Naturalists at Large, Catalina

Our Programs

A Sense of Place

Naturalists at Large programs are designed to instill a “sense of place.”

This is accomplished by introducing students to the natural and cultural history of an area, while they explore its trails, habitats and history.

With the aid of our knowledgeable Field Coordinators, you select the academic emphasis for the program and help sculpt the itinerary. Are you extremely busy already? With a single phone call or an emailed questionnaire, we can create an itinerary for your review.

Naturalists at Large also takes responsibility for planning and hosting evening activities, such as Astronomy studies and myths, night hikes, sensory awareness activities, and group campfires.

Your school assigns one adult chaperone to assist our instructors in each trail group. Our instructors work with your students and chaperones to fulfill the goals of your program.

During the day students are divided into smaller trail groups. One of our Naturalists and one adult chaperone from your school supervise each trail group. Groups may come together for activities during the day, but for the most part the trail group serves as a mobile classroom.

Types of Programs

Outdoor Learning Centers

Camping has never been so easy! Camping on a Naturalists at Large Outdoor Learning Center program is a great way to introduce your students to the natural world. Upon arrival students will set up the tents that we provide in separate boys and girls villages. Central to the sleeping areas, the Naturalists at Large central kitchen delivers wholesome meals and healthy snacks. All students are assigned KP duty for at least one meal during the program and are responsible for washing their own dishes.

Our Outdoor Learning Centers provide your students with a great sense of group and individual accomplishment while teaching them the skills needed for staying comfortable in the outdoors. Our camping experiences also inherently build self-reliance, personal responsibility, and group cohesion.

Naturalists at Large provides the Naturalists, campsites, group kitchen gear, food, tents, and instructional supplies. Just follow your equipment list and we’ll do the rest!


Do you and your students want the beauty of the outdoors with all the comforts of home? Featuring “home-cooked” meals, comfortable beds and hot showers, our numerous Lodge-based program sites will suit your needs. Naturalists at Large will arrange the accommodations and assist you in assigning your students to cabins.

Field trips

Naturalists at Large will also arrange any number of day-long experiences to suit your needs. You can choose to mix and match them to explore areas closer to home and keep your students secure in their own bed at night.

Designing Your Program


Your program can be as unique as you want to make it, and we will help guide the design every step of the way!   Nearly every element of your Naturalists at Large program can be modified to achieve your goals.

Select your site, trip duration, optional activities and staffing ratios. Schools choose from one-day programs to weeklong overnight trips.

Program Options

During your program we offer a variety of options to enhance or build upon your experience. While hiking, team building, and evening program activities can happen on any program, some sites have other options to choose from: Rock Climbing, Challenge Courses, Sea Kayaking, Canoeing, Surfing, Snorkeling, Nordic skiing and Snowshoeing.

Staffing Ratio

We have found the best ratio of Naturalists to students is 12-14:1 as well as one faculty member or school chaperon. You can elect to increase or decrease this ratio by the number of adult chaperons that you bring.

You are part of the team!

Teacher and Chaperone involvement is very important to the success of the program. They are not only crucial for general supervision, but often have previous history with the students, giving them a leg up in certain disciplinary issues. Our instructors will take the helm in general risk management decisions, and the delivery of your academic goals. Whenever a Naturalist is with a trail group, we require a teacher/chaperon to be present as well.

Location! Location! Location!

Naturalists at Large uses multiple sites that are convenient for schools from all over the state. Don’t see the one you want here?

Call us!


Choose one of our Outdoor Learning Center programs for tent camping, or utilize our Lodge-Based sites for more of the creature comforts you would find in your own home.