The more you think you know a place, the more likely you are to be proven wrong. I’ve written about New England—especially Massachusetts—for years, and while I feel like I know every nook and cranny, I’m always delighted to find a new piece of the outdoors to love.
Such is the case with Camp Sayre, in Milton, Mass. Located adjacent to the Blue Hills Reservation, the camp has served almost exclusively as a Boy Scouts of America facility for more than 50 years, with some access allowed to private groups, such as the Girls Scout and churches. Recently, however, the venue decided to open to the general public for weekend programs under the name of New England Base Camp at Camp Sayre.
Offerings at the 108-acre facility include an outdoors ropes challenge course, plus classes in archery, edible plant identification, building with hand tools, cooking outdoors, starting a fire without matches, and introductory ice climbing.
There’s also an indoor Olympic-sized pool and an ongoing project to build a traditional wigwam.(Visitors can pitch in!) In winter, options expand to an outdoor ice skating rink and sledding on hills on the property. Most programs are either half- or full-day and frequently sell out, so advance registration is recommended. Campsites and cabins are also available by reservation.
Specialty programs include high ropes leadership training for all skill levels and ages, guided canoe trips, and an outdoor leadership training program. Some offerings are ideal for kids’ birthday parties; some are clearly aimed at adults; others are open to anyone hoping to master a given skill. See the website for the full menu.
I can’t wait to get my own family there, especially when that ice skating rink is up and running for the season (weather dependent; call ahead: 617-615-0004).