Strawbery Banke Summer Camp Offerings

Strawbery Banke Museum offers programs for school-aged children with a wide array of interests and abilities.  Participants learn about all aspects of life in the past and how it connects to our world today.  Each camp is structured to be hands-on, providing one-of-a-kind interactive experiences, and minds-on, allowing kids to investigate and explore the world around them. Integrating science, sports, art, theater, cooking, and history; Strawbery Banke camps are designed to get kids excited about the past and eager to be active participants in the world around them.

It is expected that summer camps will be in high demand at that camp sessions will fill quickly. 


Visit the Strawbery Banke Camps Website


Roleplaying Camps
What is a roleplayer? At Strawbery Banke, a roleplayer is an actor who portrays a real person who lived in this neighborhood in the past. Roleplayers speak from a historical perspective, meaning that they will only talk about the time in which their character lived.

Registration for all Roleplaying Camps is through Strawbery Banke Museum. 

  • History Alive (ages 6–8)
    • This introductory roleplaying camp is perfect for youngsters who enjoy using their imaginations and participating in dress-up and pretend play. History Alive encourages kids to compare and contrast life in different eras of the past.  Kids receive a new character and costume from a different time period each day.  After a brief, interactive lesson about that era, they engage in games and activities particular to each century in period gardens and buildings.

      Members $275. Non-members $325.
  • History in Play (ages 9-11)
    • Growing Up Victorian
    • Growing Up Between the Wars 

      In this intermediate roleplaying camp, participants are assigned a character who lived during the time period that is highlighted that week. During the camp, they dress in costume and engage in improvisation games to learn basic roleplaying techniques. In addition, kids participate in hands-on activities like cooking, playing games, and craft projects to delve deeper into the time period of their characters. Campers are given limited opportunities to interact with visitors and practice some historical interpretation.

      Members $275. Non-members $325.
  • Jr. Roleplayers (ages 12-17)
    • The New Republic (1777 – 1818)
    • The Industrial Era (1820 – 1908)

Times may change but adolescents have always played a part in history. Teens of today can make the past come to life by becoming an historic roleplayer and using the museum’s houses and grounds as their stage. Participants learn theatrical techniques, dress in full costume, use old-fashioned tools and materials, and engage in historical research methods to learn how to portray a person from another time. After successful completion of the program, most Jr. Roleplayers are invited back to participate in the Museum’s special event programs throughout the year. Many use their volunteer hours to complete community service requirements.

Members: $550 Members. Non-members: $650.

Hands-On History Camps

Registration for all Hands-On-History Camps is through Strawbery Banke Museum. 

  • Victorian DIY (ages 6-8)

    Life was changing at lightning speed during the 19th-century and many people had more time to spend creating new-fangled games and entertainment. During this camp, participants design shadow puppets and put on a show, develop soda fountain flavors, explore photography, try out a cookstove and make many more projects to share with friends and family.

    Members $275. Non-members $325.
  • Victorian Ventures (ages 9-11)

    Weave a Victorian flower basket and work on a loom, discover 19th-century entertainments while making stereoscope slides and creating a soda fountain, explore medicinal crafts of the Civil War era and experiment with photography, telegraphs, and other scientific inventions of the 1800s.

    Members $275. Non-members $325.
  • Survivor Strawbery Banke (ages 10-12) 

    Campers examine some of the struggles that people faced at different eras in history from death and disease to slavery, fires, and natural disasters.  Activities include experimentation and problem solving, scavenger hunts, historical simulations, and walking excursions around Portsmouth.  Find out if you have what it takes to survive the past!

    Members $275. Non-members $325.

Maritime History Camps with the Gundalow Company
Registration for all Maritime History Camps is through the Gundalow Company. 

  • Anchors Aweigh (ages 6-8)

    Spend time onboard the gundalow, Piscataqua, and try out all the positions that people had on a ship.  From cook to navigator, captain to cabin boy; engage in crafts, games, and hands-on activities to discover what it was like to be a sailor (or a pirate) long ago. 

    Strawbery Banke & Gundalow Co. Members: $337.50. 
    Non-members: $375.
  • All Hands on Deck (ages 9–12)

    Set sail onboard the gundalow, Piscataqua, and try manning the sails, navigating, steering, and much more! Then become immersed in an historical seaport neighborhood. Cook a ship’s meal, develop a cure for scurvy, join a maritime trade simulation, visit a sea captain’s house, and engage in a variety of antique arts and nautical games.

    Strawbery Banke & Gundalow Co. Members: $337.50. 
    Non-members: $375.

The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke Camps in partnership with The Gundalow Company
Registration for all Boatshop at Strawbery Banke Camps is through the Gundalow Company. 

  • Bosuns and Boatbuilders (ages 7-10)

    Budding boatbuilders join the crew at the Boatshop to discover the wonders of transforming raw materials into a simple cat-rigged model sailboat. In this hands-on camp, participants work to produce their very own boat that is launched and sailed on the final day. After a morning of boat building, campers head out for some time on the water sailing on the Gundalow, rowing Piscataqua Wherries, paddling small kayaks, and exploring the rivers and waterfront of the Portsmouth region. Click here to learn more.

    Strawbery Banke & Gundalow Co. Members: $450
    Non-members: $500
  • Sailors and Shipwright (ages 10-13)

    Campers join professional boatbuilders for an exciting week of building their own wooden model sailboats from scratch. The week culminates with campers launching and sailing their finished boats before taking them home for future adventures. Campers join the crew aboard the Gundalow and learn to navigate and sail the traditional vessel. In addition, campers have the chance to venture out in wooden wherries and learn to row and explore the hidden spots on our rivers. Click here to learn more. 

    Strawbery Banke & Gundalow Co. Members: $450
    Non-members: $500
  • Captains and Carpenters (ages 12-15)

    In this hands-on program, participants explore the fundamentals of boatbuilding by learning proper tool usage and then dive right into building a 12’ Bevin’s skiff. By week’s end, campers launch the skiff and each student has the opportunity to take her for a row. Campers explore the fundamentals of seamanship including sail theory, plotting, navigating, and knotwork.  Additionally, take newly acquired boatbuilding skills out on the water, learn about sailing and waters from the deck of the Gundalow, and spend time learning to sail MerryMacs and row Piscataqua River Wherries. Click here to learn more.

    Strawbery Banke & Gundalow Co. Members: $450
    Non-members: $500