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