Located a mile from Big Bear Lake, in a mixed conifer forest at 7,200 feet, Camp Whittle has spacious grounds, a challenge course, and an extensive trail system. The adjacent San Bernardino National Forest provides miles of wilderness vistas. There are many opportunities for exploring several different environments, such as meadows, rocky slopes, and fresh water streams. In the early fall or late spring, daytime temperatures range from the mid-60s to low 70s. The nighttime temperatures range from the mid-40s down to the low 30s.
Camp Whittle has several housing options. Students and teachers stay in recently refurbished dormitories with access to adjacent bathrooms. The dormitories are heated. Lodges with private with private baths are available for students or the faculty chaperones. All participants need to provide sleeping bags, pillows or bedding. Meals are in the cafeteria, with the exception of lunch, which is eaten on the trail.
Hiking, initiative games, group challenges, high and low challenge/ropes courses, art, astronomy, earth science, life science, and age appropriate environmental science activities. There are extensive hiking opportunities. Group and individual challenges, cooperative challenges, increased identification with the natural environments (i.e. San Bernardino Mountains), and basic natural history of the area are also offered. Introduction to environmental science concepts, minimum impact wilderness travel, and a shared common experience are included.
Members of the class will be organized into groups of twelve to fourteen students. Naturalists at Large instructors will work with their groups to teach basic outdoor skills, supervise meal preparation, conduct outdoor education hikes (primarily a mix of "walk and talks” and hands-on activities) on the Camp Whittle. Students will be placed in situations that encourage them to work together (e.g. cooking, setting up camp, camp chores, etc.). In addition, they will be encouraged to solve problems posed by the NAL instructors, comprised of both intellectual and well thought-out and well executed physical problems (initiative games).
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.