About Pre-Camp Programs
School’s out and it’s time to unwind! Ease into summer: Summer Sprouts adjust to life at camp, Outdoor Explorers build friendships as they swim and play games, Trailbreakers warm up hiking muscles, and Summer Send’ers knock the dust off bikes.
Get ready for summer by building sandcastles, playing games, splashing in shallow water, exploring trails, and making friends. Full days increase little kids’ comfort in the outdoors, and a 1:5 staff-to-child ratio ensures personal attention as they socialize and acclimate to Powissett Pond’s placid waterfront.
Kick off summer in style! At South Beach, older kids swim at one of Hale’s liveliest waterfronts that includes access to playgrounds, a picnic area, and modern bathrooms. Staff facilitate games on the field, help campers navigate new trails, and encourage development of friendships that continue at camp.
Eager to log miles? Trailbreakers start and end their days at South Beach, and learn about plants and wildlife as they hike throughout our acres of adventure. Every day includes opportunities to focus on building outdoor skills, as well as time to swim and enjoy Noanet Pond.
8–13-year-olds who are ready to ride can shift gears on Hale’s trails. Mountain bikers access features and brush up on skills around our ABC XYZ site, and a nearby field doubles as an outdoor classroom. Coaches help riders build endurance—there’s no better way to reach South Beach for swimming than by bike!
There’s no better way to start summer than swimming, hiking, and mountain biking before camp even begins! Here are a few photos of Pre-Camp Programs in action.
At Hale, every camper takes the bus! Our Summer Camps 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.
Pre-Camp Programs offer limited bus service: The Yellow, Green, and Purple buses run during Pre-Camp; other routes are not available during Pre-Camp.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
We group Summer Sprouts together and then our Outdoor Explores are in groups by age. Our Send’ers and Trailbreakers stay in their own groups.
Pre-Camp Programs are based at South Beach, so campers get to explore a unique part of Hale that’s unavailable to them through our two-week Summer Camps! Summer Sprouts and Outdoor Explorers get a taste of Hale Day Camp as they participate in free swim, archery, teambuilding, sports, nature, and more. Summer Send’ers hop on their bikes and warm up in the field before hitting the trails, visiting MTB Camp’s site, and exploring Hale’s MTB Skills Park. Trailbreakers learn to navigate as they find their way around Noanet Pond, ascend small peaks, and learn important outdoor safety skills.
While we generally follow the adage, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing choices,” sometimes Mother Nature can make the outdoors feel a little too adventurous. All of our campers have access to covered pavilions and cabins that provide safe shelter.
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.
Kick Off Summer
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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