• Rules and Regulations

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Welcome to the AMC Ponkapoag Camp in the Blue Hills Reservation. We are a volunteer run outdoor facility. Our (your) mission is to preserve this woodland oasis for future generations. We ask you and your guests’ sincere cooperation in following these guidelines in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable retreat experience.

Driving and Parking

  • For the Camp’s security and the protection of the Blue Hills Reservation, the entrance gate shall be kept locked at all times.
  • Speed limit on the access road is 10 mph. Be courteous to walkers, runners, and horseback riders; they have the right of way. Vehicles approaching horses must pull over, dim your lights, and wait until horses have safely passed by.
  • Park vehicles in designated areas only. The greatest threat to the camp’s landscape comes from parked cars. Park so that vehicles do not restrict fire access or damage vegetation or soils. No parking on roadsides. [Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 304 12.23]. Day users shall park in the Day Use parking lot (at the bottom of the hill behind the lodge). The manager will indicate where campers’ cars are to be parked. Campers with more than one car may either use the Day Use lot, or ask the manager where they may park the additional car.

Camper, Day User, and Guest Registration

  • All campers shall register with the manager.
  • During the summer season (last week of June to Labor Day), day users shall register at the lodge and pay the established fee.
  • During the summer season, campers’ guests shall pay the day use fee. Campers shall check with the manager if they are planning to invite more than six guests for the day. Campers shall be present with their visitors.
  • Large day use groups shall call ahead for permission to use the camp. The camp has a group limit of 12 people.
  • No cabin or campsite shall be used as a permanent domicile.

General Rules

  • Cell phone conversations and radios without earphones are prohibited from the dock and beach area, and at other places shall be used with consideration for the comfort of others.
  • In accordance with DCR policy, no person may smoke or vape in or on any Ponkapoag buildings or structures including porches or in designated swimming, wading areas, other public gathering areas, or areas posted as prohibited, at the managers discretion.
  • Drunkenness and rowdy behavior spoil other people’s enjoyment and will not be tolerated.
  • Quiet hours shall be observed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Please inform the manager (781-961-7007) if someone is creating a disturbance.
  • Carry out your trash. The camp has no trash removal service.
  • Do not litter. Be courteous and pick up litter that you see.
  • Dishes are to be washed at the campsite only. Scatter (do not dump) used water on the ground. Do not throw food into the woods; it encourages pests and may harm wildlife.
  • No fireworks, or firearms, including air rifles and paintball guns, are permitted in camp or elsewhere in the Blue Hills Reservation.
  • Stay on trails. Stay off the fragile slopes between the pond and cabins; taking shortcuts through these slopes will lead to serious erosion. Please explain this to your children.
  • Picking or disturbing native plant materials, with the exception of edible berries, is against state regulations.

Not permitted in cabins:

  • Candles and lamps with an open flame must never be used in cabins. Violators are subject to losing camping privileges.
  • Propane tanks greater than one pound may not be used in cabins.
  • Sleeping in lofts is prohibited due to lack of fire egress.

At the End of Your Stay

  • The Camp has no housekeeping service. Before checking out, campers are expected to sweep and mop the floors (equipment is provided), clean tables, and leave the cabin ready for the next camper. Violators may lose camping privileges.
  • Cabins are to be locked, and the key returned to the manager. Windows must be shut.

Fire Danger and Firewood

  • Fire danger in these woods is great. Open fires are permitted only in designated sites, and at the discretion of the manager.
  • Fires must be contained within the fireplace and attended until they are extinguished.
  • Bonfires are not permitted; flames should never reach higher than your waist.
  • Firewood may be gathered from the ground. No tree shall be cut.
  • Do not burn plastic.


  • Day users may not bring pets.
  • Campers may bring a maximum of two well-behaved pets, at the discretion of the manager.
  • Pets must have proof of rabies vaccination. Flea and tick protection is strongly advised.
  • Pets may not be left unattended. Pets must be under owner’s control, and leashed if requested by the manager.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the swimming or dock area, but may be taken to swim at other areas.
  • Excessive barking will not be tolerated. Owners shall clean up after their pets. CMR 304 12.08

Swimming and Boating

  • Swimming is only allowed when there is a lifeguard on duty.
  • Children under 13 may not be on the dock or in the water except under the supervision of an agreeing adult, including when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • People under 18 shall not swim alone.
  • Swimming alone after dark is dangerous and prohibited.
  • Flotation devices are not allowed because they can carry a person into deep water.
  • Fishing and boating in the swimming area are prohibited. Fishing hooks can be lost and pose a danger of serious injury to swimmers.
  • Shampoo or soap of any kind shall not be used in the pond.
  • State law requires a life jacket for each person in a boat. Non-swimmers and children under 12 must wear life jackets when boating. Camp life jackets are available in the main lodge for boating use only, and shall be returned immediately after use.
  • Adults may rent rowboats, canoe or kayaks on an hourly basis from the manager. A deposit is required from day users.
  • Children under 14 shall only use the boats when accompanied by an adult.
  • The renter is responsible for any damage or loss of oars, oarlocks, life jackets, and boats.
  • In order to protect the shore from erosion, boats may only be launched and brought ashore at the designated boating beach.
  • No person may leave a boat overnight except while they are camping. If the boating area becomes crowded, the manager may impose a limit of one boat per cabin.
  • Other state regulations as laid out in CMR 304 12.00 apply. A copy is kept in the office