Two weeks packed with hiking, biking, paddling and friendship.
Our trip begins in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with a short afternoon hike to stretch our legs and get to know each other. Then we’ll travel to New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee region for hiking, swimming and camping. Our challenge hike up Mount Monadnock offers a rewarding six-state view from the summit.
We’ll head south to Martha’s Vineyard where we’ll bike on the bike paths, visit bustling Vineyard Haven and classic Edgartown and enjoy picnic lunches and afternoons at the beach. A highlight of our time on Martha’s Vineyard will be an afternoon exploring the picturesque coastline by sea kayak.
On our last day together, we’ll enjoy a day of rafting on the Deerfield River and then return to Williamstown for a final celebratory dinner where we’ll look back on two weeks of experiences and achievements, friendships and fun.
Mountains & Sea Adventure is a wonderful introduction to exploration and adventure in a supportive, wholesome setting, capably led by caring Overland leaders, with activities carefully calibrated to the interests and abilities of 4th, 5th and 6th graders.
Romi had a wonderful experience. She grew emotionally, became (even more) independent and expanded her horizons. Romi is looking forward to another Overland trip next summer.
- Jonathan Schreiber, Rye, New York
Day 1: Trip Start
Our trip starts in Williamstown, Massachusetts. We’ll spend our first afternoon getting to know one another, playing fun games and going on a short hike to prepare for our two weeks together.
Days 2-6: Hike in New Hampshire
We’ll drive to New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee region where we’ll hike, swim and camp. In the mornings, we’ll hike and explore the countryside. In the afternoons, we’ll swim in beautiful Lake Sunapee, play games and make new friends. After a few day hikes, we’ll be ready to tackle Mount Monadnock (3,165 feet). We’ll eat lunch at the summit and enjoy the rewarding six-state, 360-degree view of New England.
Days 7-11: Bike, Swim & Kayak on Martha’s Vineyard
We’ll take a break from the trail and drive to Cape Cod. From Woods Hole, Massachusetts, we will take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. On the Vineyard, we’ll ride along the bike paths across rolling terrain to classic seaports, charming towns and long stretches of white sand. As we ride, we will make time to swim, play games and explore bustling Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. For a change of pace, we’ll take a day to enjoy the island’s coast by sea kayak. Professional guides will teach us the basics of kayaking as we paddle through sheltered coves and inlets.
Day 12: Raft the Deerfield River
We’ll drive back to Williamstown for a fun, final whitewater rafting adventure on the Deerfield River with professional outfitters. The Zoar Gap, a spectacular section of the Deerfield River, is a great balance of fun rapids (class II and III) and calmer water.
Day 13: Trip End
Back in Williamstown, we’ll spend our last night celebrating two weeks of fun, accomplishment, discovery and new friendships.
8 nights of frontcountry camping. Campground facilities will vary and may include flush toilets, hot water, showers and/or laundry.
4 nights in a hostel or cabins on Martha’s Vineyard.
Things to know
- We travel light on Overland trips; please only bring items on your packing list.
- Your group will have access to laundry periodically.
- Please do not bring any electronics (including your cell phone). See FAQs for more information on our cell phone and electronics policy.
- Do not bring any type of knife or multi-tool (such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool).
- If you are flying to your trip start, carry your sleeping bag and sleeping pad with you in case your checked luggage fails to arrive on time.
- There are no reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen items.
- Please wear the navy Overland shirt that you will receive from the Overland office to your trip start location.
- Medium-Sized Duffel Bag or Backpack
3,000-5,000 cubic inch (50-80 liters) duffel bag. You will leave the duffel bag and any extra items in our van during the trip and use your day pack for hikes and daily activities.
- Navy Overland Shirt (1)
We will send students an Overland shirt prior to their trip, and we encourage students to wear their Overland shirt to trip start. We highly recommend this for students flying to their trip start location.
- Synthetic T-Shirt (3)
Short-sleeve T-shirt or tank top.
- Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (2)
Lightweight for sun protection.
- Synthetic Shorts (3)
- Pants (1)
Suitable for cool evenings in camp (synthetic pants are preferred).
- Underwear (6)
- Athletic Socks (pair) (6)
- Hat with Visor
For protection from the sun. Baseball hats are acceptable.
- Winter Hat
- Pajamas (optional)
Students sometimes prefer to sleep in shorts and a T-shirt instead of bringing pajamas.
- Waterproof Raincoat
Waterproof material required (not just water resistant). Rain coats provide protection from wind and rain and serve as an extra warm layer. Your jacket should be large enough to allow layers underneath. We recommend hoods and breathable materials. Gore-Tex is a well-known waterproof and breathable fabric but there are many other quality fabrics. Ponchos are not acceptable.
- Fleece Jacket or Pullover
Medium to heavyweight and reasonably compact.
- Day Pack
Basic two-shoulder backpack large enough to hold your lunch, two water bottles, snacks, extra layers and rain jacket. Use your day pack as a carry-on for your flight and for daily activities or hikes. A standard school backpack is usually fine (no satchels or shoulder bags).
- Sleeping Bag
Any type of sleeping bag is acceptable.
- Sleeping Pad
Full- or ¾-length compact sleeping pad. We recommend closed cell foam that is thin and firm (e.g., RidgeRest) or self-inflating (e.g., Therm-a-Rest).
- Flashlight or Headlamp & Extra Batteries
Headlamps are preferable because they free up your hands.
- Bowl, Mug & Utensils
6" to 8" plastic dish or bowl with top, insulated plastic mug, spoon, fork and knife. These don't need to be special camping utensils (a Tupperware dish and regular utensils are fine).
- Water Bottle
One 1-liter bottle (a smaller size is acceptable).
- Bike Helmet
If you are flying to trip start, carry your helmet on the plane with you.
- Sneakers (pair)
Comfortable shoes to wear on daily activities. Shoes should be supportive and have a good tread on the bottom for traction.
- Water Shoes
Closed-toed sport sandals, water shoes or old sneakers to wear on the water. Sandals must have a heel strap for activities such as kayaking, rafting or canoeing (flip flops and Crocs are not acceptable).
- Unaccompanied Minor Fee Receipt (if applicable)
For students travelling as Unaccompanied Minors, please print a copy of the UAM fee receipt for your child's leaders to keep on file.
- Baggage Fee Receipt (if applicable)
Some airlines allow passengers to input credit card information to cover checked bag service charges when checking in online prior to the trip. To reduce hassle at the airport, we encourage you to pay for checked baggage beforehand and supply your child with a copy of the receipt for his or her leaders to keep on file.
- Synthetic Camping Towel
A medium-size synthetic camping towel (synthetic camping towels dry much faster than regular towels).
All items should be travel size (if necessary, you will be able to restock during the trip).
Polarized sunglasses that wrap around to protect from glare are ideal.
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+) & Chapstick (with SPF protection)
- Spending Money
$30 per week in cash or a debit/ATM card.
- Camera, Charger & Extra Batteries (optional)
A digital or disposable camera and, if necessary, a charger and large enough memory card to accommodate your pictures (4 to 8 GB).
- Personal Journal or Book (optional)
- Pillow (optional)
Compact, travel-size pillow recommended.
- Health Insurance Card
Please bring an original or copy of your health insurance card.
- Insect Repellent
- What is the weather like on Mountains & Sea Adventure?
The weather on Mountains & Sea Adventure varies. Sometimes it is sunny and warm, other times it is rainy and cold; average summer temperatures range from the 50s to 80s and may be cooler at night. Our packing list takes these variables into consideration. Layering is the best strategy. Please follow the packing list, paying close attention to rain gear specifications.
- What are the arrival and departure airports for my child’s trip?
Your child will fly to and from Albany International Airport (ALB). We will provide more specific travel information once we have placed your child on a program. If your child is not flying to the start of the trip, he or she should be dropped off and picked up in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
- How often will my child have access to showers and laundry?
While we have regular access to showers, most students will shower once or twice a week. Groups will do laundry once a week.
- Please tell me about safety at Overland.
Safety and risk management are at the forefront of our decision-making–from trip planning to leader training to supporting our groups in the field. We cannot guarantee absolute safety–no program can. All recreational activities include inherent and other risks. Therefore, we strive to manage the risks that we can, knowing we cannot eliminate them. We work hard to recruit, train and support our trip leaders so they can create the kind of trips that have made us successful for over 30 years. Please click here to read more about our approach to risk management and our accreditation by the American Camp Association.
- Does my child need to have previous experience?
While no previous experience is required, we have high expectations of our students. We expect your child–with your help–to select a trip that is appropriate for his or her interests and abilities. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the details of the specific program and help your child understand what to expect. We also expect our students to prepare ahead of time: to review the packing list, gather clothing and gear and complete whatever training the trip requires (for recommended training please see the Before You Go tab). Once the trip begins, your child should be ready–and excited–to contribute to a wholesome and enthusiastic group where each group member feels welcomed and valued.
- Please tell me about Overland's admissions process.
For more information, and to access our application, please visit our Apply page.
When we receive child’s application, if the first choice is available, you will receive a phone call and an email containing a link to our Overland Portal where you will find our Admissions Review Forms. We will accept your deposit to hold your child’s place in the program pending a favorable Admissions Review. If the first choice is not available, we will call you to confirm that the second choice is acceptable. If neither the first choice nor second choice are available, we will call you to discuss options. For those students placed on our waitlist, we will notify you as soon as a spot becomes available.
We seek to admit students who have demonstrated that they possess the personal qualities and experience necessary to succeed on an Overland trip. While Overland is always supportive and nurturing, an Overland program is unlike a traditional camp in that our small groups–12 students and 2 leaders–travel, live and work as a group, making all of their own meals, helping each other and cooperating in ways big and small, and they do all of this far from home. As a result, every student must be able to thrive in an environment that places equal emphasis on:
- 1. Teamwork and Shared Responsibilities.
- 2. Independence and Self-Reliance.
- 3. Support of Others and Consideration for Others.
- What are Overland’s policies on phones, electronics and communication?
To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails or text messages to or from our campers (the exceptions to this are: your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance, and in the case of an emergency). If your child brings a phone for use while en route to Overland, please do not send him or her with an expensive smartphone; instead bring an inexpensive prepaid cell phone. All phones will be collected on arrival and returned at departure. While we will take reasonable steps to prevent damage, theft or loss to phones, we take no responsibility for phones and we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen phones.
Cameras are welcome but please do not bring any other electronics (e.g., iPods, iPads, Kindles or other readers, GPS or similar devices). All electronics (except cameras) will be mailed home on arrival (at your risk and expense).
We are committed to providing extraordinary support to you and your child; to that end, the Overland office is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer (outside of office hours our answering service provides emergency coverage). Our leaders in the field are in touch with our office regularly; they carry cell phones (and in some cases satellite phones). Anytime a camper is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or medical personnel, parents are notified by our office. A director will call the parents to explain the nature of the injury or illness, the sequence of events leading up to the injury and/or the steps leading to the treatment. Parents are typically able to speak with the medical personnel, with the leaders and with their child.
- Can I send mail to my child during a trip?
Getting a letter, card or postcard while on an Overland trip is always exciting.
Please keep in mind that sending mail to your child on an Overland trip is different than sending mail to camp because your child will be on the move. Our experience has been that mail often does not arrive on time, and, sometimes, even when it does, post offices, campgrounds and other mail stops do not reliably deliver mail to our groups. For these reasons:
1. Please do not send anything valuable – please send letters, cards or postcards only. If mail is late, lost or misdirected, Overland’s leaders and staff are not able to return to the post office (or other mail stop) to collect it.
2. Please use the US Postal Service first class mail only; do not use UPS, FedEx or DHL (many of our mail stops accept US Postal Service mail only).
3. Please do not send overnight letters: many overnighted letters arrive before or after we arrive and are then sent back (for this same reason, please do not send mail that requires a signature upon delivery).
4. Please allow one week for postal delivery to U.S. mail stops.
5. Please allow two weeks for postal delivery to international mail stops.
Hike, bike, raft and kayak from the mountains of New Hampshire to the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard.
Students going on Mountains & Sea Adventure should prepare for:
- 5 days of hiking with an average of 4 miles per day
- 2 days of biking with an average of 10-15 miles per day
- Travel to and from the trip
- An Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for Hiking
You should be prepared for day hikes in southern New Hampshire on well-established trails. Your group will hike together and take breaks for rest, snacks, and water as necessary.
Preparing for Biking
You should be prepared for short rides along the bike paths and rolling hills of Martha's Vineyard.
Stay active this spring, playing sports, walking and hiking.
Preparing for Travel to and from the Trip
Families are responsible for arranging flights to and from the designated airport during a specified window (please do not purchase flights until you have received an email confirming our review of your health forms and school reference). Overland staff will be at the airport to welcome you at the start of your trip and to assist with your departure. If you are not flying to and from your trip, you should be dropped off and picked up in Williamstown, Massachusetts. If you are flying to and from your trip, we will have you call home upon arrival and before departure. We will provide more specific travel information once we have placed you on a program.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland programs are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be supportive of your trip mates and your leaders, enthusiastic, positive and helpful. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. You will have the opportunity to send letters and receive mail at designated mail stops, which are shared in the spring.
Arriving ready for a challenge, eager to experience new activities and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group, will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland program.