Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Stone bridge over water with trees in background
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

About Ipswich River Nature Camp

At Ipswich River Nature Camp, we provide campers with a unique opportunity to learn about nature, meet new friends, and have fun! Small group sizes allow us to provide a high-quality educational experience and a welcoming, supportive environment.

Our goal is to introduce children to nature in hopes that one day they will conserve what they have come to love and understand. 

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

At Mass Audubon Camps, we strive to create a safe, inclusive, and caring camp environment where each person is respected and supported in their learning and growth. We believe that diversity—both in nature and in our human communities—is essential to strength, resilience, and innovation, and we are committed to recognizing the unique contributions of each community member. 

To learn more about how Mass Audubon respects and embraces our campers’ and staff’s unique identities and needs, please review our Gender Inclusion at Camp policies and procedures.


Mass Audubon is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion to ensure that everyone can participate fully in the magic of our nature programs.  As an outdoor, nature-based program, it is important that families of children who have disabilities understand Mass Audubon’s expectations, programs, and terrain prior to enrolling. 

If your child requires accommodations, please contact the camp director as soon as possible; a delay in request could have the unintended consequence of disrupting your child’s Mass Audubon camp experience.

Learn more about Accommodations and Behavior Expectations at Camp


Due to the outdoor and exploratory nature of our camp program, campers will be moving on uneven terrain throughout the day. The terrain at our sites varies from hard-packed, gently sloped paths to steeper, uneven trails that may have exposed rocks, tree roots, and other obstacles. Additionally, weather conditions could affect our trails’ conditions. 

We encourage all families to visit the sanctuary prior to enrolling to understand its unique terrain. 

A Day at Camp

No two days are alike at Ipswich River Nature Camp, but this sample schedule gives an overview of daily activities and flow of the camp day.

7:30–8:30 am

Optional Before Camp Program

Campers can choose from a variety of activities that may include active games, quiet table games or reading. Pre-registration required.  

8:30–9:30 amCamper Drop-off & Games
9:30–9:45 am

Opening Circle

The entire camp gathers to enjoy a community activity. Staff and campers sing songs, conduct team-building exercises, or act out nature skits to introduce the day.

9:45 am–12:00 pm

Morning Hike & Activities

After Opening Circle, campers join their subgroups and with their counselors delve into a particular nature topic. For example, a group will discuss life cycles then hike to a pond and find frogs and tadpoles.

12:00–12:45 pmLunch
12:45–1:45 pm

Game, Craft, or Nature Play

Campers enjoy some time engaging in nature play, arts and crafts, and/or water games on hot days.

1:45–2:45 pm

Theme-based Activity Time

Campers have the opportunity to choose from a variety of activities developed by staff, all related to the day's nature theme.

2:45–3:00 pm

Closing Circle

At the end of each day, the whole camp gathers to share stories of where they went, what they saw, and what they made.

3:00–3:15 pm

Camper Pick-up

Caregivers bring IDs and sign out their campers.

3:00–4:00 pm

Optional After Camp Program

Campers can choose from a variety of activities that may include active games, quiet table games, or reading. Pre-registration required.

Camp Staff

Ipswich River Nature Camp staff take pride in offering a fun, caring, organized, and educational program. Staff are carefully selected for their competence in outdoor education and leadership. Counselors have teaching experience and a commitment to educating children about nature. 

All staff undergo background checks and receive training in health and safety procedures, child development, natural history, and environmental education best practices prior to the start of camp.

What Others Are Saying...

"My children came home every day excited and wanting to go back. They learned so much and shared what animals they saw and birds they heard. They met kind new friends and really looked up to their camp counselors." —2023 Camp Family

Camp Handbook

The Camp Handbook packet contains important information for families, including drop-off and pick-up instructions, health and safety procedures, packing lists, and more. Please be sure to read this prior to the start of your camper’s first session. 

The 2024 camp handbook will be available soon.

Camp License

Our camp complies with the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (105 CMR 430) and is licensed by the Topsfield Board of Health.


We are proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association, a nationally recognized program focused on program quality, safety, and management.

Camp Policy Requests

You may request copies of our background check, health care, discipline, bullying, and grievance policies at any time.

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