Friends of the Middlesex Fells
Friends of the Fells youth programs provide nature-based learning opportunities for children (ages 4-10 and older) to engage in a self-guided exploration of the forest, helping develop their curiosity, critical thinking, and sense of connection with nature. Our highly-trained instructors use positive reinforcement to build empathy and communication about the natural world.
2018 PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
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Forest Kindergarten in the Middlesex Fells
Announcing Spring and Summer programs in the Fells geared at children ages 4-6.
In summer the Friends of the Fells offers classes for our youngest forest learners (ages 4-5) in two fun time slots: morning (9-11:30 AM) and early afternoon (12:30-3 PM). There is also programming for older children (ages 6-10) available (see below and at right for details). All programs depart from the DCR Botume House, 4 Woodland Rd, Stoneham. All forest program activities will be scaled to the age, aptitude, and interest of the participants.
Unlike our other Fells family programs for children ages 0-3+, Forest Kindergarten and other youth programs allow parents to drop their children off for a period of up to 2.5 hours each day.
We take shelter indoors in the case of heavy rain or lightning, but children otherwise spend the entire time outdoors exploring Spot Pond and the adjacent forest. This place-based, rain-or-shine approach to education lets children connect meaningfully with our shared environment.
Thanks for your interest in Fells Forest Kindergarten!
Note: If you join the Friends, you will receive occasional discounts, free admission to select events, and support our mission of sharing the woods with the children of the community. To find out whether your Friends of the Fells membership is current, visit our Join page. In addition to supporting our mission, your generosity helps to pay for our programming and financial aid for others.
Please donate here to support us — just $25 (or more) goes a long way towards providing environmental education opportunities for all.
|Please enjoy our new Sign-Up System + report any issues to the Youth Programs Director.
Youth Programs for ages 4-10 and older
Youth Programs in the Middlesex Fells
The Friends of the Fells also offers Youth Programs for older forest learners (ages 6-10), including after-school. See registration links (top right) for details. We will also run programs for children ages 11+ provided demonstrated interest.
All instructors for all our Youth Programs will be CPR/First Aid certified and will have passed a CORI background check.
The total cost for each session varies according to schedule length (see links). However, we offer limited financial assistance to those in need, and invite those who wish to inquire about this option to contact Ann Frenning Kossuth, our Youth Programs Director.
Please respect our age ranges, and please know that we can no longer issue refunds, but we may be able to give you credit for other programs, and please work with us to let us know about your child’s needs. Thank you.
We also offer free programs for parents/caregivers with children ages 0-3+: Babes in the Woods / Hike ‘ Seek.
Work for Friends of the Fells (forest instructor application)
School and Scout Group information
We are a proud grantee of the Cummings Foundation, whose support is helping us grow our environmental educational programming to reach hundreds of students every year. Click to learn more about these consequential grants from the Cummings Foundation.
Minimum Age 4
Camp Cities All youth programs run out of Stoneham, Massachusetts. Friends of the Fells headquarters are based in Melrose.