Summer Adventures

For children who are 6-10 years old and Teen Leadership for children 11-14 years old

2021 June and August programs descriptions below.

June & August Programs: $295 per week or $65 per day; $350 for ROV Construction program 

COVID-19 Information:  We plan to be able to run in-person programs again this summer.  Our COVID-19 mitigation strategies will continue to remain in place for all programs until deemed unnecessary by health officials.  Full details can be provided upon request and for all participants.   For any canceled programs due to COVID-19, a virtual option or a full refund option will be available.   


Morning Activities: Children will be involved in active exploration as they learn, invent and build, and/or use technology and art materials to design solutions to various problems.

Lunch and Recess: Children bring their own lunches and drinks for each course. We ask that you pack a nutritious lunch and save sweets and soda for home.

Afternoon Activities: Because of the rich content of our courses, activities will continue into the afternoon following a break for lunch/recess.  Swimming is an option at select locations when weather permits under the supervision of a certified lifeguard.

Extended Day: Extended Day Option from 3:00 to 5:00 pm is available for $15 per day. It will include a snack. Minimum 3 students; confirmation will be given at least 1 week prior to start date.

Locations: The Phoenix School, Winter Island, Forest River Park, and Salem State University’s Conservation Land and Salem Willows will be the locations for the programs this year. Not all locations are used each week; See weekly descriptions for locations.

Staff: Experienced Phoenix teachers, past and present, lead each Summer Adventure program; Full staff bios are below program descriptions.



Animal Theatrics 
June 14-18, 2021
8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm)
Ages 6 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Animals have some wild behaviors.  Use a GoPro and PVC pipes to create a balanced Baited Remote Underwater Viewer (BRUV) to film sea creatures in their natural habitat, dissect a fish to discover more about their adaptive abilities, search the shallows for life using a seine net, perform an experiment to investigate animal behavior, and use iPads and iMovie to create your own nature documentary.  Days will be spent at the Salem Willows.  Weather permitting, swimming will be an option. Register online today


Engineers in the Wild
June 21-25, 2021
8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm)
Ages 6 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Venture into the environment to become a nature engineer.  Use renewable energy sources to create a wind powered vehicle, water powered contraption, and a solar powered car.  Build your own plankton net and then use microscopes to inspect your catch. Become a scientist in the field of Biomimicry and use our local ecosystems as your outdoor laboratory to reveal secrets from nature’s animals, plants, and algae in order to design, experiment, and build brand new prototypes for the future.  Days will be spent at the Salem Willows.  Weather permitting, swimming will be an option.  Register online today


Adventure Nature (Waitlist)
August 23-27, 2021
8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm)
Ages 6 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Pair the outdoors with science, engineering, imagination, exploration, and adventure!  Fabricate a raft prototype to survive the flowing waters of a creek, engineer a contraption to attach to a mini-zip line, investigate animal gliding abilities to gain ideas for a soaring suit, and give back to the environment by designing a machine to help clean up our local environments.  Days will be spent at the Salem Willows.  Weather permitting, swimming will be an option at Salem Willows.  Register online today


ROV Construction
August 23-27, 2021
8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm)
Ages 10 to 14 * $350 per week

Design, create, build, and test a SeaPerch Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). Work as a team through the entire process from soldering circuits, putting together motors and blades, water-proofing electronics, experimenting with ROV shape, testing buoyancy, and perfecting ROV performance in the ocean through a series of fun and challenging scenarios. Days will be spent at The Phoenix School and Winter Island. Weather permitting, swimming will occur at Winter Island. Register online today


Animal Architects (Waitlist)
August 30 – September 3, 2021
8:30 am-3:00 pm (extended day option 3pm-5pm)
Ages 6 to 10 * $295 per week or $65 per day

Imagine, design, and create new buildings, bridges, and structures that solve a variety of real world challenges.  Base your ideas off of animal and plant designs.  Investigate bird nest construction, spider web shapes, snail shells, living bridges, insect homes, and plant strength and flexibility.  Venture outside to see what new ideas you can discover by looking at nature.  Days will be spent at the Salem Willows.  Weather permitting, swimming will be an option. Registration is closed – Please call with any questions.


Teen Leadership Program
11 – 14 year-olds
Hours: 8:30 to 5:00
Fee: $125 per week
Offered both June and August (program not offered during ROV Construction – August 23-27)

The Teen Leadership Program is for young people who are too young to have a job, but are interested in spending a week assisting our course teachers in the field, mentoring younger children, helping out with the activities for the day, supervising recess or play at the park. Teen Leaders (TL) will be given special assignments by their directing teacher and be responsible for various odd jobs that make the course run smoothly. Interest in science, animals, inventing and building with art materials, and using technology (Mac based) to create presentations — a plus.

TLs should have had previous experience working successfully with younger children, be able to work as a member of a team and have a basic understanding of how children learn through active exploration. 1-2 applicants will be accepted for each course.

Along with their Registration Form, interested TL applicants should send a list of their experiences working with young children and a letter that explains their interest in the program. On your Registration Form rank the courses in order of preference and submit your application by June 1st. You will then be invited for an interview and further clarification of our expectations.

Accepted applicants will meet with the course teacher before each session begins. They will work closely with course teachers and be given feedback on their performance. A final evaluation will be written that may be used as a recommendation for future summer employment with young children.

Questions: Call The Phoenix School at 978-741-0870 or email enrichment@phoenixschool.org


Register Online Today


Staff Bios:

Mike Smith: Current Phoenix teacher, a past program director at New England Science & Sailing, a kayak guide in the San Juan Islands, a marine science naturalist on whale watching vessels in New Jersey, a sailing and science instructor aboard Tall Ships in California, and teaching math, reading, and writing in a K-3 school in Nicaragua. He is also a director of Common Tides, a non-profit that provides free marine science and sailing programs to children from underserved communities. Mike is a Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor, NAUI Rescue Diver, ACA Coastal Kayak Certified, NSSIA SUP/Surf Instructor and a USCG Master 100GT Captain.

Mistral Dodson: Joined The Phoenix School in September 2017. Coming with over a decade of teaching experience from classroom, to professional development, to outdoor education. Mistral has travelled to many places around the globe, exploring the oceans and participating in research projects from seagrass to marine turtles while completely her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Conservation Biology. Mistral is passionate about experiential learning experiences, where education can come in many forms of learning and often the best learning happens when outside the classroom. She is excited to be a part of a school that has been practicing experience driven and student centered learning for over 3 decades, where innovation, discovery and student empowerment are key learning skills taught in the classroom. Where global education and technology programs are a normal part of our day. Where the extended Phoenix Family is your school and your school has no boundaries. Mistral enjoys spending time with her kids, from being in the ocean, to camping in the mountains, to traveling and experiencing life to the fullest.