BNC Summer Camp in Mattapan

Campers playing on hill behind BNC

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Whether hiking in the woods or bird watching in the meadow, campers ages 5–15 have fun while learning about nature! We offer two-week sessions at our Boston Nature Center (BNC) site in Mattapan, which features acres of a beautiful wildlife sanctuary that provides a unique nature experience for the urban explorer.

Campers can explore the vast colors of nature in our Butterfly Garden, observe Tree Swallows in the meadow, or pick kale in the one of the largest community gardens in Boston. The sanctuary has trails, meadows, forests, gardens, and beautiful indoor space at the George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center.

Location

Boston Nature Center
500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Directions to BNC >


How to Register


All initial camp spaces are filled through a lottery registration process, and most of our summer 2022 camp sessions have reached capacity. However, a few select sessions still have spots available that you may register for online.

Register now >

→ If the session you're interested in is full, you may add your camper(s) to the BNC Camp 2022 waitlist.


2022 Camp Sessions & Dates


Hours

  • Full Day: 8:30 am–5:30 pm
  • Before Camp: 7:30–8:30 am (optional)
  • After Camp: 5:30–6:30 pm (optional)

Nature Camps

Full Day • 2-Week Sessions

  • June 27–July 8 | July 11–22 | July 25–August 5 | August 8–19 | August 22–September 2
  • NOTE: Campers may register for one Nature Camp session.

Owls (ages 5–6)
Counselor-to-Camper Ratio: 1 to 5
Owls explore the wonders of nature using their five senses. Each day is filled with art activities, learning games, outdoor/nature exploration, and camp songs. This full-day program includes a rest time followed by more play and outdoor exploration. Campers must be 5 years old prior to the start of their session.

Hawks (ages 6–7)
Counselor-to-Camper Ratio: 1 to 6
Hawks investigate the outdoors through science experiments and creative play. Each day is a blend of outdoor play and structured activities, providing different avenues for campers to connect with nature and each other.

Falcons (ages 7–9)
Falcons learn how to develop and test their own ideas to gain a better understanding of nature through discovery and hands on-activities. Whether practicing science or art or team building, campers are encouraged to follow new interests and learn new skills.

Ravens (ages 9–11)
Ravens learn through focused outdoor exploration and guided experiments to understand the natural world in greater depth. Through inquiry-based activities, they are encouraged to follow and build on their own interests.

Adventurers (ages 11–13)
Adventurers engage in a variety of hands-on activities that encourage self-direction, leadership skill building, and teamwork. Through multifaceted projects, adventurers learn about complex science concepts and environmental issues such as Farm to Table, Renewable Energy, and Climate Change.

Specialty & Teen Camps

Full Day • 1-Week Sessions

Farm Trekkers (ages 9–10 & 11–13)
This specialty camp is a partnership between the camp programs at Boston Nature Center and Drumlin Farm. Each week the program will bring together 10 Boston-area and 10 Lincoln-area children for a camp experience focused around food and farming. Children will have up-close time caring for the farm animals (cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and pony), explore the varied habitats of Drumlin Farm and the Boston Nature Center (field, forest, wetlands), work in the crop fields and gardens, and taste food that they gathered themselves. Our highly-trained counselors serve as field guide as well purveyors of summer fun, making sure that the structured parts of the camp day are interspersed with lots of down time for camp songs, crafts, games, and time with new friends.

  • AGES 9–10: June 27–July 1 | July 11–15 | July 25–29
  • AGES 11–13: July 4–8 | July 18–22 | August 1–5

Environmental Leadership Teen Program (ages 13–15)
Nature needs the next generation of environmental leaders. The goal of Mass Audubon's Environmental Leadership Teen (ELT) program is to equip and encourage teens to be effective environmental advocates, learn about civic action, and be conservation leaders in their homes and communities. During each session, camp educators will guide teens as they develop their individual leadership and community-building skills and support them as they develop their own style and voice as environmental leaders. Each group of ELT participants will also focus on learning about and taking action on an environmental challenge or environmental justice issue and how to best apply their community building and leadership skills to make a positive impact on their community and the world.

  • June 27–July 8 | July 11–22 | July 25–August 5 | August 8–19 | August 22–September 2

Counselors-In-Training (ages 14–15)
This is a specialized camp program designed to develop important leadership skills and prepare older campers to help lead camp. CITs practice skills such as public speaking, group management, and caring for younger children. As CITs grow into their new role as camp leaders, they will take part in fun activities that make camp special, such as team-building activities, science learning, and field trips. After successfully completing one CIT session, CITs are eligible to help lead camp on a volunteer basis for up to two weeks.

  • June 27–July 1 | July 25–29

Extended-Day Options


Before Camp (7:30–8:30 am) • After Camp (5:30–6:30 pm)

Need an earlier drop-off or a later pick-up? Our trained camp staff will supervise campers enrolled in our optional Before and After Camp programs. Campers may choose from a variety of activities, including active games, restful games, coloring, crafts, and reading. The group may also choose to play in the field just outside the Nature Center.

NOTE: After-camp is not available for Roxbury Latin sessions.


What Others Are Saying


"I can't say enough about how much my child and I love BNC. It's the most supportive, accepting, educational, and FUN camp experience ever! Highly, highly recommend." –Camp Parent

"Seriously, this camp just was the best. It way exceeded any expectations we had and our son already said he wants to go back every year until he can be a counselor." –Camp Parent