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Summer Connections

Explore The Island

Boston's Island Classroom

Thompson Island is one of the largest, most accessible and most ecologically diverse islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. With 204 acres of undeveloped property, the island has mature forests, meadows, freshwater and marine wetlands, salt marshes and a variety of important geological features. Our amenities make Thompson Island ideal for school trips, class retreats and educational field trips. Amenities include a formal school campus complete with dormitories, dining hall, classrooms, lab space, auditoriums, gymnasium, outdoor challenge courses and climbing towers.

(Click Map Hotspots to Explore)

Explore The Island

Boston's Island Classroom

Thompson Island is one of the largest, most accessible and most ecologically diverse islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. With 204 acres of undeveloped property, the island has mature forests, meadows, freshwater and marine wetlands, salt marshes and a variety of important geological features. Our amenities make Thompson Island ideal for school trips, class retreats and educational field trips. Amenities include a formal school campus complete with dormitories, dining hall, classrooms, lab space, auditoriums, gymnasium, outdoor challenge courses and climbing towers.

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Erosion Bluff
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West Salt Marsh
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East Salt Marsh
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Learning Zone (Microwilderness)
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Gable Orchard
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Classrooms
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Ferry
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Bowditch Grove High and Low Ropes Course
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Kayaking (Boston Harbor)
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Campsites
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Intertidal Zone
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Challenge Field
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Dormitories
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Erosion Bluff

This is one of multiple geologic sites students visit on the island formed by earth’s natural processes- erosion, deposition, weathering, etc. Experimentation and collecting evidence gives students hands-on opportunities to discover how the island continues to be shaped by those forces.

West Salt Marsh

Digging deep into the intricacies of the salt marsh, students explore how energy and matter move in an ecosystem. Students examine organisms through guided inquiry and exploration to collectively construct a salt marsh food web.

East Salt Marsh

Digging deep into the intricacies of the salt marsh, students explore how energy and matter move in an ecosystem. Students examine organisms through guided inquiry and exploration to collectively construct a salt marsh food web.

Learning Zone (Microwilderness)

Through investigation and observation, students learn about adaptations in the world of insects. Using engaging scientific tools, students collect insects to discover how certain variations can lead to increased survival in an ecosystem

Gable Orchard

Fun and exciting low ropes obstacle course elements are found in Gable Orchard. Students work together to get their team over walls, problem solve to get through a spiders web, communicate to balance the whale watch and much more.

Classrooms

Classroom lessons introduce students to scientific concepts through hands-on demonstrations. Students practice making and recording scientific observations, forming relevant questions and making connections to prior knowledge. Practicing these skills prepare students for their island experience.

Ferry

The Motor Vessel Outward Bound (our ferry) leaves from the EDIC dock off of Drydock Avenue in South Boston. The 25 minute ride through the Boston Harbor to Thompson Island is always a highlight for groups visiting the island.

Bowditch Grove High and Low Ropes Course

Partners or trios work together to utilize their team's strengths to get up the Giants Ladder- a high ropes course vertical ladder. In Bowditch Grove students also participate in our ground-based low ropes obstacle course elements.

Kayaking (Boston Harbor)

Groups propel the waters of the Boston Harbor in two-person kayaks to learn paddling techniques, capsize and rescue procedures, weather forecasting and navigation skills.

Campsites

Students spend their backpacking course exploring the island preserve, where they investigate geology and ecology of forests, salt marshes and beaches, while learning camp craft, wilderness skills and environmental stewardship. Nights are spent at various raised platform tents or in shelters around the island.

Intertidal Zone

Students travel to the Intertidal Zone to learn about trophic levels- producers, consumers and decomposers. Exploration allows students to encounter a wide variety of organisms in order to examine how the unique roles of each trophic level help energy flow through the ecosystem.

Challenge Field

The Challenge Field consists of two Alpine Towers- 62’ tall, self-supporting structures that provide unique group challenges. They’re the ideal high ropes challenge course elements to foster team building, improve communication skills and develop self esteem.

Dormitories

Students sleep in dormitories separated by gender, typically on separate floors or in different buildings. Adults stay in the dorms with the students- either our staff, or the adults who accompany the students to the island. Our dorms range in size from 2-5 beds per room and feature nice, clean wooden single beds.

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