Summer Sessions

Spend a week or three in the beautiful Berkshires!


The summer adventure of a lifetime!

We offer four summer sessions of environmental science, wilderness expeditions and leadership training courses for motivated students ages 11-18. Students are chosen based on teacher recommendations and an interview with Christodora staff.

  • I can remember last summer like it was yesterday. Everything. The nature, learning, wilderness skills and community building.

  • When I go up the bumpy road to Manice, I always feel like I am reaching my second home…

  • Thank you so much for such a unique opportunity that teaches and gives our city kids the options to experience and dream beyond their borders.


5205370_origStudents in all courses are encouraged to reach their full potential by enjoying safe, stimulating, and fun enrichment activities:

  • Teams course challenge and group building initiatives
  • Scientific inquiry into local ecology
  • Canoeing and swimming
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Overnight camping, at our center and wilderness beyond
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Organic gardening
  • Astronomy, night exploration, and campfires
  • Journaling, reading, crafts, and skits
  • Applying Leave No Trace ethics



  • SESSION 1: EXPLORATORY COURSE – 1 week for 6th-7th grades

    Exploratory Course 1 week for 6th-7th grades

    July 13th- July 19th!

    If you are new to camping or just want to play and learn outside, join us for 6 days at camp! Backpack or canoe into a nearby state park for your first overnight in the forest, see parts of nature you never knew were there. Get away from it all and relax with new friends!

    The Exploratory Course gives 6th and 7th grade students an opportunity to learn and grow through an exciting 6-day residential camping program. These students will be the only ones in residence at the MEC during this time so that our highly skilled staff can devote all of our attention and energy to meeting their individual needs. As students in the introductory Course explore the natural outdoor environment, they can expect to participate in all the challenging activities of the Core Program. Attending the Introductory Course at MEC provides students with a solid foundation for the continued development of environmental knowledge and wilderness skills when they return for more advanced courses at Manice.

  • SESSION 2: FOUNDATION COURSE – 2 weeks for 7th-8th grades

    SESSION 2: FOUNDATION COURSE 2 weeks for 7th-8th grades

    June 27th- July 10th!

    Embark on backpacking and canoeing adventures to learn survival trips, such as identifying wild foods you can eat and building a fire. See how teamwork makes it all possible!

    The 12-day foundation course, designed for students in the 7th and 8th grades, further develops students’ environmental science knowledge base and includes a four-day off-property wilderness backpacking trip as well as Teams Course challenges, which are designed to enhance group interactions.

    Students learn:

    • Extended back-country travel and survival
    • How to identify their annual surroundings
    • How local ecosystems work together
    • New insights into their community at camp, at school and at home
  • SESSION 3: ADVANCED COURSE – 3 weeks for 8th-9th grades

    SESSION 3: ADVANCED COURSE 3 weeks for 8th-9th grades

    July 23rd- August 9th!

    Paddle down a river from Vermont to New York, hike the Appalachian Trail to the top of Massachusetts’ highest mountain, discover your personal leadership abilities and how to protect the wilderness you’re enjoying!

    The Advanced Course, also for students in the 8th through 9th grades, is a 18-day trip and includes learning advanced canoeing techniques, a four-day backpacking and camping trip, workshops on teamwork and communications, and in-depth investigations of the regional natural environment.

    Students achieve:

    • Growth in trusting themselves and their peers
    • Team spirited accomplishments on challenging rivers and mountains
    • A sense of responsibility through trip preparation and participation in community service oriented projects toward environmental action

    Leadership Training Course: This course is offered to 10 selected 9th grade students from the Advanced Session 3 Course

    • Builds early foundations in leadership through Service Learning
    • Blaze new trails in local forests with professionally trained guides
    • Develop and complete a Legacy Project at MEC to help improve the experience for others
    • Prepare for entry to the Elliman Scholarship Program
  • SESSION 4: HIGH SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE – 11 days for 9th-12th grades

    SESSION 4: HIGH SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE (H.S.L.T.C.) 11 days for 9th-12th grades

    August 13th- August 23rd!

    Co-lead your friends as you spend 5 days hiking and canoeing together. The Manice staff are here to support you through these exciting challenges that prepare you to use your leadership skills both in the outdoors and in your daily life!

    H.S.L.T.C is an intensive 11-day experience promoting self and community reliance while discovering existing leadership potential. Students will be challenged through workshops, team-focused problem solving, and leadership applications — both on campus and during a student led, staff guided 4-night hike on the renowned Appalachian Trail and exciting nearby rivers.

    HSLTC includes:

    • Workshops on leadership, decision making, communication, group & social skills, conflict management & cultural awareness
    • Wilderness navigation and orienteering
    • Emergency preparedness and procedures
    • Equipment selection & usage
    • Natural history lessons & environmental debates
    • Leading the group for a day with a peer
    • Daily journal reflections
    • Evening discussions about leadership styles and group dynamics
    • Self, peer, and staff course evaluations designed to relate achievements to everyday life
  • SESSION 5: B.R.I.D.G.E COURSE — 12 days for 9th-12th grades

    SESSION 5: B.R.I.D.G.E COURSE 12 days for 9th-12th grades

    Will be offered in Summer 2019!

    Lead a 7-night expedition into the wild to prepare for a career in leadership, outdoor education and wilderness navigation.

    Our Bringing Reward and Investment to Developing & Growing Educators (B.R.I.D.G.E) program offers select graduates from Session 4 an opportunity for early professional development in leadership, outdoor education and wilderness navigation. Students who apply should have a passion for the outdoors and a sincere interest in professional placement in outdoor, environmental science and education fields. Participants plan and lead their 7-night expedition into the wild with seasoned instructors. Adapted from a nationally recognized curriculum, this course involves:

    • Outdoor leadership and educational methods
    • Studying local ecology
    • Journal activities with a mentor & self reflections
    • Early mastery of wilderness skills

Click Here To Apply Today