Your Summer Getaway in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts!
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.“student
“When I go up the bumpy road to Manice, I always feel like I am reaching my second home…“student
“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.“student
Students in all courses are encouraged to reach their full potential by enjoying safe, stimulating, and FUN enrichment activities:
- Challenge course and daily team building activities
- Scientific inquiry into local ecology
- Hiking and canoeing
- Overnight camping
- Creative thinking and problem solving
- Organic gardening and caring for our chickens
- Astronomy and night exploration
- Journaling, reading, crafts, and skits
- Applying Leave No Trace ethics
- Campfires, s’more and GREAT fresh food!
- SESSION 1: EXPLORATORY COURSE – 6th-7th grades
Exploratory Course for 6th-7th grades
July 12th- July 21st, 2021! (10 days)
If you are new to camping or just want to play and learn outside, join us 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 Exploratory 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 – 7th-8th grades
SESSION 2: FOUNDATION COURSE for 7th-8th grades
June 28th- July 9th, 2021! (12 days)
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 wilderness backpacking. Challenge Course activities help students to plan and solve problems together, improve communication skills, and enjoy the thrill of success, together!
- Deep woods survival skills
- How to identify diversity plants and animals in their natural surroundings
- How local ecosystems work together
- New insights into their own abilities and their community at camp, at school and at home
- SESSION 3: ADVANCED COURSE – 8th-9th grades
SESSION 3: ADVANCED COURSE for 8th-9th grades
July 24th- August 4th, 2021! (12 days)
Hike the Appalachian Trail to the top of Massachusetts’ highest mountain, enjoy the relaxing rhythms of paddling a canoe, discover your personal leadership abilities — and learn how to protect the wilderness you’re enjoying!
The Advanced Course, for students in the 8th through 9th grades includes learning advanced canoeing techniques, a multi-day backpacking and camping trip, workshops on teamwork and communications, and in-depth investigations of the regional natural environment.
- Growth in trusting themselves and their peers
- Team spirited accomplishments in navigating lakes, streams and mountains
- A sense of responsibility through trip preparation and participation in community service oriented projects toward environmental action
- Builds early foundations in leadership through Service Learning
- 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 for 9th-12th grades
SESSION 4: HIGH SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE (H.S.L.T.C.) for 9th-12th grades
August 9th- August 20th, 2021! (12 days)
Co-lead your friends as you 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 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 student-led, staff-guided expeditions on beautiful trails and rivers.
- 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 — not offered in 2021
SESSION 5: B.R.I.D.G.E COURSE for 9th-12th grades- Will be offered in Summer 2022!
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