Summer Explore Trips and Programs

Summer Explore Preview

About Summer Explore Trips and Programs

Explore Camps Ecplore Camps

During the summer, the Outdoor School's Explore program runs three, four, and five day educational expeditions in the unspoiled regions of the upper Bay and its tributaries. Additionally, Day Camps for young children are offered on our school campus.

Explore Trips for ages 8 and up

Echo Hill Outdoor School’s summer Explore program offers exciting three, four, and five-day adventures on the waters of the upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Four types of trips are available: three-day camping, four and five-day canoe, five-day skipjack, and five-day buy boat. Participants can register on an individual basis or with a friend or relative. The minimum age is 8 years for three-day trips, and 10 years for four and five-day trips.

Little and Middle Explorers Day Camps for ages 4 – 9

Explore Camps

Our young explorers learn the wonders of nature using all of their senses as they romp through the forest, wetland, beach, and fields. Opportunities abound for toad catching, bug investigation, fort building and sheer outdoor enjoyment.In small groups and guided by highly qualified educators/staff naturalists, Little and Middle Explorers participate in an exciting & nurturing outdoor learning experience.

Day and Residential Programs

Day and Residential programs are available in the summer from June 17 through August 24 for groups ranging in size from 6 to 40. We offer experiences in all three of our curriculum areas: Science And Ecology, Individual And Group Development, and History And The Human Environment.

3-Day Camping Trips

Explore Camps

This trip is designed to provide a positive and exciting adventure for the first or second-time camper. The group of six participants and two Echo Hill trip leaders explore the Chester River and use the same campsite each night of the three-day experience. Basic Camping, canoeing and fishing skills are the focus of this program.

Minimum age: 8 years
Maximum age: 11 years
Number of participants: 6
Fee: $316.00

2020 Registration and Application (PDF)

4 and 5-Day Canoe Trips

Explore Camps

The canoe trips travel the middle section of the Chester River and explore undisturbed marshes, sandy beaches, fields, and woodlands. These trips use up to six canoes to carry eight campers, three Outdoor School trip leaders and all food and gear for the week. Making and breaking camp, helping to cook and prepare meals, and canoeing are all major parts of every canoe trip, and along the way there is plenty of time for relaxing, fishing and swimming your hearts out.

Minimum age: 10 years
Number of participants: 8
Fee: 4-Day Canoe $388
Fee: 5-Day Canoe $430

2020 Registration and Application (PDF)

5-Day Buy Boat Trips

Explore Camps

Buy boat trips take place aboard the 50’ Chesapeake Bay oyster boat, Annie D. The Annie D was used to purchase oysters from watermen at the oyster grounds and transport them to the great shucking houses of the Eastern Shore. Now, the Annie D. can carry you as she travels the waters of the Chester River and the Upper Bay.

The beauty of an Annie D trip is mobility. The group of six participants, the captain and crew are free to roam the entire Chester River. The bateau “Ric”, a 22’ skiff, is towed behind to allow for extensive exploration anywhere along the way. The explorers have the ability to crab, fish, swim and study all parts of the ecosystem at anytime.

Minimum age: 10 years
Number of participants: 6
5-Day Buy Boat Trips $622

2020 Registration and Application (PDF)

5-Day Skipjack Trips

Explore Camps

Skipjack trips take place aboard the School’s Chesapeake Bay Skipjack, Elsworth. Skipjacks are sailing vessels which developed in the late 1890’s for the purpose of sail dredging for oysters. The Elsworth is one of only a few remaining skipjacks which were built before 1920 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Elsworth sails each Monday with six participants, the captain, and two Echo Hill trip leaders. Sailing and running the Elsworth is a team effort that requires involvement from everyone on board. Learning some basic sailing and navigational skills are a part of every trip. Every sailor has an opportunity to contribute.

Fishing, crabbing, and swimming are important activities on any skipjack trip and Echo Hill teachers provide the crew with challenging adventures and ecology problems as well. Camping is done on the vessel.

Minimum age: 10 years
Number of participants: 6
5-Day Skipjack Trips $720

2020 Registration and Application (PDF)

Little Explorers

Explore Camps

... a summer camp for little ones

Little Explorers is a summer program for children 4 to 6 years of age. The program is nature based with children participating in outdoor exploration, songs, crafts and games.

Some themes campers will focus on include: habitats, barnyards & gardens, wild plants & animals, dirt & bugs, swamp life, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Parents are welcome to attend Little Explorers with their child or drop their child off. If you choose to drop your child off and remain on campus you are welcome to relax in our air-conditioned dining hall. Younger siblings (ages 3 and under) may attend accompanied by the parent at no extra charge.

Camp runs from 9AM to 12 Noon

Sessions run Monday through Friday

Minimum age: 4 years
Maximum age: 6 years

Please check back for 2020 dates



Middle Explorers
and Step-Up Explorers

Middle Explorers is a summer program for children 7 to 10 years of age. Children participate in outdoor exploration, climbing, a day on the Chester river, crafts and games. The four-day session culminates with a family overnight in our all-season dormitories. This experience is the perfect preparation for children getting ready for overnight camp.

NEW! Step-Up Explorers is just for 6 and 7 year olds who are ready for a full day nature exploration program. Activities are similar to Middle Explorers, but without the overnight experience.

Arrive between 8:30 - 9am
Depart at 3pm

Day One
Welcome to Echo Hill Outdoor School! Campers will embark on a day filled with outdoor exploration, nature crafts and active games.

Day Two
River Day! Meet at Still Pond Station for a day of swimming, fishing, and river exploration aboard the historic Chesapeake Bay workboat Twilight.

Day Three
Overnight for Middle Explorers
Our day will include challenges on our Adventure Course. Step-Up Explorers will end their day at 3pm; Middle Explorers are welcome to invite a parent or special adult to join us for dinner and a night away from home.

Day Four
3 pm Departure
More outdoor fun as we wrap up our week; swamp mucking, fort building, toad catching, and water-play, pure summer magic in the life of a child.

Minimum age: 7 years
Maximum age: 10 years

Please check back for 2020 dates


Day and Residential

Day and Residential programs are available in the summer from June 15 through August 28 for groups ranging in size from 6 to 40. We offer experiences in all three of our curriculum areas:

Science And Ecology
These courses include Bay Studies (exploring the Chester River aboard the historic vessels Twilight and Spirit), Swamp Canoeing (paddling canoes through a fresh water shrub-swamp), and Pond & Stream Studies (mucking about and exploring the ponds and streams of Kent County).

Individual And Group Development
We offer the opportunity for groups to challenge themselves, gain confidence, and explore the inner-workings of a team in our Adventure programs. Led by experienced facilitators, participants can try the Zip-Line, Pathfinder climbing wall, Giant Swing, or Alpine Tower, as well as a wide-variety of ground-level elements.

History And The Human Environment
Mystery Tour classes take students out into the Kent County community to meet the farmers, watermen, and townspeople that make up Maryland’s most agricultural county. In our Early American Studies class students learn about some of the earliest inhabitants in the Chesapeake Region. They can see firsthand what it was like to live in a wigwam, fashion a dugout canoe, or make natural cordage.

Air-conditioned dorms and a dining hall are available for residential programs in the summer. Please inquire at or (410) 348-5880.