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AYS Summer Session 2024
Monday July 1–Friday, August 2, no program July 4th and 5th
125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

Who can I contact for information about the program?
Ana Maria Caballero
Phone: (617) 384-9032

Who is eligible to participate in Arboretum Young Scientists?
Arboretum Young Scientists is strictly limited to rising 7th and 8th grade students in the Boston Public Schools.

What will happen during a typical day in AYS?
A typical day starts with a check-in and outline for the day. If needed, breakfast snacks will be available at this time. During the day students go out into the Arboretum landscape with science tools to learn about our forests, fields, meadows, and ponds. Students use science skills for journaling and documenting their learning. Arboretum staff offer special workshops about their jobs, and students use some of the staff tools and techniques to try on tree-climbing, plant pressing, greenhouse plant care, and more. Additionally, there is built-in time for games and quiet reflection. We know that summer is a time for fun, and we plan to make every day an enjoyable experience of discovery and growth!

How will my child get to AYS and back home?
The Arboretum will provide daily bus transportation for students who want an alternative to taking public transportation. Bus pick up will be at several pre-designated, centrally located stops close to where students live. Enrolled participants should expect to attend our program for all twenty-three days. Parents/guardians are invited to celebrate with their students at the Arboretum on August 2.

Is there a charge for Arboretum Young Scientists?
No! Our program is free.

Will Arboretum Young Scientists provide food?
We provide lunch and healthy snacks for all students enrolled in our program. All food offered will be nut-free. Please notify us if your child has any allergies when you complete our enrollment packet. Families are welcome to send their own lunches and snacks if desired.

How do you communicate with families before and during the program?
When your child is accepted, we will send you a welcome Parent Letter from the Program Coordinator. The letter will tell you about our enrollment process and provided dates for Parent Orientation in mid-June. During the program there will be ongoing communication between the staff and families keeping you informed about the learning and fun happening.

Must I sign the risk form?
Yes! Each parent and student must sign the liability release form to prior to the start of the program. This form lists some of the activities in which your child may participate and the risks of those activities. Arboretum Young Scientists staff has evaluated all activities thoroughly to prepare for and minimize risks associated with its programs. The release form details the risks that come with any outdoor education program.

Must I complete the medical forms?
Yes! We need to know about medications and allergies to keep each student safe. Make sure to complete all the questions on the form. You will need to provide a copy of a physical exam conducted during the current school year and an updated immunization form.

How do you keep students safe?
Programs for students have been running in the Arboretum for almost 40 years. All students will always have a responsible program teacher nearby to supervise any activity. We also teach students to recognize the hazards involved in our activities so that they also take risk seriously and know how to avoid injury.

I worry about bullying. How will you respond if my student is bullied?
Bullying is not tolerated. If it takes place the AYS staff will contact the family of the offending student. If any student continues with bullying behavior, they will not be able to stay in the program. We will check in with any child who has been the object of bullying, as well as the parent/guardian, for as long as needed to ensure that the child feels safe while participating in AYS.

Can my student bring their cell phone to the program?
Yes. There will be time set aside for students to use phones, and time when students must leave phones turned off.

How many students will be participating? How many adults will be supervising?
We plan to have 20 students and four teachers for our program. We emphasize small group interactions so that everyone has lots of adult attention. At no time will a student be unsupervised.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?
The Arboretum is in the heart of Boston. Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical teams respond within 10 minutes for any emergency.

How are you preventing the spread of COVID-19?
At this time, all activities will take place outside unless there is severe weather. We plan to use a large tent as a classroom. If we need to go indoors because the weather turns bad, masks will be provided.

How do you protect against mosquitoes and ticks at the Arnold Arboretum?
Any park in Boston is a habitat for mosquitoes and ticks. We recommend that students wear long pants and close-toed shoes each day of the program, and we provide students with tick-repellant socks. We will teach the students to do tick checks. We will also provide guidelines for students to do more thorough checks at the end of each day at home. We will also provide instructions for how to respond if a tick is found. Students can bring insect repellant to the program.