Overnight Stays on
Enjoy the Full Penikese Experience
Penikese Island School offers environmental mini-camps for students ranging from 7th grade through high school during school break weekends/weeks and over weekends. Mini-camps are run by our environmental educators who help foster student's innate curiosity and enthusiasm about flora and fauna through a mix of outdoor explorations and age appropriate activities, games and crafts.
General Program Information
Our 7th-12th grade residential outdoor education and team building programs inspire students to explore, discover, and learn through exciting field study activities, group building initiatives, fun songs, active games, and living together in a community.
During Penikese Overnight Programs, trained educators lead students in scientific field studies where students can explore, discover, and learn about the natural world through fun activities on the trail and in remarkable outdoor environments. Our island educators are experts at taking material taught in the classroom and creating supplemental curriculum in the outdoors, and field studies can be tailored to teachers' particular subject interests or state standards for a specific grade. Let us know what your interests are and we will create an unforgettable Penikese Island science camp experience for you and your students!
The main living quarters are modeled on a 19th century New England farm house and built, in large part, using salvaged beams found on and around Penikese Island. The house uses solar panels for nominal electrical needs and wood for heating and cooking. It has hot and cold running water, indoor and outdoor showers, and a clean composting Clivus Multrum toilet facility. It can be used in any season of the year. There is additionally a one-room “schoolhouse” building and a spacious workshop or studio building. Educational programs are run in the various Penikese buildings and at stations spread across Penikese Island.
Health and Safety on Island
PIS has long experience making sure that its programs and facilities are as safe as possible. For many years licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early & Secondary Education (DESE), PIS has safely transported hundreds of people to and from the island over our 45 plus year history. DESE has even commended PIS on our health, safety and emergency protocols. In case of medical emergencies, the US Coast Guard Station at Menemsha (Martha’s Vineyard) and Boston MedFlight helicopters are prepared to respond.
“The last week of September, 17 of our students along with [three teachers] spent 3 days and 2 nights out at Penikese, without phones, with limited running water and no electric light. Glorious, right? We cooked, ate and cleaned together, learning about the Island’s history, doing team challenges, playing games, fishing and taking in the Island and the ocean all around. Was it serene and rejuvenating at every moment? No- of course there was drama when 17 teenagers have no distractions but each other. But was it mindful and meaningful? It was. Were there a hundred moments or more when I found myself talking to a student and learning something about them I had never known before? You bet. Did they learn something about themselves and each other? Definitely. Everything from history lessons to ghost stories to how to slice a tomato. Our Penikese Island Retreat represents [our] work all year, but distilled into around 52 hours. It’s a feeling of being disconnected from the rest of the world but connected together, learning about each other while learning about life---it’s about being
there, with each other, with ourselves."