Affiliate Activities

Concord Library:
Please join the Concord Free Public Library in chronicling Concord through Covid-19 for future generations! We are inspired by stories large and small of Concordians sheltering, and stepping up and helping during this time of crisis, and we feel these stories should be captured. They will become part of our Concord history.
Please send your stories or reflections, poems, haikus, photos, or videos that chronicle your experiences, whether you are sheltering in place or working in an essential service outside of the home. Submissions from Concordians of all ages are welcome as we recognize that this pandemic has affected us all.
You can submit as often as you like. Special Collections will compile and preserve your submissions, and with your permission, post selections on our website or social media.
Learn more at Questions? Please email

Concord Tourism: 
While exploring Concord’s historic sites and conservation lands, stop by the Concord Tourism Office in the town center at 58 Main Street. Pick up a map of Concord and use it to find your next destination! Let the staff at the Tourism Office know that you are on a Summer Quest, and they will give you a special stamp to show you completed the activity. 
Learn more at

Walden Woods:
Return to a place in nature in which you are familiar. Maybe this place is in your backyard under your favorite tree or maybe at your favorite park in a wide open field. Now, put on a “scientist” hat or a “historian” hat and examine the area around you as if you had that occupation. What do you notice about the land, the colors, the sounds? Write your observations down! Based on your notes, come up with one question about the area. Jot down a few possible answers, keeping that “hat” on! 
Learn more at

Arts Arlington:
Introducing Fox and Owl – paper puppets created by artist Kari Percival – that you can take on an adventure! We invite you to make art and tell a story with Fox, Owl, and any characters you invent yourself for the FOX & OWL TINY FILM & PHOTO FESTIVAL later this the summer!

  • Make a video of your story or take a photo of Fox and Owl in action
  • Create art for your window or porch featuring Fox and Owl
  • Learn about our animal neighbors and what you can do to help them

Everything you need is on the Arts Arlington website and in your own imagination. Fox and Owl can have a fantastic adventure in your kitchen, backyard, during a family outing, or in a shoebox theater that you make yourself. 
Learn more at

The Old Manse:
From 1775 to 1939 – almost 170 years – many people lived in this house. Though they were truly all their own, unique people, many of them did share skills and interests. One big commonality was writing. Many residents of The Old Manse wrote to put their words on paper, whether for stories or essays, future speeches or sermons, letters to friends, or journal entries only for themselves.  
Go to the grounds of The Old Manse to continue the legacy of writers who’ve come here to write their true thoughts and observations.  
Here are some prompts to get you started: 

For those who observe:  
If you’re like Manse-resident Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley or frequent visitor Henry David Thoreau, you like to spend time taking careful notice of the natural world around you. Find a spot here on the grounds to sit with writing supplies and note what you see in your surroundings. What do the plants around you look like? What can you hear? Have you noticed any animals? Feel free to add illustrations, if you’re inspired to do so! 

For those who think outside the box: 
If you’re like Manse-residents Ralph Waldo Emerson, or his aunt Mary Moody Emerson who was born in this home, then you enjoy writing as a method of getting your big ideas onto paper. Take time to contemplate a theme in your life right now that you think you could give good advice on – anything from marshmallow toasting techniques to working towards climate justice – then write these ideas in your own words. Mary Moody Emerson sent her advice in letters, while Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his advice in speeches and essays. Decide whether this advice is for others or just for you.  

For those who like a good story: 
While Manse-resident Ezra Ripley enjoyed writing his own history of the Battle of the Old North Bridge (history which took place right in his backyard!), Nathaniel Hawthorne preferred to write spine-tingling, creepy stories when he lived in this house. Use this space to write the story that’s in your mind, whether it’s about the past, the present, or the future.  

If you want to share your writing with us, we’d love to read it! Feel free to send it to 

Extend your experience by visiting our Facebook page or The Trustees YouTube channel to see videos related to The Old Manse and other Trustees properties across Massachusetts.  

Printable PDF: PDF iconSummer Quest Affiliate Activities.pdf