Hale Mountain Biking Camp
Ready to Ride
Mountain biking is a great way for campers to explore the world around them. They spend time in Hale’s MTB Skills Park, on group trail rides, and have access to 20+ miles of trails across Hale’s acres of adventure. When they aren’t riding, they enjoy other camp activities, too.
Whether your young rider is a novice or a pro, our counselors will coach them based on their current skill level so they confidently progress throughout the summer and in the years ahead.
In MTB 101, campers learn the basics of mountain biking. Our low rider-to-staff ratios give riders the personal attention they need to feel confident and prepared. Some experience on a bike is required, but even rookie riders will improve their technique quickly. Campers learn to mount, dismount, brake, shift, and advance their skills as they navigate rough terrain, steer around obstacles, and explore small features.
Intermediate MTB builds on what campers learned in MTB 101. Daily instruction focuses on specific techniques and skills progression. Our Skill of the Day block offers practice on fields with built elements and on trails with bridges, hills, and natural obstacles. Hale’s private MTB Skills Park allows campers to build, ride, and maintain features. Counselors guide the construction of ramps and berms and lead riders in practicing technical tricks and jumps.
Advanced MTB is a ride all its own. Experienced mountain bikers continue their growth with expert instructors—think high jumps, downhill, and flow rides that get wheels off the ground and hearts pumping. Each session starts at Hale, where campers will learn to ride our skills park’s new jump line. During the second week, they’ll take an off-campus trip to explore mountain biking at locations throughout New England.
MTB Coach-in-Training, one of our Youth Leadership Development Programs, helps aspiring coaches learn to counsel campers, teach skills, and manage rides. The 4-week experience defines what it takes to be a team member, and participants learn hard and soft skills at camp and on the trails. They also spend time working with campers in younger divisions to pass on their knowledge. The culmination of this experience challenges each new coach to serve as a group’s “Leader for a Day.”
At Hale, every camper takes the bus! We gladly provide bus service with stops in Brookline, Dedham, Dover, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Medfield, Milton, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Roslindale, Walpole, Wellesley, West Roxbury, and Westwood. To reduce traffic and enhance safety, regular drop-offs and pick-ups are not permitted on site. A local bus stop is available for campers whose parents or guardians wish to drive them to Westwood.
A camp staff member accompanies each bus for the duration of its route and ensures your camper’s safe journey to and from camp each day. Please note that you or an authorized adult must meet your camper at your designated bus stop each afternoon. Buses serve campers during regular camp hours (8:45 AM–3:45 PM). Hale does not offer an extended day option. Please ensure your camper’s transportation plans account for timely pick-up.
- Clark Playground, 195 Cypress St, Brookline, MA 02445 7:55 AM 4:35 PM
- Heath Elementary School, 100 Eliot St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 8:05 AM 4:25 PM
- Memorial Spaulding Elementary School, 250 Brookline St, Newton, MA 02459 8:20 AM 4:10 PM
- Match Charter Public Middle School, 215 Forest Hills St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 8:00 AM 4:30 PM
- West Roxbury High School, 1205 VFW Pkwy, Boston, MA 02132 8:20 AM 4:10 PM
- Schofield Elementary School, 27 Cedar St, Wellesley, MA 02481 7:50 AM 4:40 PM
- Eliot Elementary School, 135 Wellesley Ave, Needham Heights, MA 02494 8:05 AM 4:25 PM
- Newman Elementary School, 1155 Central Ave, Needham, MA 02492 8:20 AM 4:10 PM
- Dale Street School, 45 Adams St, Medfield, MA 02052 7:45 AM 4:45 PM
- Thomas Blake Middle School, 24 Pound St, Medfield, MA 02052 7:55 AM 4:35 PM
- Dover Town Garage Parking Lot, 40 Spring Rd, Dover, MA 02030 8:15 AM 4:15 PM
- Sheehan School, 549 Pond St, Westwood, MA 02090 8:30 AM 4:00 PM
- Norwood High School, 245 Nichols St, Norwood, MA 02062 7:50 AM 4:40 PM
- F. A. Cleveland School, 380 Nichols St, Norwood, MA 02062 8:00 AM 4:30 PM
- Norfolk County Agricultural School, 400 Main St, Walpole, MA 02081 8:15 AM 4:15 PM
- Westwood High School, 200 Nahatan St, Westwood, MA 02090 8:30 AM 4:00 PM
- Holy Name Elementary School, 535 W Roxbury Pkwy, West Roxbury, MA 02132 8:00 AM 4:30 PM
- Catholic Memorial, 235 Baker St, West Roxbury, MA 02132 8:15 AM 4:15 PM
- Riverdale Elementary School, 143 Needham St, Dedham, MA 02026 8:25 AM 4:05 PM
- Pierce Middle School, 451 Central Ave, Milton, MA 02186 7:35 AM 4:55 PM
- Ellison Parks Early Ed School, 108 Babson St, Boston, MA 02126 7:45 AM 4:45 PM
- Francis D. Martini Memorial Shell Park and Moynihan Recreation Area, 1015 Truman Pkwy, Boston, MA 02136 8:00 AM 4:30 PM
- Greenlodge Elementary School, 191 Greenlodge St, Dedham, MA 02026 8:15 AM 4:15 PM
- Downey School, 250 Downey St, Westwood, MA 02090 8:30 AM 4:00 PM
- James W Hennigan School, 200 Heath St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 7:45 AM 4:45 PM
- The Mosaic School, 3859 Washington St, Boston, MA 02131 8:00 AM 4:30 PM
- Washington Irving Middle School, 105 Cummins Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131 8:10 AM 4:20 PM
- Beethoven Elementary School, 5125 Washington St, Boston, MA 02132 8:25 AM 4:05 PM
A Day in the Life
Here’s a peek at a typical day at Hale MTB Camp, where every day is packed to the brim with exciting activities (which are always subject to change based on weather, trail conditions, and camper interests).
|Time of day||Activity|
|Campers Arrive at Hale||Rise and shine—an exciting day outdoors awaits! Campers arrive at Hale, grab their bikes, and buckle their helmets.|
|Morning Circle/Roles of the Day and Announcements||Campers gather for Morning Circle. Instructors review the daily schedule and answer questions.|
|Skill of the Day||After filling their water bottles, Skill of the Day sessions begin. Campers ride trails, complete demonstrations and drills, and work on developing specific skills in controlled settings.|
Bio Break—Campers use restrooms and rehydrate.
|Skills in Action||Skills in Action sessions prompt campers to implement what they learned during their Skill of the Day session. In other words, they move from practicing skills in controlled settings to using them under more typical riding conditions. Alternatively, they may use this time to go on a trail ride or learn about bike mechanics.|
|Lunch||Noon Lunchtime! Campers refuel and catch up with friends as they recount the morning’s adventures.|
|Afternoon Activities||After lunch, campers can continue mountain biking or try another activity of their choice, such as archery, boating, or climbing on our challenge course. After that, groups reconvene and hit the beach.|
|A Dip in the Pond||Swim time! Nothing beats the summer sun like a quick dip in the pond.|
|Camp Clean-Up||It’s time to clean up and tuck bikes away. This closure keeps campers organized and teaches responsibility.|
|Board Buses||Campers board buses and return home dirty, tired, and eager to return for another adventure-filled day.|
Would you like a closer look?
Check out our Camper Resource Site for an in-depth look at last year’s camps. Note the information you’ll find there is subject to change as we plan for next year!
Frequently Asked Questions
Hale Summer Camps
Seasonal staff members are carefully selected from the teaching profession, top college and graduate schools, and local public and private high schools. Every applicant is personally interviewed, three or more reference checks are required, and work histories are carefully reviewed. Hale also completes criminal background (CORI) and sex offender (SORI) checks on all of its hires.
Our counselors are enthusiastic, creative role models who understand children and love the outdoors. Activity specialists have extensive experience in their respective activities (and receive additional training prior to camp).
All staff members who work directly with campers are certified in CPR and First Aid. Hale Adventure Camp and Hale MTB Camp staff members often hold more advanced Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, or Wilderness First Responder certifications, and often have many years and hundreds (if not thousands) of miles of experience hiking and riding terrain throughout New England. Hale Outdoor Learning Adventures staff members work with certified teachers from Boston Public Schools.
During a typical season, Kindercamp’s is 1:5. Lower Camp’s is 1:6. Middle Camp’s is 1:8. Teen Camp’s is 1:10. Additionally, program specialists staff every activity area. Hale Adventure Camp’s and Hale MTB Camp’s ratios are 1:6. HOLA’s ratio is 1:8. Overall, Hale’s staff-to-camper ratio is 1:5.
Some wait lists are longer than others, but people’s plans change. We enroll as many campers as possible in the order they signed up, so don’t delay—join a wait list today!
Parents and supporters often ask: Why can’t you simply hire more counselors and create additional groups? Massachusetts regulations and ACA guidelines require that specific camper-to-counselor ratios be maintained and that enrollment not exceed the capacity limits of current facilities.
Pre-Camp Programs offer a week-long introduction to Hale Summer Camps. These are not required for participation, but are a fun, relaxing way to jump into summer and experience different parts of Hale before everyone arrives.
Hale Mountain Biking Camp
Bikes are not permitted on buses, but locked storage at Hale is complimentary for the duration of your camper’s session. There are three options to bring your camper’s bike to Hale:
- Drop off your camper’s bike before their session begins (bikes may be locked on our bike rack on Saturday or Sunday from 8 AM until 6 PM).
- On the first day of your camper’s session, drop them off with their bike.
You may retrieve your camper’s bike after their final session by picking them up on their last day or returning to Hale the following week during business hours.
MTB 101 welcomes riders who may be new to mountain biking, but they must be generally familiar with and able to ride a bike (mounting and dismounting, braking, and riding comfortably over smooth surfaces). Our counselors take it from there!
Intermediate MTB is for riders who have already developed beginner mountain biking skills. It’s suited for campers who can ride easy and intermediate trails, successfully navigate obstacles and features up to 6 inches in height, and can stay in the saddle for 4–6 miles at a time.
Advanced MTB is for budding experts. These campers are comfortable with high speeds, easily navigate technical features, and can complete jumps. They can endure 8-mile rides on challenging trails and are typically interested in learning advanced jumps and downhill techniques.
Campers can expect to be on their bikes for at least 2–3 hours over the course of the day. Advanced riders spend more time on bikes than less experienced riders.
On hot days we take advantage of covered trails, swim in the pond, and do other activities that keep us cool. Staff members limit lengths of rides and time in the sun. On rainy days, we ride unless the weather is severe. If a thunderstorm rolls through, we may switch to teambuilding activities, bike repair education, videos to learn about various mountain biking disciplines, card tournaments, arts & crafts projects, and more.
We take safety very seriously. Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. All of our MTB instructors have 30+ hours of training in emergency procedures and are CPR certified, and several are certified in Wilderness First Aid. All counselors give campers detailed instructions to safely develop stamina and technical skills, and no camper is ever pressed to attempt trails or features they feel may be beyond their skill level. Campers are required to wear helmets, and we strongly recommend body armor such as hard- and soft-shell padding.
Recognized & Accredited
Every camp must comply with regulations set by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and be licensed by the local Board of Health, but Hale Summer Camps go well beyond that.
Our camps are routinely recognized as Boston Parents Paper Family Favorites, are members of the Massachusetts Camping Association, and are proudly accredited by the American Camp Association.
Learn why that’s important.
Included in Tuition
We’re pleased to once again include one Hale Annual Membership per camp family (a $120 value) with registration. Valid from Mar. 1, 2024–Feb. 28, 2025, your membership features complimentary parking throughout the year, discounts on activities, and a copy of Hale Magazine. You’ll receive instructions to claim your household’s membership in February.
Paying for Camp
Registrants may choose to pay in full or opt for installment billing. This is a matter of preference; no discount is associated with one option vs. the other.
Installment billing requires a non-refundable down payment of $150 (Pre-Camp Programs) or $300 (Summer Camps and Leadership Development Programs). This down payment is required per camper, per session. The remainder is billed in equal monthly installments on the 15th of each month, starting December 2023. Campers who register after installment billing begins are responsible for however many installments would have already been billed leading up to that time.
Example: Let’s say you’d like to enroll your camper in Session 3 of Hale Day Camp’s Lower Camp division. Full tuition is $1,650 per session, less any discounts. If you pay full tuition and opt for installment billing, you’ll make a $300 deposit (per camper, per session), and then we’ll automatically charge the balance to your credit card on the 15th of each month thereafter, starting in December. If you register now, that’s $300 today plus $270 per month starting on Dec. 15. If you register after Dec. 15, you’ll pay $570 at the time of registration ($300 down payment + one $270 installment) and then $270 per month starting Jan. 15.
Whether you opt for installment billing or choose to pay in full, your account balance will be settled by May so you and your camper can focus on what’s most important as summer approaches: camp!
Hale is committed to ensuring that our programs are accessible to children and families regardless of personal means. To that end, we maintain a fund to help families in need afford the cost of tuition. Our financial aid application for next summer’s camps is available and due by Feb. 1.
Transfers & Refunds
Session transfer requests will be honored if space is available at no cost through Jan. 15. Any session transfer requests after Jan. 15 will be charged a $25 transfer fee per session transfer.
Our refund policy protects those who register early. Regular payments (i.e. your total amount paid, minus non-refundable down payments) are refundable until March 15, 2024.
Find Your Ride
Alumni registration is underway and open enrollment will begin soon. Wait lists grow quickly, so sign up as soon as you can!
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