Welcome to Boston Explorers!

We’re pleased you’re considering our camp as your child’s summer destination. Our program is filled with hands-on activities, exercise—rowing on the harbor, walking everywhere—and exploring city neighborhoods. Our aim is to provide children with a fun camp experience in a secure environment that balances freedom with safety. Campers make decisions and choose activities, but they are guided and mentored by skilled and highly trained counselors. Our goal is to inspire kids.

Ultimately, it’s an adventure they will never forget.

Alphonse Litz, Director

My daughter said it was the most unique experience she ever had. Every day was different and she did things she normally wouldn’t do and got to interact with a lot of different kids—safe and freeing and helping kids build independence.Donna, Parent
My son loved Boston Explorers! He has never been to summer camp and said the counselors and kids were kind and helpful. He did things he never did before–explore all over Boston, row boats in the harbor and build things out of wood.Syler, Parent
At Boston Explorers, they are teaching children how to be in the world. My 11 year-old son had an awesome time at Boston Explorers. He loved exploring the various resources our great city has to offer. He made solid connections with counselors and is looking forward to returning again next summer.Amina, Parent
I’d like to say THANK YOU!! It’s a big decision to leave your child in the care of others. See you next summer at Boston Explorers.Maria, Parent
My son came home exhausted and couldn’t wait to go again the next day. He loved it all—making ice cream, rowing on the harbor, doing carpentry—exploring the city.Paulette, Parent
This program is so different than most other camps. It makes me want to be a kid again. Can I be a Boston Explorer?Chris, Parent
I believe Boston Explorers is different because they are able to make choices constructively. At Boston Explorers kids are able to just be who they are and play without the pressure of fitting in.Shameka, Parent
The program is exciting, and exactly what kids need during the summer—a chance to explore their city, other cultures, learn new experiences and bond with new friends.Ruth, Parent

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals for kids at Boston Explorers?

Kids work with their hands at woodworking, photography, cooking and art, all in the context of exploring the natural and physical environs of Boston.

What makes Boston Explorers different from other summer programs?

So much of a child’s free time is managed and directed by in-school and extracurricular activities. At Boston Explorers, children make their own choices and have time to play and use their imaginations.

How will a typical day work?

Drop off is from 8:45 a.m. – 9 a.m. The day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.. We start and end the day at our base camp—the Union United Methodist Church Hall at 485 Columbus Avenue in Boston’s South End. (Boston Explorers is not affiliated with Union Methodist Church).
Unless there is a full-day excursion scheduled, children participate in a variety of hands-on and elective activities on site. Children have a hand in preparing and serving two snacks, plus lunch, daily. The day ends with a closing circle back at the base camp, where children debrief and share highlights of the day.

How are the counselors selected?

The number one responsibility of Boston Explorer counselors is to develop strong, positive relationships with children. Our counselors are young adults who help plan and lead the activities and excursions, teach skills and serve as role models. With one counselor for every six kids, campers get personal attention.

Counselors go through a rigorous interviewing and screening process. They are selected on the basis of experience working with children, positive attitude, interest in the urban outdoors, friendliness and character. We look for a diverse group of counselors who have a strong work ethic, demonstrate leadership and maturity and who truly enjoy the company of children.

Prior to the program sessions, counselors are required to participate in a week-long orientation and First Aid training program. All Boston Explorer staff and volunteers are checked for Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI).

How do children get to Boston Explorers?

Families are responsible for transporting children to and from the program. The Union Methodist Church is within easy walking distance of Mass Ave and Back Bay T stations on the Orange Line. Click here for directions.

What are children required to bring to camp?

  • Backpack
  • water bottle
  • Comfortable clothes that might get dirty or wet
  • Sweatshirt, fleece or jacket
  • Sneakers (no sandals)
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Sunscreen (we also provide this)
  • Rain jacket (we go out even when it’s drizzling or raining)

What tools and/or safety precautions will be in use?

Safety is always a priority. Field trips are highly supervised and are planned in advance so parents will be well informed.

Children will use a variety of small hand tools (hammer, screwdriver, clamps, etc.) and tools with blades and points (saws, drills, knives). With one adult for every five children we make sure there is always an adult close by to provide instruction, supervision and assistance. We use safety goggles and other protective wear.

Rowing is under the supervision of fully trained and certified instructors.

All swimming activities are under the supervision of certified lifeguards.

What is my child gets hurt or feels sick?

All of our counselors are trained in first aid. We have a medical consultant and carry a complete first aid kit and emergency contact information on all trips.