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Summer History Camp

Presenting a new summer camp for Boston-area high school students with a passion for story--and history!

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Our immersive way of teaching history at the locations where they happened makes the subject jump to life. Using humor, theatrical storytelling, and narrative formulas, we have a unique way of engaging students outside of the traditional classroom setting. History has never been so fun! This 10-day summer camp for high school students is designed to accomplish three major goals:

1) Get you (or your kids) outside and walking around in the beautiful city of Boston! Every day will begin with a walking tour in a separate part of the city. Tours are presented by our staff of incredible tour guides, who have been doing this professionally for nearly 15 years. Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor in Cambridge for the last 12 years, these tours will surely be the highlight of the summer. After the tour, we'll eat lunch at favorite local dives, diners, and classic institutions of Boston food. See below for the daily schedule for tour (and lunch) locations!

2) Provoke interesting discussion based on daily readings. We believe that history spreads empathy. The best way to understand what motivates any culture, government, or individual, is to understand their origin story.  Discussions will be led by our Lead Teacher, Charlie Emerson Riggs. With a Harvard degree, a PhD in American History, and a personal family heritage that includes John Murray Forbes and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charlie has been one of our most cherished guides and teachers, and has a quiet sense of humor with a knack for drawing in any high school history enthusiast.

3) Leave you (or your kids) with a tangible product and proof of your work. We know colleges will be impressed when they see what you've made at history camp. Whether you feel most comfortable on video (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok), audio (podcasts, radio), or in writing, you will leave the camp having researched your own passion and built your own story. History is chock full of different perspectives, even when viewing the same events. Students will be guided by our staff as they craft their own story to present in video, audio, or written formats. 

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What makes our camp different?

--Our staff of exceptional guides is first and foremost on this list. Each of the tours campers will experience is priced at hundreds of dollars for corporate groups. Our exclusive partnerships with area concierges from the Four Seasons, Boston Harbor Hotel, The Ritz, the Newbury, Boston Harbor Hotel, and the Mandarin Oriental, along with the top event planners, and rankings on Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other review sites will hopefully speak for themselves!

--Students will have the opportunity to meet renowned historian Stephen Puleo, who has written the book, (A City So Grand:The Rise of An American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900) we'll be using in our daily readings and discussions. The opportunity to meet a professional, respected, and widely published historian is a wonderful opportunity for our campers. 

--Research every day will be conducted at the beautiful and prestigious Commonwealth School in the Back Bay. But we will also make daily excursion to the Boston Public Library to do our research like professional historians.

--Rather than learning exclusively in a classroom or on a screen, campers will be actively walking around, and experiencing history on the locations in which it happened. We designed this camp after years of kids telling us "I wish we had learned history like this in school." Check our TripAdvisor and Google reviews for confirmation!

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A Typical Day of Camp:

9am: Drop off

9-9:30am: Storytime/Check-in. Tell me a STORY in 2 minutes, even if it was just about your dinner last night. Otherwise, blow our minds. But you have 2 minutes.

9:30am-10:15am: Walk or take the T to our daily site for a tour

10:15am-12:45: Tour of Daily specified location

12:45-1:30: Lunch

1:30-2:15: Return to Commonwealth School or other research location

2:15-3:15 Directed discussion/lessons

3:15-3:30 Walk to Boston Public Library

3:30-4:15: Research and writing, One-on-One meetings

4:15-4:30: Back to Commonwealth School

4:30-5:30: Pickup 


Camp Excursions By Day:

Day 1: Freedom Trail, Part 1 (Boston Common through Faneuil Hall) 

Day 2: Beacon Hill 

Day 3: Innovations of Kendall Square and MIT 

Day 4: Freedom Trail, Part 2 (Faneuil Hall to Copp's Hill) 

Day 5: Back Bay 

Day 6: Harvard and Harvard Museum of Natural History

Day 7: Massachusetts State House

Day 8: Museum of Fine Arts

Day 9: Fenway Park

Day 10: Special Guest speaker Stephen Puleo

Assigned Readings from A City So Grand  by Stephen Puleo Day By Day:

Day 1: No reading required before entering camp. Campers will receive their books on this first day

Day 2: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 1: Abolitionists and the Fugitive Slave Law

Day 3: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 2: The Railroad Jubilee

Day 4: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 3: The Irrepressible Irish

Day 5: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 4: Filling the Back Bay AND Chapter 5: The Gallows Glorious

Day 6: For Monday, please read Chapter 6: No Turning Back

Day 7: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 7: War

Day 8: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 8: Peace, Expansion, Perseverance and Chapter 9: 

Day 9: For tomorrow, please read Chapter 10: Centennial, Sensational, and Beyond

Day 10: For tomorrow, please focus on preparing your presentation of your essay, Tour stop, Podcast, or video

(Day 11: You’re done with camp! But you’re so close! This book is yours. Read Chapter 11 for a sense of accomplishment on your own!)


Lunch Locations By Day:

Day 1: Quincy Market

Day 2: Charles Street (Tatte, Upper Crust, DeLuca’s), meet in Public Garden or Commonwealth classroom)

Day 3: Clover or Chipotle; meet on Roof Garden or in Marriott Lobby

Day 4: Umbertos, Bricco Deli, or North End Sushi/Seafood, Meet at Greenway

Day 5: Paramount Cafe or Delucca's

Day 6: Winthrop Park (Shake Shack, Tasty Burger, Pinnochio’s)

Day 7: Flour Bakery/Anna’s Taqueria

Day 8: MFA Cafe

Day 9: Time Out Market

Day 10: Surprise Meal

Camp Logistics:

This Camp is designed for rising 10th-12th graders. Exceptions WILL be considered. 

Each session will be capped at 15 students for an intimate and personalized experience

Camp Sessions Dates

Session One: July 8-19, 2024

Session Two: August 5-16, 2024

Register Here


Location for pickup and drop off:

Commonwealth School 

151 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02116

Drop off is from 8:30am-9:00am

Pickup is 5:00pm-5:30pm


Tuition for tours, courses, and development of your own story is $2000

Books, Supplies, T Fare (required): $150

Lunch (optional, but recommended): $250 for all 10 days

Total Cost of Camp: $2400 for a two weeks session


Drop off at 9:00am. We will not have an adult waiting before 8:30am. 

Pickup at 5:00pm. There will be no adult after 5:30pm (we are not monsters and will not abandon kids, but we will charge a fee of $150 for each delayed pickup)


Credit Card deposit required for fees. Check for tuition can be mailed to 

Boston History Company

c/o Cambridge Historical Tours

7 School Street Pl

Boston, MA 02119

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Get on the List

If you would like updates and more offerings from Boston History Company and Cambridge Historical Tours, please leave us your information here! We are happy to answer any questions, and can also be reached by phone at 617-520-4030

Thanks for your interest, we'll be in touch soon!

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