Naturalists at Large’s experience has been that the students’ participation in the process of learning and living together provides the basic framework for a successful outdoor program. The program will emphasize outdoor skills, along with an introduction to the various environments of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Naturalists at Large takes responsibility for evening activities.
Students will 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 designed to give the students a “sense of place”. This is accomplished by introducing them to the natural and cultural history of the Park and surrounding area while they explore the trails, study the various habitats, and live in the area for up to five days.
Naturalists at Large instructors work with their groups to teach basic outdoor skills, conduct outdoor education activities (primarily a mix of walk and talks and hands-on activities) on local trails. Students are constantly encouraged to solve problems posed by the Naturalists at Large instructors, comprised of both intellectual problems and well thought-out and well executed physical problems (i.e. initiative activities). Each trail group is with a Naturalists at Large naturalist-instructor, and a faculty or parent chaperon each day for the entire program.
- Natural History Hikes
- Study of human impact on old-growth and second-growth redwoods
- Challenge course (optional), initiatives, group activities
- Sierra foothill natural history, group and individual challenges
- Introduction to environmental science concepts
- Use of playing fields and lake front activities (depending on season)