Escape the trappings of everyday life and become immersed in a wilderness experience

Join us on one or two of our exciting and fun Intro to Backpacking excursions to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway in nearby New Hampshire or Wapak Trail in Temple New Hampshire.  As part of this 3 day, 2 night experience, you'll be introduced to the basics of backpacking, camping, finding and treating water, carry-in-carry-out, map reading, and Leave No Trace. This introductory backcountry-based adventure will build critical thinking and problem solving skills and develop basic survival skills through the incorporation of team building, adventure-based activities and some good old fashioned fun! Our program leaders, Tom Durfee and Jen Greeke, are experienced educators and passionate nature enthusiasts, trained in both CPR and Wilderness First Aid to ensure your participant’s safety throughout the trip.

No experience is necessary, however participants should be prepared for the challenges that accompany “roughing it” in the wilderness.  The trails and area selected for this excursion were chosen specifically to ensure that we will always be relatively close to civilization; during the trip we will not be hiking deep into the back country.  Attendees should anticipate an intermediate level of physical exertion with prolonged physical activity.  Throughout the expedition, safety is our principle concern, as enjoyment of the trip and safe return is paramount to the success of all Seaside Sustainability youth adventure programs!

  • Cost: $289 includes meals (participants will purchase lunch on the way out and back), round trip travel, and all group gear.

  • Participants: Intro to Backpacking is open to both boys and girls 13-16 years of age from Cape Ann and beyond.  Friends are encouraged to invite friends however there will be plenty of like-minded kids to meet and get to know!

  • Dates:

    Monadnock: Monday July 9th to Wednesday July 11th

    Wapack Trail: Monday August 20th to Wednesday August 22nd

  • Locations:

    Monadnock State Park, 116 Poole Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452 Phone: 603-532-8862 www.nhstateparks.org

    Wapack Trail, Miller Park rd. Temple NH: www.wapack.org

Transportation and essential gear provided! Bring a friend or come alone for an awesome backpacking experience! 


  View from Summit of Mt. Monadnock    Photo Credit: Eric Blanche

View from Summit of Mt. Monadnock   Photo Credit: Eric Blanche

Monadnock State Park: 

116 Poole Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452

Phone: 603-532-8862



Wapack Trail:

Miller Park rd. Temple NH



Sample Itinerary: 

This is a sample itinerary of the Intro to Backpacking program and is subject to modifications dependent upon safety, weather, and conditions.  This is intended to serve as a guide and may not reflect the exact activities or timeline that will be followed.


Day 1
•    7:00 am: Meet at central location (TBA); Review trip specifics, ensure proper gear
•    7:30 am: Depart for Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway
•    10:30 am: Arrive at lunch spot/Proper packing techniques
•    12:30 pm: Arrive at Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail head
•    1:00-4:30 pm: Hiking, lightning drill, adventure based activities
•    4:30-7:00 pm: Learning to set up camp, dinner, down time
•    7:00-8:30 pm: Team building games and activities
Day 2
•    7:00-8:30 am: Breakfast, morning yoga (optional), pack up camp
•    8:30-12:00 pm: Hiking, Finding and treating water lessons
•    12:00-1:00 pm: Break for lunch
•    1:00-5:00 pm: Hiking, map reading, emergency preparedness, adventure-based activities
•    5:00-7:00 pm: Set up camp, dinner, down time
•    7:00-8:30 pm: Team building games and activities
Day 3
•    7:00-8:30 am: Breakfast, morning yoga (optional), pack up camp
•    8:30-12:00 pm: Hiking, basic survival activity, hiking games
•    12:00-1:30 pm: Break for lunch, down time
•    1:30-4:30 pm: Load up and return home
•    4:30 pm: Parent pick up



Meeting Location & Travel: The group will meet the morning of departure and return to the lower parking lot of O’Maley Middle School, 32 Cherry St, Gloucester, MA. We will be traveling by private van and/or cars to and from the backpacking location(s).  

Pre-Trip Meeting & Gear Check (TBD)

Two weeks prior to departure, participants and their families will come together to meet fellow backpackers & trip leaders, to ask any lingering questions, and to collect (and check) all required gear and clothing for the trip.  


We don’t want to take participants into the woods with improper, insufficient or unsafe gear; the primary focus of the pre-trip meeting will be to inspect participant clothing and gear to ensure it is suitable and safe to use on the trip.  This meeting serves as a final check that all gear is appropriate for the expedition; should you have questions or concerns leading up to the meeting, please reach out to trip leader Emily Arthur.  The sooner we communicate the better in order to determine individual gear needs; by letting us know which items you need ahead of time, we can make sure those are ready for you at the gear check.  For those in need of packs, we will use this time to fit participants to a pack from our own available supply.  

This gear check is held two weeks prior to trip departure in order to provide participants time to make adjustments, locate loaner gear, or, if necessary, make purchases.  If the gear check reveals that you are in need of one or more required gear items, we will work with you to determine possible options for attainment of this gear.  whether it is something we can provide for you to borrow. or if it will be necessary to pursue other outlets.  

We will break into tent groups to assess gear, determine how shared group gear is being distributed, and to learn how to set up tents.  We will also introduce proper backpack-packing techniques.  

river crossing.JPG


Important Information about Clothing & Gear: The best plan is the one in which we are prepared for almost anything! The operative word here is “prepared!” That’s why a gear list must be complete with high quality and appropriate gear.  For your enjoyment and protection, all group gear is supplied by Seaside Sustainability and is thoroughly tested before departure.  As any efficient backpacking troop does, all group gear and food will be evenly divided between all the members of the group thus dividing the weight and responsibility evenly.

Required Camping Gear

Personal Gear: Each participant must supply all of his own gear, as noted in the required equipment checklist (located further in this information).

Clothing: Considering we will be hiking for extended periods throughout the day, your comfort and safety are paramount. The wrong clothing can really take away from your experience and potentially put you and the group in danger!  Here are a few ideas to keep you comfortable, and safe while on the trail: 

Be like an onion with layers: layering your clothing is a tried-and-true way to maximize your comfort in the outdoors. The beauty of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather. Each layer has a function. The base layer (against your skin) manages moisture; the insulating layer protects you from the cold; the shell layer (outer layer) shields you from wind and rain. You simply add or subtract layers as needed.

Synthetic & Wool: In the world of outdoor recreation, two materials rise to the top; those made of synthetic fibers like fleece and those made of wool.  They both wick water away from the skin and still provide insulating warmth when wet.  Their cousin “cotton” has absolutely no redeeming qualities in the woods and should be avoided from the head to the toes!

Gear Owned by Seaside Sustainability: If you are using equipment owned by Seaside Sustainability, you assume responsibility for its proper use and returning it with “normal wear and tear use.”  Equipment that is damaged due to neglect will be paid for by the family of the participant.  Also, Seaside Sustainability is not responsible for any personal broken gear or equipment brought on the trip.  

Pocket Knives: For the safety of everyone, and for this introductory program - Intro to Backpacking, participants are not allowed to bring knives of any sort on the trip.

Footwear is an essential concern for both safety and comfort. No one wants to get a blister the first day, or have their feet feel sore and uncomfortable. Unless you already own a pair of hiking shoes/boots, a good pair of running shoes will do the trick. If you purchase new shoes/boots, please allow yourself plenty of time to break them in and follow the manufacturer’s break-in procedures.  Unless you absolutely know the boots fit well, do not borrow boots to wear on this trip!

Required Gear: A quality and good fitting backpack is an essential component of a successful backpacking trip!  Other essential gear includes a sleeping bag made for the season of travel, a sleeping pad, and tent that can be used for backpacking (not a backyard, heavy, recreational tent).  Seaside Sustainability can provide this gear to each attendee, but we encourage those who have access to them or can borrow them to do that, since it will help you become more familiar with the gear you have!

  • 1 Backpacking pack (to carry all necessary equipment – i.e. clothes, water, group gear, food, etc.) - must be specifically a backpacking pack, no school packs, knapsacks, or similar
  • 1 Sleeping bag
  • 1 Sleeping pad
  • 1 Tent*

* We recommend those who have tents bring their own to help the become more familiar with their equipment. However, we can provide tents so please do not feel the need to purchase a tent specifically for this program. Prior to the trip, we will host a gear check night to assess whether the gear participants plan to use is functionally acceptable. For example, if you own a 6-8 person tent this would not be suitable for the trip due to space and weight concerns. As such, we would recommend 2-4 person tents only.

More Required Gear & Clothing:

  • 2 Water canteens or bottles (not glass - Nalgene bottles or similar, reused plastic bottles)
  • 1 Pair comfortable shoes or hiking shoes/boots
  • 1 Fleece sweatshirt or light jacket (not cotton)
  • 1 Pair of long pants (not cotton)
  • 1 Pair of bottom thermals or equivalent (not cotton)
  • 1 Long sleeve shirt (not cotton)
  • 1 Old t-shirt (this will be destroyed by the end of the trip - used for a wilderness lesson and can be cotton)
  • 2 T-shirts (not cotton)
  • 1 Pair camp shorts (not cotton)
  • 3-4 Pairs socks (not cotton)
  • 2-3 Pairs underwear (OK, cotton is OK here)
  • 1 Brimmed hat (for protection/cover from the sun)
  • 1 Winter hat and gloves/mittens (not cotton - in case of cold weather)
  • 1 Rain jacket or poncho (unless light jacket is waterproof)
  • Flashlight or headlamp (check the batteries)
  • Toiletries - toothbrush & paste, tampons, sanitary napkins (go minimal and low waste -remember we carry in and carry out)
  • Compact pencil and paper in small plastic sealable bag
  • 2 Large heavy duty trash bags or backpacking equivalent  
  • Sunglasses

Optional Gear & Clothing:

  • Sunglass cords
  • Personal (little) First Aid kit
  • Optional toiletries – small bottle hand sterilizer, lip balm, hair ties
  • Extra batteries for flashlight/headlamp
  • Bug Spray
  • Bathing suit
  • Very lightweight close toed shoes for camp
  • Bandana
  • Low waste and non-sugar snacks i.e. granola bars, dried fruit (nothing perishable – please keep these to a minimum)
  • Camera (disposable is recommended as it is possible it may get damaged on trip)

Our Group Gear Sponsors:

Questions About Gear & Clothing?

Tom Durfee Picture.jpg


Questions About Gear & Clothing: We strongly urge you not to purchase gear if you don’t need to but should you have any questions or need personal advice regarding gear and clothing, please reach out to Trip Leader(s): Tom Durfee: durfeet@seasidesustainability.org


"Unplugging and spending time in nature can reduce stress, soothe the mind and boost creativity and complex thinking skills."

Check out the peer reviewed article:  Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings


The choice of hiking shoes is an essential concern for both safety and comfort. No one wants to get a blister the first day, or have their feet feel sore and uncomfortable. Unless you already own a pair of hiking shoes/boots, a good pair of running shoes will do the trick. If you purchase new boots, please allow yourself plenty of time to break them in and follow the manufacturer’s break-in procedures.  Unless you absolutely know the boots fit well, do not borrow boots to wear on this trip!  No cotton socks!  


This is the most common question we get from those that have never done an overnight hike or camped in the woods before, and rest assured, although there are no bathrooms in the woods, going #1 or # 2 is much easier than you may imagine.  Your leaders will teach you the 6-D’s of going in the woods: Desire, Distance, Dig, Do, Disguise, Disinfect. EASY! 


Water is one of the most important things to consider while backpacking. For extended backpacking trips, we are not able to carry all the water necessary for drinking and cooking. This means we will be locating natural sources of water and treating it (one of the major skills we will teach). We will be using three methods for treating water: boiling, water filter, and the tablet technique.  Boiling water for drinking or cooking is acceptable. The hiking water filter is a small system that purifies water which is very effective (although slow). The tablet technique uses iodine or chlorine, which sometimes is not the tastiest, but at least makes it safe to drink.  Please let us know if you child has an allergy to iodine or chlorine.  Each child will be responsible for his/her own personal water containers and will use the group gear to treat it.  


Since we are backpacking we will be traveling light, this will limit the variety of food we carry. Rest assured, we always pack more than enough food! Participants are welcome to bring their own snacks. However, we request that they are low in waste as well as nutritious; snacks loaded with sugar are not only unhealthy but are counterproductive while the body is under exertion for prolonged periods.  Below are a few likely meals and snacks we will provide (food allergies and dietary restrictions may affect this). We will do our best plan our meals so that participants with allergies and/or specific dietary needs are able to enjoy the provided meals and snacks.

Breakfast: oatmeal, granola (can be made nut free), breakfast rice & beans
Lunch/Snack: dried fruit, dried meats, trail mix, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, granola, pita, etc. 
Dinner: veggie couscous, chicken veggie & orzo soup, cheesy bacon taters


In the case of foreseeable inclement weather, the trip will not be postponed unless our program leaders determine the potential exposure to the elements could become hazardous. For example, if the forecast calls for heavy rains/flooding, severe lightning, or similar conditions in the area we will make the call to postpone ahead of the trip. The call to postpone will be done prior to us departing for your convenience and for overall trip satisfaction.

Trip Leaders:

Together, North Shore, MA, residents Tom Durfee and Jennifer Greeke have years of experience in adventure trips and education!  They will provide a safe, fun, rewarding, exciting and memorable experience, leaving participants with wanting to engage in another trip! 

Jen & Tom 2.jpg



Tom Durfee (Trip Leader): As a former physical education teacher Tom has an affinity for all things physically active. Tom has many passions including studying muay thai and expanding his skills in wilderness survival. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR to ensure safe adventures into the wild. In a world where things are becoming easier and more connected Tom believes we should still be the master of our environment and have the ability to disconnect and enjoy being lost in the moment. durfeet@seasidesustainability.org

Jennifer Greeke (Co-Leader): Jen is an artist focused on fashion and clothing design, along with metal/welded art. Jen enjoys being physically active, being outdoors, and recently retired from the Boston Roller Derby. This will be Jen’s second year leading the backpacking trip and she is trained and certified in CPR, helping to ensure safety during the trip. As an artist, Jen finds inspiration for her creative works from being outdoors and in the wilderness. Jen has experience in teaching as well, having taught some high school and college art/fashion classes.

Seaside Exploration & Marine Inquiry
Exploration into the ecological importance of the oceans as well as the opportunities for exploration and enjoyment that it offers! 


SEA 2017 is an exciting, hands-on opportunity for youth (ages 8-11 & 12-15).  SEA participants will not just learn about the ocean, they will see, feel, smell and even taste it!  Over the course of the week, we will address the current environmental impacts that humans are having on our SEA and discuss solutions for a better, more sustainable future. By the end of their week at SEA, participants will have observed and experienced the interrelation (and interdependence) between humans and the marine world.  This new connection to marine systems and understanding of the oceans’ importance (and beauty) will instill care and stewardship of our blue planet.  


SEA Program Themes

What we take vs. what we give back:

The resilience of marine ecosystems and coastal communities is dependent on healthy marine ecosystems. We will instill the value of stewardship, how to conserve protected resources, and how to maintain sustainable fisheries and safe sources of seafood.

Ecosystem Balance:

The structure and function of ecosystems are incredibly sensitive to changes, and are easily manipulated by negative influences. The topics addressed in this program are all related to the interconnected nature of ecosystems, how to protect them and how to preserve their unique resilience.


Adventures from Summer 2016:

Last summer SEA featured 4 interactive week-long summer sessions for local youth 

SEA 2017 Wish List

As we move into 2017 and are planing for the upcoming summer season, Seaside Sustainability is looking to expand the SEA program and is on the look out for the following items:

  • Lobster and crab traps
  • Fishing & clamming gear (rods, reels, etc.)
  • PFD's, rubber boots and gloves, goggles, snorkeling gear

To view our full wish list, visit our donations page; For more information or with any questions, please contact Director Emily Arthur: arthure@seasidesustainability.org

Our Wish List

Seaside Sustainability, Inc. is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization,
all donations are tax deductible.

SEA 2017 is looking for Leaders In Training


  • make a positive contribution to the community
  • exercise compassion through providing service to others
  • build relationships by serving as role models and leaders

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in serving as a junior leader!!

Contact Director Eric Magers magerse@seasidesustainability.org

SEA 2017: Program Opportunities

SEA Marine Life Exploration
The vessel for this program is brought to you by a special partnership with Walter Beebe-Center, the owner of Double Eagle Charters!  


SEA Yacht Sailing
The vessel for this program is brought to you by a special partnership with Claude Beaudet, the owner of Frayed Knot Sailing Charters!


Rationale & Impacted Resources:

The air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the products that keep you warm, safe, informed, and entertained all can come from, or be transported by, the ocean.  Oceans make up the largest ecosystems on Earth and are the planet’s largest life support systems.  Flowing over nearly three-quarters of the globe, oceans hold 97% of the Earth's water, produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and are the largest absorbers of carbon dioxide.  About half of the world’s population lives within the coastal zone, and ocean-based businesses contribute more than $500 billion to the world’s economy. Historically, humans have taken the earth’s natural resources for granted.  

Humans have created unsustainable practices for finite resources, and as the human population continues to rise, the impacts of careless resource depletion and waste disposal are catching up with us. Some examples of the many problems that are surfacing, include over-harvest of resources, reduction in biodiversity, and degradation of marine habitats and species. Continuing along this careless path is risking the very ecosystems on which human survival depends. 

The diversity and productivity of the world’s oceans are a vital interest for humankind because future sustainability will be highly dependent on healthy ocean systems.  Many species of marine life, such as ground-fish, whales, turtles, seabirds and invertebrates are all negatively impacted by man-made influences in the Gulf of Maine Ecosystem (and beyond!).  Seaside Education Adventure (SEA) is a program of the charitable organization Seaside Sustainability Inc. that is designed to educate local youth about these issues to encourage, and train them, to become better stewards of the ocean. The SEA investigations help promote awareness of these challenges and unify the public towards reaching the goal of better protecting the global marine environment. At the conclusion of each trip, participants will have a deeper understanding of the consequences of human actions on the environment, will be inspired to spread their new knowledge and will have the desire and skill sets to be leaders in change.


Guided Investigations:

Seaside Education Adventure presents participants with hands-on, experiential research activities designed to educate local students on the short and long term effects of a variety of ocean threats.  This is accomplished through the incorporation of e-STEAM (environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) research, including both gathering and reporting data, combined with citizen science as a means of taking student learning to the next level so that they may become role models in their communities. 

We build on NOAA’s Ocean Literacy Principle 6; namely, the oceans and humans are inextricably interconnected[1].  And we use this principle to connect people across watersheds, disciplines, ages, and institutions by engaging project participants in a cycle of experiential, place-based investigations.  Focus areas of these investigations include oceanography, marine stewardship, and ecosystem balance.

Through experiential learning and engaging students directly with the ocean and how it is threatened, they are equipped with the tools to not only promote awareness of these issues in their local communities, but to also be leaders in change. 

[1] Alldredge, Alice. "Ocean Literacy." (n.d.): n. pag. Ocean Literacy. NOAA, 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/literacy/ocean_literacy.pdf>.

SEA: Marine Life Exploration

Seaside Education Adventure (SEA) incorporates marine ecology themes into hands-on investigations designed to expose local youth to the short and long term effects of a variety of ocean threats.  These boat-based inquiries take participants out onto the water to explore topics in oceanography, marine stewardship and ecosystem balance.  

SEA 2017 is looking for Leaders In Training


  • make a positive contribution to the community
  • exercise compassion through providing service to others
  • build relationships by serving as role models and leaders


Summer Marine Exploration Program

Every aspect of the SEA program emphasizes the importance of eco-friendly, sustainable practices. Below is a list of topics and skills that our passionate SEA Educators have integrated into SEA: Marine Life Exploration, one of two SEA programs offered for the 2017 summer season. This program runs over four consecutive days, with the addition of a fifth day in case of inclement weather. 

Just for FUN:

  • Marsh Mucking: we’re going to get dirty mucking in the marsh! 
  • Snorkeling: a great place to explore is right off the protected coast of Tucks Point
  • Field Games and Initiatives: fun initiatives and games designed to challenge us, guide us in practicing teamwork and provide a context in which to build new friendships
  • Recycled Art Project & Signs: make fun and interesting art with what we discovered while collecting marine debris 

Seamanship Skills: Guided by Captain & First Mate of the Double Eagle

How-"To-Boat": We'll cover a wide array of do's and don'ts" when we first head out on the water; participant and crew safety is always our #1 concern!

  • Boat Norms from how to conduct yourself, to man overboard procedures
  • Proper use of gear while aboard the vessel
  • Navigation basics such as how to read nautical charts or how to 'read the water'
  • Knot Tying-- learn and practice some of the most common and most important knots, truly a skill to last a lifetime!

Ocean Sciences: Guided by SEA Educator Jacob Sheridan

Human Impacts on Marine Ecology: 

  • Coastal Erosion & Sea Level Rise: uncover some ways that our harbors/seas, coastal lands and other draining waterways are being impacted by the forces and power of nature
  • Marine Debris: long trawling nets pulled from the boat collect water samples to measure and study micro plastics and their impacts
  • Invasive Species: collect and control Green and Asian Shore Crabs
  • Sustainable Fishing: importance of fisheries and rehabilitation, address over fishing, population decimation and redevelopment techniques  


  • Tides, Currents, & Waves: the shifting seas and their effects on flora, fauna and the natural shoreline
  • Sea Drifters: identify uses of sea drifters in international data gathering; build a sea drifter for deployment
  • Water quality: parameters and testing including ocean warming trends, ocean acidification, marsh/ocean salinity

Marine Biology:

  • Lobstering: fishing for lobsters under a commercial/recreational lobster permit
    • regulations, safe handling, and banding,
    • lobster biology: collect data for local agencies (including: size, sex, and abundance)
  • Clamming: amateur clam digging using a straight, long-handled spading fork, or a spading shovel
  • Flora & Fauna:
    • throughout our adventures during the week we will identify local birds, fish and underwater plant species  
    • either wading and/or snorkeling, investigate flora and fauna in 2 coastal ecosystems (Rocky Intertidal, Nearshore/Beach)
  • Beach Seining and Line Fishing:
    • try out 2 different methods of fishing (including  techniques for each, similarities/ differences & various applications)
    • general fishing regulations (catch and release, proper handling techniques, etc.))
    • identify fish species of our catches and/or brief introduction to fish anatomy 


SEA Instructor, Jacob Sheridan

Jacob Sheridan is the Seaside Education Adventure (SEA) Program Director. He currently teaches outdoor education at Pingree School and has years of experiential education experience from his time as a sea kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking and nature guide around New England. Jacob is a certified PADI SCUBA Diver and is a trained Wilderness First Responder with a certificate in Wilderness First Aid, as well as a licensed EMT. He spends his time learning about the natural world through activities such as freediving, scuba diving, wildlife tracking and foraging. With a passion for outdoor education and sustainability, Jacob has dedicated his professional and casual life to learning and teaching about what he loves most...our terrific blue planet! coloritindigo@gmail.com

SEA: Yacht Sailing

Seaside Education Adventure (SEA) incorporates marine ecology themes into hands-on investigations designed to expose local youth to the short and long term effects of a variety of ocean threats.  These boat-based inquiries take participants out onto the water to explore topics in oceanography, marine stewardship and ecosystem balance.  

SEA 2017 is looking for Leaders In Training


  • make a positive contribution to the community
  • exercise compassion through providing service to others
  • build relationships by serving as role models and leaders


Contact Director Eric Magers magerse@seasidesustainability.org

What will we be doing?

Each day begins at 8:00 AM down at the Tuck’s Point dock in Manchester, MA.  After we spend the morning exploring on the water and training to become sailors, the crew will return to the Tuck’s Point dock at 12 noon.  While on the water, we'll dive into various yacht sailing skills & procedures.  Participants will also enjoy snorkeling, swimming, exploring and learning about all the life that exists below the ocean's surface! 
At the end of the week, yacht sailors will walk away with valuable knowledge and skills, as well as memories to last a lifetime!  

Upon completion participants will receive their SEA t-shirt and
to show off their SEA-tificates of Completion


SEA: Yacht Sailing Topics Include:

  • Basic Sailing Skills, Terms & Commands:

    • Identify Types and Parts of Boats & Sails
    • Knots & line handling
    • Leaving & Picking Up the Mooring
    • Understanding the Sailing Circle &
      Trimming Sails
  • Navigation & Boat safety:

    • Basic navigation
    • Basic right-of-way rules
    • Winds and tides
  • Marine Science & Environmental Processes: 

    • Water quality testing
    • Marine debris trawls
    • Flora, fauna & species identification


Some specific investigations will include:

  • Safety, Sailing & Navigation:

Practice sailing safety, including ‘staying on the lookout’ and man overboard procedures.  Become familiar with various types of buoys, markers and their purposes; enhance our knowledge of compass points and reading & utilizing navigational charts; Explore questions like: Which vessels have right-of-way, and in which situations?  What roles do winds & tides play in sailing?

  • Marine Debris Trawls & Micro Plastics: 

We’ll test samples of water by deploying long trawling nets pulled from the boat.  Using our collected samples, we’ll be able to measure the presence of micro plastics and discuss their land-based origins and devastating impacts.

  • Water Quality Sampling & Global Climate Change: 

By testing the sea water at different depths we’ll discover information about the ocean including acidification levels & marsh/ocean salinity and learn about the implications of potential ecological effects such as ocean warming trends.

  • Snorkel Exploration of Tidal Zone
    Flora and Fauna:  

Underwater we will be able to see and touch the flora and fauna that compose the tidal ecosystems.  We’ll discuss structure and function, invasive species & impacts and the sensitivity of these ecosystems to negative human influences.  We’ll make observations that speak to the interconnected nature of ecosystems, threats to their health, how to protect them, and how to preserve their unique resilience.  

Gloucester Co-Ed Recreational Ultimate Frisbee Summer League

Seaside Sustainability brings a new and exciting Gloucester Co-Ed Recreational Ultimate Frisbee Summer League for two age groups this summer: 

Beginner/Intermediate Ages 9-14: 

Cost: $99/season

When: Wednesdays June 27th  – August 22rd 2018 (NO July 4th)

Time: 5:00pm-6:30pm

Location: Magnolia Woods Field, 474 Western Ave, Lower Field, Gloucester, MA

Intermediate/Advanced Ages 14-19:

Cost: $99/season

When: Wednesdays June 27th  – August 22rd 2018 (NO July 4th)

Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Location: Magnolia Woods Field, 474 Western Ave, lower field, Gloucester, MA

*Although the 14-19 league was not able to run last year we expect to have more participant this year. Please sign up with friends! 

Designed to expose this awesome sport to players of all levels, our league aims to provide a fun, affordable experience regardless of skill level specifically directed towards the player that is interested in a non-traditional sport and likes the idea of playing on a team, or just learning skills, or just getting out to have a fun time once a week this summer!  Coach John Repucci of Gloucester, MA has designed an active skills based program in a hands-on fun and atmosphere that introduces the game and provides additional skill development and field time for those who already play the game.  

The Gloucester Ultimate Frisbee League provides players with an environment to grow, learn, and improve in the game that they love or will grow to love.  Because it is self-officiated, players often have a real ownership of their team and the sport as a whole. Created out of the vision to help improve youth Ultimate and provide players an opportunity to learn from; we will help participants grow as people and provide them a fun and rewarding environment to blow off steam and learn a new exciting, non-traditional sport! 

What makes the Gloucester Ultimate Summer League unique?

Coach Repucci has designed a balanced Ultimate instruction for all levels of players:

  • Teach team-building, leadership, kindness, and collaboration using Ultimate as a vehicle to reinforce these lessons
  • Create a community in which players from different schools can meet, socialize, improve their Ultimate skills together, and become friends
  • Learn how to emphasize team success over personal achievement
  • Appropriate instruction for those that have a desire to improve their Ultimate gamesmanship 
  • Different ways to measure the success of skills they may already know
  • For higher level players, Coach Repucci will provide more specific instruction around strategies and different styles of play
Ultimate is a sport that can take on a unique and powerful role in developing leadership and interpersonal relationships in a friendly competitive atmosphere.”

Ultimate Frisbee Background Information: 

Ultimate has become a popular and exciting, non-contact team sport, played by thousands the world over. It mixes the best features of sports such as soccer, basketball, and American football into an elegantly simple yet fascinating and demanding game.  The object is to pass the disc without dropping or interception into an end zone like an American football field.  

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Ultimate traditionally relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship, which places the responsibility of fair play on the player him or herself. Ultimate is a sport that can take on a unique and powerful role in developing leadership and interpersonal relationships in a friendly competitive atmosphere.  Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play; protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the field. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other 'win at all costs' behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.  The purpose of these 'rules of Ultimate is to provide a guideline, which describes the way the game is played.  The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player's responsibility to uphold the spirit of the game, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly!  


Meet Your Instructor/COACH John Repucci

John Repucci was born and raised in Topsfield, MA. Once he graduated from Masconomet Regional High School, he moved on to study mechanical engineering and mathematics at the University of Vermont. Now he is a fabrication engineer at Salem Glass Co., a commercial window company that designs, builds, and installs all around the east coast of New England. His passion for sports led him to Ultimate Frisbee during his freshman year of high school and has since played on dozens of teams with some teams reaching national caliber play. Realizing the growth of Ultimate, he would like to instill a solid foundation of knowledge, skill, and passion for the sport into the next wave of players.  Any questions, contact John at  repuccij@seasidesustainability.org



Join this group of passionate students to make a difference in your own school, helping the community address climate change issues.  Team members will be challenged to choose initiatives that develop real life solutions inspired by the motto “Think Globally by Acting Locally”.  Learn about how the climate is changing right here in Gloucester, affecting local species and causing phenomenon such as sea level rise.  We will have the opportunity to take local field trips to connect with local community leaders in the environmental movement.  We will explore the natural world around us by learning wilderness survival skills while hiking in the woods, or by strapping on our muck boots to explore the flora and fauna in the nearby mudflats. Come have tons of fun with friends while also making a difference in your school and community!


Already love Backyard Growers on Thursday?  
Join the Environmental Club on Tuesdays to learn how sustainability topics can also be applied to other local ventures in the  community!!!  

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Come and promote your own ideas or pick from our list of fun ideas:


Creative Solutions to Raise Public Awareness in your school and community:

Implement a Zero Waste campaign and waste management system at O’Maley

*Composting and recycling (books, clothes, electronics) in every room

*Find solutions to reduce water and electricity use throughout O’Maley building

Direct a video for our Cape Ann Cable TV

Develop a Social Media presence
            *Design and brand a logo

Create public art projects to get the word out about local issues

Contribute to community-wide Weatherization Project
           *Connect with local sponsor organizations including
-Mass Save
-Gloucester’s Clean Energy Commission 

Design and Promote “Green Living Fair”
(sponsored by TownGreen at O’Maley in April)                
           *GREAT opportunity to take on a leadership role!!


Questions or Comments?  Send an email to info@seasidesustainability.org!

**Wish your school had a Ski Program??**

We head up to Bradford for the first time on January 8th and have a blast skiing and boarding.  Wish you had a ski program at your school?  Let us know where you go to school (or what school you work at) and we'll see if we can get a ski program set up for the '18-'19 ski season!


Photo by Csondy/iStock / Getty Images

Jump on your skis or snowboard for an afternoon of fun and friends!

Photo by Volodymyr Krasyuk/iStock / Getty Images

In an exciting partnership with Gloucester Public Schools, Seaside Sustainability, Inc. is offering the second annual Bradford Ski & Board Program. Currently this program is being offered to students from Beeman, O'Maley and the HS only - please contact Cori Krajewski if interested in offering a program at your school krajewskic@seasidesustainability.org. Each bus must have at least 35 participants to run the program and each bus can only service two schools maximum!

Open to all Gloucester Public School students, participants were provided transportation to and from Bradford Ski Area in Haverhill. Bradford offers 13 trails and an expansive state-of-the-art terrain park with lots of jumps, rails and boxes! The program met for six consecutive Mondays this winter, starting on January 8th. The bus will leave after school from each school between 2- 2:40 , and return to each school by 7:15 PM. Students are encouraged to bring their own food/snacks, or they are able to purchase supper or snacks at the ski lodge before boarding the bus to return home. Meeting dates are scheduled for January 8, 23, 29 and February 5, 12, 26 – excluding holidays. The cost per student for six Monday afternoons of skiing or snowboarding is $295 (lift ticket only) or $345 (lift ticket and lesson). Payment can be made by check or credit card. Equipment rental is also available either through Bradford, or referral to local venders.

Come to the Island School’s Cape Eleuthera Institute

Eleuthera, Bahamas! 


Spend a week engaging with the ocean and

having a TON of FUN! April 14-22, 2018.

Program Description:

Come where sun, fun, science and the marine world converge into an amazing and memorable experience designed for the engaged middle/high school student! Designed by the world-renowned Island School and led by professional and experienced Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) staff, this program features community living at an amazing seaside location, where we will discover new environments and focus on applying common environmental principles to tropical island ecosystems. Activities throughout the week are included in the cost of the program, and are catered to the desires of each visiting group. Some of the educational projects offered include Sustainable Systems, Introduction to Food Security and Ecology of Tropical Marine Flats, as well as specific species studies of Sea Turtles, Sharks, Lionfish & Patch Reef. Recreational activities include canoeing, snorkeling, beach volleyball, nature exploration, kayaking and paddle boarding. Regardless of your age, the Cape Eleuthera Institute is a place to learn, to teach and to experience. Come get your feet wet and your mind engaged in this wonderful, educational and FUN opportunity!

Who can attend:

Any student in grades 8-12. Because we have limited availability and can only take 18 participants, this program will fill up fast—so claim your spot for this wonderful trip!


$2495: Includes round-trip flight from Boston, MA, accommodations, two full-time chaperones, three meals per day, program and applicable research fees, on-island transportation and transportation to and from the local Rock Sound Airport (RSD). If you are interested in using airline miles or points, please contact us and we will be happy to accommodate you.


Depart April 14th and return April 22nd, 2017 (depart and return from Logan Airport, Boston)

Have we piqued your interest? If so, please read on for more information and please feel free to reach out to us to ask any questions!!!!


We would like to ensure that this opportunity is a good fit for you. Participants can attend from any New England school, so in addition to being away from family for a week, there is also the potential of not knowing anyone else in the traveling group. Please send Program Director Eric Magers (magerse@seasidesustainability.org) the information below. A follow-up phone conversation will be set up as part of the process.

·       Participant’s full name and address, age, grade and school

·       Parent/guardian full name(s), address (if different from participant), e-mail and phone number

room and board:

Once we arrive at CEI, we will be provided three excellent meals a day (prepared with sustainable seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables!). Part of the experience will include helping to clean the facility and keep the sleeping area tidy. We will be staying in gender-separated dormitory rooms. 

Refund Policy:

Engagement in this program has a no refund policy. However, if there is a waiting list and we can accommodate a replacement for the participant wishing to withdraw, we will expedite this process (with any fees and expenses incurred deducted from the reimbursement). It is likely that flights and associated fees and taxes will not be able to be reimbursed.


All check, cash and credit card payments must be made to “Ocean Alliance” by August 15, 2018, in order to secure flights. We will fill the 18 spots on a first-to-pay basis; once an individual is accepted into the program, payment should be made quickly to hold your position. The program will run with a minimum of 12 participants; if the trip is canceled, all payments will be reimbursed.  


Because of the small number of participants and reasonable cost of this trip, we are unable to offer scholarships. Future trips may include scholarship opportunities for those participants with financial need.

Passports and Visas:

All persons entering the Bahamas must have a valid passport, but a visa is not required. All participants will enter the country as students of The Island School on Cape Eleuthera. Your names will have been preauthorized for entry by local immigration.


Because of the relatively safe conditions in the Bahamas, no immunizations are required for travel, although participants should consult their physician before travel.

Phones & Internet:

For the week while attending CEI, we urge participants to unplug from their electronic world and fully immerse themselves in the local environment. There will be internet access only in some locations on campus, but participants will be provided time to access it to contact family. 

Gear & Clothing:

All specialized gear will be supplied. Although a packing list will be provided, it is likely you already have everything you’ll need.

Necessary Documents:

Once you have been accepted to the program, you will be provided documents that must be filled out and returned, including passport copies, agreements, waivers and codes of behaviors.

Why travel with Ocean Alliance and Seaside Sustainability, Inc.?

 Ocean Alliance, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1971 by renowned biologist Roger Payne; it is principally concerned with the conservation of whales and all sea life, as well as with human impacts on the marine environment. Led by Dr. Payne and CEO Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics and genetics. Using that data, they work with their scientific partners to advise educators and policy makers on wise stewardship of the oceans to reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of marine mammal populations, maintain human access to fish and other sea life, and promote ocean and human health.

Ocean Alliance, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1971 by renowned biologist Roger Payne; it is principally concerned with the conservation of whales and all sea life, as well as with human impacts on the marine environment. Led by Dr. Payne and CEO Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics and genetics. Using that data, they work with their scientific partners to advise educators and policy makers on wise stewardship of the oceans to reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of marine mammal populations, maintain human access to fish and other sea life, and promote ocean and human health.

With the high level of expertise and experience that we bring, your child is in the hands of professionals!  Our qualified educators and scientists of Ocean Alliance and Seaside Sustainability have over 135 years of combined experience in environmental education, scientific research and sustainability. Chaperones Eric Magers and Emily Arthur are engaged and cooperative leaders who have provided travel experiences to participants of all ages including five international trips. As Co-Directors of the charitable organization Seaside Sustainability Inc., they are committed to providing experiential programming and skill-building opportunities to local school-aged youth. If interested, please check out the Bio's Page on this site, or feel free to contact us directly to get to know us better.  


For further information regarding this unique and exciting opportunity, or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via emai: info@seasidesustainability.org


More information about The Cape Eleuthera Institute:

Committed to Sustainability:

The Cape Eleuthera Institute’s efforts to usher in an age of greater sustainability and a more livable future began at its founding. At CEI, spaces are designed that reflect their values and help inspire creative thinking, while reducing the immediate and long-term impacts on the surrounding ecology. From onsite power and water harvesting, to locally derived building materials, native landscapes and innovative waste management strategies, CEI continually strives to improve their ability to live in more meaningful and less harmful ways.

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                                                                                                                                                                                       The Cape Eleuthera Institute Campus

Background Information (taken from the CEI website):

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The Cape Eleuthera Institute was born out of the growing need to expand both research and sustainable systems initiatives, operating under the auspices of The Island School. Capitalizing on the momentum generated by The Island School and the desire to address pertinent environmental issues facing The Bahamas and the Caribbean, core research and sustainable systems design initiatives were moved to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. This increases our capacity to undertake larger projects, create space for courses and workshops in tropical sciences and sustainable design, and facilitate more formal collaboration with other like-minded institutions and governments.

The Cape Eleuthera Institute is a facility that promotes a connection between people and the environment.

Our holistic approach to island ecosystems, philosophy of collaboration and relationship building, and intrinsic bond between primary research and education helps to create models of effective resource management and sustainable development. In turn, these model systems help to enhance conservation initiatives and economic prosperity at local, regional, and global scales. With a diverse array of virtually unexplored environments at our doorstep, the Cape Eleuthera Institute acts as a hub for exploration, primary research, and information exchange. Regardless of your age, the Cape Eleuthera Institute is a place to learn, to teach, and to experience.

Our location gives immediate access to flats, patch reefs, unique landmarks, the Bahama Bank, and Atlantic Ocean. CEI facilities were built using sustainable design concepts; the built space is an educational tool in itself and fosters innovation. As one of the most eco-friendly campuses in the world, CEI is contributing to the national dialogue and policy-making efforts to encourage more sustainable development in The Bahamas and similar coastal communities around the world.


For more information, please visit Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). There is a tremendous amount of information online about this organization and we urge you to investigate for yourself!  Note that the Island School is just one of numerous programs offered by CEI. 




Summer 2018 Pick Up Field Hockey League

In partnership with Manchester Parks & Recreation, Seaside Sustainability is bringing back the pick-up field hockey league this summer!

Summer Pick-Up
Field Hockey League:

(intermediate/advanced Ages 14 & up)

Open to players with previous exposure to field hockey, this weekly program features pick-up scrimmage-style games. This is a great chance for current and past players to keep their skills fresh and to get some exercise in a fun and active atmosphere! This league is intended for players with two or more years of experience

Field Hockey League:

(beginner/novice ages 8-14) 

Come for a fun and affordable field hockey experience regardless of your skill level! The youth league is specifically directed towards those who have never played or have limited experience.  Designed as an active skills-based program, this weekly league introduces newcomers to the game and also provides skill development & field time for athletes with limited previous exposure to the game. 

Join us this summer for an action-packed summer of field hockey on Wednesday afternoons at Coach Ed. Brook St. Field in Manchester!!!

Cost: $99 – for the season
When: Meets weekly on Wednesdays, June 27st - August 22th, 2018
Location: Coach Ed Field, Norwood Ave & Brook Street, Manchester, MA

Youth League:     Beginner/Novice-- ages 8-14   4:30-6 PM
Pick-Up League:     Intermediate/Advanced*-- ages 14+   6-8 PM
         *must have 2 years experience


Register Now through Manchester Parks & Recreation
via their Online Portal


Meet Your Instructor/Coach


Molly Dercolo is the JV/Assistant Varsity field hockey coach at Manchester-Essex High School. She currently works as a 7th grade special education teaching assistant at Manchester-Essex Middle School. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2012 and is currently working on my Masters degree at Salem State. While in college at UConn, she played club field hockey and sang in an the acapella group. Currently live in Lynn, MA with her husband Lenny and their rescue puppy Georgia, Molly enjoys spending time at the beach, staying active, and reading. Three years ago she left the business world to pursue teaching and coaching and she is so glad she did!  

Reach her at: Mollyksaunders@gmail.com

Junior Hornets Field Hockey Clinic

Participants: Beginner & Novice Players
Cost: $259– includes reversible tank jersey (“pinnie”) with clinic logos  
When: July 31st – August 3rd (August 4th rain date) 
Times: Mon-Th, 8 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Coach Ed Field, Norwood Ave & Brook Street, Manchester, MA

The Junior Hornets Field Hockey Clinic is designed to expose players of all levels to the wonderful growing sport of field hockey.  Field hockey clinic provides a fun, safe and affordable experience regardless of skill level. This clinic is specifically directed towards the player that is interested in learning the awesome sport of field hockey for the first time or for those with limited exposure who want to get to know the sport better. This week-long session builds on playing as team, learning new skills, and becoming the best field hockey player that you can be!

 Photo by Justin Warner via Flickr*

Photo by Justin Warner via Flickr*

The Junior Hornets Field Hockey clinic provides players with an environment to grow, learn, and improve in this exciting game. Some drills are self-officiated; players often grow throughout the experience, developing ownership and respect of themselves and the sport as a whole. This clinic was created to give opportunities to neighboring field hockey community participants to grow as individuals and to provide a fun and rewarding environment to blow off steam, learn and grow your skills!!!


Establish & improve field hockey skills to:

•  Reinforce team-building, leadership, compassion, and collaboration
•  Emphasize team success over personal achievement

A community in which players from different schools can meet, socialize, and become friends!!

Have you Already Decided you want to sign up?  Register NOW!!


Clinic coach Patty Wright, started playing field hockey at a very young age. Born and raised in Essex Massachusetts, after graduating from Manchester Essex Regional High School, Patty played all four years of college for New England College’s DIII Field Hockey team, starting in every single game (except one, because of an injury).  
Wright was THE key player, both in offensive and defensive positions, which earned her the Pilgrim Award (MVP) her senior year as the leading scorer and the leader for defensive saves. A remarkably diverse player on the field, her love and obedience of the game is what her coaches say made her stand out among comparably-skilled players.  Her leadership and heart for the game earned her the vote for Team Captain in her senior year. 
After college, Patty became the Freshman Field Hockey Coach for Manchester Essex.

 Coach Wright in action on the field!

Coach Wright in action on the field!

Join Coach Wright this summer for an action-packed week of field hockey at Coach Ed. Brook St. Field in Manchester!!!

What you can expect:

Week-long clinic will provide appropriate instruction for players that are just learning, or players with limited exposure who have a desire to improve their field hockey gamesmanship.  Following are some of the skills & techniques that will be practiced:

  • Agility & stretching before and after play--This is key to reduce risk of injury, as is hydration!!
  • Introduce ways to help players capitalize on, and measure the success of, any skills that they may already have.
  • Demonstrate and ensure each player understands drills ahead of time, including what is expected of the group as a whole, and what is expected from the players themselves (before each drill is performed); then players branch off and practice drill(s) individually and/or in small breakout groups.
    • Going through drills in “slow motion” allows players the best possible understanding of the drill they are asked to perform.
    • This way Coach Wright can watch players closely and provide tips or assistance if needed!  
  • Use cones to simulate game-like situations and as a safe way to practice different forms of dodges (including Y Dodge, Circle Dodge, Scopes, Right and Left Pulls).
  • Learn/practice different ways to travel 5 yards upon entering the circle.
  • Remember, safety is key, so players will practice control when handling the ball, including:
    • How to keep head/shoulders down to keep ball from rising into other players
    • Different ways to hit the ball (push, slap, drive and sweep)
    • What type of pace should be put on the ball

Tell your friends about this awesome week-long session!  This is going to be a fun and action-packed week crammed with valuable skills & techniques to grow as field hockey players!!  SIGN UP NOW to reserve your spot!



Reflections & Testimonials

Summer Programs 2017


Summer Program Feedback Form

Seaside Sustainability prides itself on providing enriching opportunities for youth to get outdoors, challenge themselves, and be engaged in the natural world!  After each program we like to take a moment to reflect on our experiences so that we can grow from our mistakes and continue to offer programs that are valuable to parents/guardians and fun for participants!  Please take a few minutes to sit down with your child and reflect on the program experience--both from the perspective of the participant as well as yourself.  We greatly appreciate your feedback as it allows us to continue to improve our program experiences.  Thank you!

Participant Name
Participant Name
Leave blank if you would prefer not to say
Feel free to include testimonials from BOTH participant and family member(s)!!!
Are you comfortable with the above responses to 'Favorite Moment' and 'Testimonial' being shared on the Seaside Sustainability website? *

Explore Cape Ann

Seaside’s Explore Cape Ann program offers an incredible opportunity for kids to be kids while discovering their local ecosystems and building an exciting connection to the natural world. It is no secret that many of our children have forgotten how to get lost in joyful play as they rely evermore on Ipads and T.Vs to entertain them. With the innate creativity and brilliance of a child’s mind, we will create a safe space for kids to explore themselves and the natural world while building confidence and agency through discovery and exploration. While having a blast in the fields and forests with friends, they will unearth the many hidden wonders of the natural landscapes that surround us.  The activities have an experiential learning structure that aims to spark their interest in environmental science while fostering their intrinsic gifts and abilities. They will explore nature reserves around the Cape Ann area with passionate instructors that have the charisma to inspire them and the knowledge to support their discoveries. This program is exactly what every kid needs!

This program runs over four consecutive days with the addition of a fifth day in the case of inclement weather.

Explore Cape Ann provides kids with the opportunity to explore and discover the ecosystems of Cape Ann while learning about how their discoveries relate to the current situation of our planet. While having a blast adventuring and seeing places they have never seen, they will gain practical skills for safely recreating the out-of-doors, while developing a sense of stewardship for these beautiful and important ecosystems. 

Each day of this 4-day program will explore a different aspect of Cape Ann ecosystem. We will meet each morning at 9:00am in the parking lot of Cogswell Grant in Essex Ma. We will end our day in the same location at 1:00pm. 

  • For boys and girls entering grades 3-6
  • Dates: July 30th - August 2nd
  • $189 for the four-day program  
  • Each day of this 4-day program will explore a different aspect of Cape Ann ecosystem
  • We will meet each morning at 9:00am in the parking lot of Cogswell Grant in Essex, MA and end our day in the same location at 1:00pm

The next Explore Cape Ann Program running in Summer of 2018 is the Summer Nature Immersion Program.

Summer Nature Immersion Program


Digging up bugs and romping through marsh mud, tracking deer and building forts, this awesome week of edifying adventure leaves kids with an understanding of how to play without technology, and a deep connection and love for the natural world that will ultimately save our planet. Sustainability is imbued within the fabric of this exciting program. Activities include....

  • Marsh Mucking: we’re going to get dirty mucking in the marsh!
  • Shelter building: an outlet for every child’s instinct to build forts

  • Wildlife tracking: discover the secret life of our local wildlife through observation and print tracking.

  • Stealth movement and being a woods ninja

  • Magnifying glasses make micro world come to life, and we employ them in our program daily



Gear list for campers:

  • Rain coat
  • Extra warm layer (fleece) to go under raincoat
  • Rain boots
  • Sunscreen
  • Small day pack
  • Liter of water
  • Snack

Ecology Sciences: Guided by Explore Cape Ann educator Jacob Sheridan


Hands on engagement

  • Safe edibles: Learn about easily identifiable and safe forest  and coastal foods like wood sorrel and dandelion, or glasswort, beach peas and clams
  • Cordage plants: learn to make rope from plant fibers with easy techniques
  • Navigation: reading the trees and geological features to orient and navigate and use observation and awareness to never get lost
  • Shelter and fort building to make the woods hospitable

Hands-on forest and coast ecology

  • Canopy: Understanding succession through tree identification.
  • Climate-species relationships: Discovering who grows and lives here and why.
  • Invasive species: How do they affect the system and what we can do about them.
  • Ethnobotany: What the forest has to offer us for food and building materials and how to respect these resources

Human impacts and sustainable living practices

  • Wildlife: learn the animals of the area and understand their placement in the overall system.
  • Tracking: From mice to deer, we develop techniques for recognizing highly trafficked wildlife zones and secretly watching them in their habitats.
  • Energy Flow: how the energy of the sun flows through the ecological web from plants and fungi to coyotes and hares.


  • Caretaking: Respecting the landscape and wildlife and taking steps to restore forest productivity.
  • Ethnobotany: What the forest has to offer us for food and building materials and how to respect these resources
  • Planting to attract bees and other keystone species
  • Play: Building a playful relationship with the wild and learning to interact with nature for the benefit of ourselves and the pla

Eco Instructor Jacob Sheridan



Jacob Sheridan is Seaside Sustainability’s Explore Cape Ann and SEA camp program director. He currently teaches outdoor education at Pingree School and leads sea kayaking adventures out of Essex. He has years of experience in the way of outdoor education, teaching everything from sea kayaking and rock climbing to backpacking and backcountry survival. He is a certified EMT, has a Wilderness First Responder certification to practice backcountry emergency medicine, he is a trained Scuba diver, certified AMGA Climbing Instructor and Leave No Trace educator. Jacob works exclusively in the out of doors and spends all of his time learning about our wild planet and sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others. He spends his free time following deer tracks through the forest and reading about environmental sciences from the vantage point of a tree branch. This guy is passionate! 


For more information contact us at info@seasidesustainability.org