Nature's Classroom

508-248-2741 or 1-800-433-8375

Dr. John G. Santos, Director
19 Harrington Rd
Charlton, MA 01507

Pondside

Charlton, MA

Site Highlights

Sharing 600 acres of beautiful woodlands with our Hilltop facility, Pondside has ample opportunities for exploration. With a variety of trails of varying difficulty and length, Pondside provides an exciting experience for all explorers.

Groups can take the Sand Trail to a large clearing that was caused by a tornado in 2011, where they can learn about destruction and successional regrowth in our forests. Continuing past the recently created meadows, students can find a swamp ecosystem and investigate how prolonged flooding can affect the plants growing in an area.

On the other side of property, students can walk through a pine grove and discover Hemlock Falls, a small waterfall created by a stream passing over large glacial erratic rocks.

In addition to our many trails, field groups can also make use of our low ropes challenge course. Here students practice working cooperatively as a team while attempting to complete a series of initiatives.


Housing and Facilities

Center Building: With two dormitory wings on either side of the Dining Hall, the Center building can sleep a total of 48 students. Each wing has a bathroom with three toilet stalls and three shower stalls. The dorm rooms include two bunk beds and a dresser. There is also a chaperone room with a single bed and en-suite in both wings.

Lodge Building: Located above four large activity rooms the Lodge Building can house up to 60 students in its two separate wings. Each wing has a bathroom with three toilet stalls and three shower stalls. The dorm rooms include two bunk beds and a dresser. Both wings have a private chaperone room with en-suite. There are two additional chaperone rooms with exterior entrances, also with private en-suites.

Ranger Building: This smaller building has a unique layout and is ideal for small groups or additional adults. There are two separate sides, each with its own bathroom and three bedrooms which can house a total of seven people. Each side has a single room for chaperones.

Pavilion: The Pondside facility shares a large indoor gymnasium with Hilltop. This space is multi-purpose and includes a stage at one end. The Pavilion is perfect for many large-group activities, as well as free time on rainy days.

Recreational Facilities: During free time, Pondside offers students the use of a gaga pit, a basketball court, a foursquare court, a soccer pitch, and large fields.