Wilderness Field School (Homeschool, Ages 7-12)

Our wish is for our children to be around engaging, exceptional people in a natural environment that prepares them to be their best selves. We have found this at Merrohawke, and we are so grateful for your program.

Merrohawke’s wilderness field school welcomes homeschool children as well as those who are excused from their school once per week to participate. Together we seek to develop an understanding of the unique ecology of this landscape while also deepening our connection to nature, ourselves and each other.

Field study topics may include: tracking, bird ID, wild edibles and plant ID, coal-burning spoons and bowls, whittling, carving, fire by friction, wildcrafts, shelter building, ecology, songs, sit spots, community building and nature awareness games mixed with time for unstructured play to nurture creativity and clarity of mind.

With nature as our teacher, and our curiosity driving our focus each day, youth learn:

  • Awareness and Sensory Acuteness
  • Self-care & capacity to manage one’s own gear
  • Quiet mind & patience
  • Cooperation
  • Empathy & embracing differences
  • Detecting patterns & tracking changes
  • Healthy assertiveness
  • Supportive leadership
  • Tree & plant identification
  • Fire by friction
  • Fort and shelter building
  • Wildlife tracking
  • Singing
  • Handwork & natural crafts
  • Storytelling & remembering

Parents report their child becomes more confident, creative, resilient and connected to nature through participation in this program. This complements traditional school settings by developing skills that enable them to succeed in academics and other endeavors.


Essential Details

Location: Jennie Lagoulis Reservation at Four Rock, 82 Boston Rd., Newbury. This program is entirely outdoors.

Ages: Students ages 7-12 welcome. Must be at least 7 years old to attend full day option.

Class size: Class is limited to 12 students and two staff for a minimum teacher:student ratio or 1:6

Lead Instructors: Trevor Updike & Debbie Lyons

Session Length:

You may register for Fall only, Spring only, or the whole year, October through May (skipping January.)

Tuesday All Day ( 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Ages 7-12

September 18, 2018 to May 21, 2019
Fall Only: September 18 to December 11 – $649 (14 weeks; includes one overnight) 
Spring Only: January 29 to May 21 – $750 (15 weeks; includes one overnight)
Full Year Tuition $1399 (29 weeks; includes 3 overnights in Fall/Winter/Spring)

Scholarship assistance is available

Thursday Half Day (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.). Ages 7-12

September 20, 2018 to May 24, 2019
Fall Only: September 20 to December 11 – $299 (14 weeks)
Spring Only: January 31 – May 23  $400 (15 weeks)
Full Year Tuition $699 (29 weeks)

Deposit of $150 due with registration. Equal monthly installments due thereafter through April. Rolling enrollment and pro-rated tuition subject to availability.

Scholarship assistance available

Email us if you have any questions.