfulness is the fullest expression of our natural drive to explore, engage and connect with the world. When children freely engage in play, they learn new things, develop key social and emotional skills, feel part of a community and take on new challenges. Engaged in transformative play, children build healing relationships with the key people in their lives. No Kestrel program is complete without joy and laughter.

    Community At Kestrel we make room for all kinds of learners and all kinds of personalities because we believe every child has something to contribute and every child has a role to play. Participants may arrive as a collection of individuals, but they leave as a community of friends.