Nestled among rolling hills and shady oak groves, just 11 miles from the beaches of Ventura, Forest Home Ojai Valley is the perfect choice for your group's retreat or outdoor education experience. Our intimate campus is large enough to accommodate groups up to 230, but it's also small enough for you to foster meaningful interaction and deepen relationships.
You will be housed in either of the following: year-round, duplex cabins which house 10 people on each side, are climate controlled, and include private bathroom facilities (mostly for the girls). For the classic camping experience, you'll enjoy our 8 bed canvas-sided platform tents with wood decks and porches, nestled in small clusters among the oak trees lining our creek (mostly for the guys). Bathrooms are located in nearby bathhouses, within easy walking distance.
Naturalists at Large's experience have been that the students' participation in the process of learning and living together provides the basic framework for a successful outdoore education program. The program emphasizes outdoor skills along with an introduction to the various environments of the local area. Naturalists at Large takes responsibility for all evening activities, in addition to the day's activities.
Students discover the unique natural and human history of the area, develop group cooperation through shared experiences, enhance leadership abilities, and learn basic outdoor skills. All Naturalists at Large programs are intended to give the students a "sense of place". This is accomplished by introducing them to the natural and cultural history of the canyon and surrounding area while they explore the trails, study the various habitats, and live in the area.
Each trail group is with a Naturalists at Large naturalist-instructor and a faculty or parent chaperon for the entire program. Working in pods of 2 or 3 trail groups, each pod rotates to a new location each day, participating in activities that focus their attention on a particular concept or environment. The activities use active learning techniques plus "hands on" games and learning activities to help students grasp concepts.
Naturalists at Large is a leading outdoor and environmental education group in California. Since 1985, we have provided outdoor education programs for tens of thousands of students from over two hundred schools, offering custom client designed trips, flexible dates and locations, commitment to safety and comfort in the outdoors, the wonder of nature and the importance of outdoor and experiential education.