At Tanglewood, everyone has a focus group they pick on a Sunday evening and are in all week. Focus takes place each day between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning. And, each day you’ll discover, learn, and practice something different. Because you’re in the same focus all week BIG and exciting things will likely happen! We strive to hire staff with expertise in the options listed below, but please note all programs are not available during all sessions.


campers create theater sets
painting a drama set

Ever feel dramatic? Like to perform? Wondered how to throw your voice out into a crowd? The theater focus is filled with games, acting skills, puppetry, shadows, dancing, and often some music. Imagination is vital, being silly makes it all more fun, and the ability to make something out of nothing is all the difference between good and great! Sometimes the actors team up with the artists to cook up special surprises. At the end of the week, we all celebrate with a performance for all to see. Open to all ages.

Visual Arts

campers weave on a loom made of natural materials
weaving wool on a loom

Painting, sculpture, geometric origami, construction, weaving: our Arts Shop is your maker space to create. Discover how to work with clay or make natural sculptures to display around camp. Experiment with making rope or mats out of natural materials, play with wool and get dirty making charcoal. Each week is a little different – only limited by imagination, see where your creativity takes you. Open to all ages and abilities.

Watershed Ecology

exploring for alewives (fish)

The unique Tanglewood forest teems with many ecosystems and microhabitats supporting all kinds of life, even ours! The Ducktrap River connects camp to the ocean and we’ll spend the week exploring the woods and waterways down to the sea. We will go on excursions to the ocean to check out tidal pools, get muddy in the forest and go pond scooping. Open to all ages; campers must pass a swim test.

Engineering and Design

campers create a "ski jump" during a STEM activity
holding up a marble “ski jump”

What happens when you flip a switch? The light comes on, but how?  Turn on your X-ray vision and become an investigator into the mechanical marvels all around us. Build bridges, design ecobots, capture energy from the sun to heat up food, use the wind to turn a fan, experiment with chemical reactions to turn on lights, and discover force and trajectory with everyone’s favorite camp activity! We’ll get messy, meet challenges and discover the fun in everyday marvels through problem-solving and group-based activities. Open to all ages.


archers take aim at their targets
taking aim on the archery range

Our Genesis Bows are perfect for the young shooter. We’ll start with the basics and spend the week honing accuracy and shooting form, practicing safety, and making our own targets. By the end of the week, you’ll hit those bulls-eyes, have greater confidence and patience, and have fun. All archery programs are taught by certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors. Open to ages 10+ and abilities.

Gardening & Cooking

harvesting carrots

Get down and dirty learning about gardening, compost, plants, and food. We’ll spend our mornings helping to maintain the Tanglewood gardens, maintaining apple trees, weeding and learning about garden pests (and managing those pests), harvesting vegetables and flowers, making compost, and cooking special foods for lunch or dinner. We’ll learn all about food systems and AgriScience through hands-on STEM activities, too. Open to all ages and all abilities.

Outdoor Skills

cooking over the fire

Have you ever been curious about “Leave No Trace” ethics, have you ever challenged yourself to build a fire with one match, do you know what wood burns the best when wet and gives off the most heat, or have you ever built a tent blindfolded? In this program, we’ll learn all about and practice the skills needed for living in the outdoors, from fire and shelter building, water collection, map and compass, woodfire cooking, knot tying, and basic safety. See how lightly you can live on the land in this hands-on and challenging focus. Open to all ages and abilities.