Our mission is for urban youth to explore Boston, inspire one another and engage their curiosity.

We emphasize the natural process of play and creativity, drawing on a kid’s sense of wonder to discover their neighborhoods in new and different ways. A skilled staff leads the way, but kids take command of the expeditions with their enthusiasm and imagination.

This coed day camp is especially designed for the unique experience of urban exploration: City sites and thoroughfares, monuments, gardens, and waterways are the campgrounds, the skyline and harbor its backdrop.

A day at camp is made up of two essential creative components. Every day children will explore a different part of the city, from a different perspective—from the tops of buildings, at sea level, offshore, and on foot. And, every day, campers will work with their hands.

Our hope is to inspire a sense of adventure and curiosity that will last a lifetime.

Guiding Principles


Woodworking, art and building projects, cooking, documenting explorations with ipads, “smart games” and puzzles—creative and purposeful play is what we do! Children are encouraged to explore, create, to try new things. While they walk from place to place, there are choices they get to make. With one counselor for five campers there are opportunities for breaking off into smaller groups to pursue other explorations.

Hands-On Learning

Using cooking utensils, building a charcoal cooking fire, holding a hammer, learning to use a ruler or straightedge and level are everyday activities. Our aim is to provide meaningful work applications—versatile and multifaceted tasks that have a lifelong impact.

Freedom, Choice & Spontaneous Play

So much of a child’s free time is managed and directed by in-school and extracurricular activities. At Boston Explorers, children have time—and the choice—to play. Their imagination is the conduit to all forms of unstructured play and camp projects.


Children get vigorous exercise by rowing across Boston Harbor, walking to the T., biking through neighborhoods &  climbing the hills on the Harbor Islands. Games of touch football, tag and hide-and-seek basketball could break out at any time.


Building character is an essential part of the camp program. It takes grit to persevere, to try new things and recover from a setback; emotional intelligence to gain support and alliances; self-control to maintain balance and confidence. The essential factor in Boston Explorers is the consistent opportunity for staff to have meaningful, critical conversations with children about their feelings, friendships and behavior.  Active mentoring is a key role for staff.

Boston Explorers is licensed by the City of Boston Board of Health and complies with all regulations and safety standards for MA Recreational Camps for Children.

From Alphonse Litz, Director:
Everything I know about woodworking and carpentry began with my father. He was the master of tools and hands-on experience and would often remind us that to learn anything one had to do it. For us, there was a lesson in everything. On family outings no monument, roadside marker, historic house, or nature trail went unobserved. I would draw on my father’s wisdom throughout my teaching career.

Not long ago, toward the end of his life, we uncovered a photograph of my dad when he was 12 years old. He is smiling broadly wearing a navy cap and uniform (bottom row, third from left). The caption reads “S.S.S. Explorer.” He always talked about traveling, about places he had been and destinations still to come, but little did I know that my father had been a bona fide explorer! It also reminds me that while we continue to invent education models and policies, my inspiration continues to be my Dad’s tried-and-true approach: roll up your sleeves and learn something.



The Boston Explorers logo symbolizes the integration of the natural and physical elements of the city. It is our version of the Freedom Trail, with specific destinations and unexpected stops—a program that combines definite goals with room for spontaneity.

Join Us This Summer

SESSION 1: July 13 – 24  |  SESSION 2: July 27 – August 7  |  SESSION 3: August 10 – 21

We accept applications for one session per child. Campers must be between seven and 15 years old.


© 2015 Boston Explorers • 72 Montgomery Street, Boston, MA 02116 • (617) 839-2029