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Into the Wild

Sargent Center Adventure Camp offers summer fun for 10- to 17-year-olds

Click on the slide show above to view images from Adventure Camp.

Like the first day of kindergarten, a couple of weeks at summer camp has long been regarded as a childhood rite of passage. At Boston University’s Sargent Center for Outdoor Education Adventure Camp that passage is likely to be through a chute of whitewater rapids or through the crevasse in an otherwise sheer cliff face. Here, in the 700-acre setting in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire, the focus isn’t so much on afternoon arts and crafts as it is on kayaking. And rock climbing. And mountain biking. Think Extreme Summer Camp.

“The goal is adventure!” says camp director Marijean Legnard Parry. “Our philosophy is to provide children with a wide array of activities that allow them to choose and celebrate their own level of challenge.”

Adventure Camp encourages participants to learn a multitude of wilderness sports in a safe and supportive setting and enables them to use their skills on-site at the camp or on off-site trips that range from backpacking through the Adirondack Mountains to canoeing in Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park.

This summer’s sessions begin July 1 and run through August 17. Campers can choose from 24 programs, lasting from 6 days to 26 days. All campers — whether enrolled in on-site programs or programs that involve off-site excursions — take part in outdoor skills training, sports, crafts, community activities, waterfront escapades, and special all-camp events at Sargent Center.

Campers who remain on-site will explore Sargent Center’s vast forests and pond by mountain bike, map and compass, canoe, and kayak. Other activities include hiking, archery, and climbing the high ropes course and the rock climbing tower. 

Off-site expeditions — geared toward activities such as mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, and other outdoor activities — take place throughout New England, including New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, upstate New York, and even Canada. 

Adventure Camp is for children and teens, ages 10 to 17. Activities are typically coed, with 8 to 12 campers per group. Enrollment is limited to ensure an overall staff-to-camper ratio of one to four. To download a brochure, click here. While there is no registration deadline, availability is limited, and Parry recommends that children sign up no later than March 13, 2007.

Founded by Dudley Sargent in 1912, the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education began as Sargent Camp. It was acquired by BU in 1932 and became the summer location for physical education and health majors at Sargent College. The camp features 25 miles of hiking trails, a 60-acre pond, a high ropes course, and basketball and volleyball courts.

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu.