Ventura Day Camp

New adventure-based children’s programs in Ventura, California and throughout the county!


Children ages 6 to 14
We are also working on programs for students in the high school age range. We would love to provide exceptional wilderness experiences for our entire community so please complete a survey to let us know what we can do for you!


Each week children will be exposed to new and exciting things in the natural world.
They will laugh and play all day with various activities that raise their heart rates, sharpen their senses, and help them gain confidence in the outdoors. Learning to communicate with others and utilize teamwork are just a few skills students will gain.


Currently operating in Ventura County, California.
As we develop our program our locations will change and adapt just like kids do every day.  This keeps them on their toes, excited to get out of the house, and off their screens. Parents will be notified a week in advance of meeting locations.


By joining the Ventura Naturalist Program your child will come away with:
– a dose of healthy exercise.
– a heap of confidence by learning new skills.
– a splattering of pure fun!


Reserve your spot today by clicking this registration link and monitor your email for specific program instructions. Your child will not be officially registered until all required pre-program paperwork is signed, including a COVID-19 preparedness document.

Spring Break Day Camp ENROLLMENT IS OPEN!

Dates: April 5 – 9, 2021.  From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily.

Sign up today for a week of fun, exploring, learning, and playing in the great outdoors.  Children will experience their local parks in a whole new way.  Not only will children get an opportunity to spend a week with a local Naturalist, but they will gain new skills that will build their confidence and independence.  Naturalists at Large has even partnered with the Ventura Land Trust to provide a service project opportunity at Harmon Canyon Reserve on Wednesday April 7th.  During this project children ages 9 & up will be creating a new hiking trail, and planting native oak trees.  The goal of this project is to create a safe haven for native wild life.

Register early, spots are limited!

What does a typical day with a Ventura Naturalist look like?

9:45 – First round of child drop-offs starts.
10:00 – Program begins with fun games for everyone to learn each other’s names and start to get to know each other better.
10:30 to 12:30 – The first lesson for the day starts. If the theme for the day is “Creativity in Nature,” then art, observation, colors, and shapes that are all found in nature will be the highlights of the day.

12:30 to 1:00 – Lunch and Water Break.  We even make our down-time fun! This is an opportunity for the child to socialize and make connections with new friends.

1:00 to 2:30 – Hiking as a physical and mental challenge. This is something to get the children physically active, building muscles and confidence. Naturalists make hiking fun by incorporating riddles, games, and nature lessons along the way.
2:30 to 2:50 – This is when the groups are typically starting to head back to the pick-up area. However, time is never wasted! This is another opportunity for kids to play some hands-on games that flow into the days lessons or continue to work on their art project for the day. This is all happening in the beautiful natural setting of the park.
3:00 – Program ends, and child pick-ups begin.
3:15 – Last child has departed.


What is the registration window?

Registration remains open until the program has filled to the maximum number of participants. The cut-off for registration is 24 hours before the start of the program.
Early registration is important! This is important because it can be difficult to properly staff programs without enough advance notice.

What if it looks like rain or extreme weather?

Naturalists at Large staff are prepared with a rainy-day program in the event of inclement weather. We will gauge the situation and judge how much will have to change based on the weather and events on the itinerary. We will work together to come up with a feasible substitution, or re-arrangement of the overall schedule. As always, safety and comfort are guiding principles in our decision-making process.

However, to be prepared for the rain please do the following:

Send your child to the program wearing waterproof shoes like rain boots, or waterproof hiking boots.
Or make your tennis shoes water resistant by wearing a recycled plastic bag over your socks, and inside your shoes (works like a charm!).
Waterproof rain jacket with a hood or Poncho.
Wool or synthetic socks.
Bring a warm sweater or jacket as an extra layer for warmth. (under the rain jacket).
A trash bag can be used as a liner for items inside their daypack. How you ask? Well let me tell you, put a trash bag inside your pack just as if it was a trash can, then fill your pack with all the things you need for the day, close the bag, then zip your pack, boom! Waterproof!

Do you offer programs specific to homeschooled students?

Yes, please contact our Program Director, Ally
Littell by email at [email protected] Ally will be able to get your group registered.

What is your cancellation policy?

Naturalists at Large covers various overhead costs often several months in advance of the scheduled program. Therefore, a refund will only be granted if it is formally requested in writing or by speaking with the Open Enrollment Program Director Albia by calling (805)-642-2692 Ext. 11 at least 5 days in advance to the scheduled program. Please note, a $10 processing fee will be omitted from your refund total.
In the event a cancellation is requested by the participant party less than 5 days in advance a refund will not be granted.
Phone: Albia at 805-642-2692 Ext. 11

Registrations for Ventura Naturalists Programs that are booked within 5 days of the scheduled program are non-refundable. We take ample time planning, preparing, and hiring our Naturalists for each of the programs. To keep it sustainable for our staff we must adhere to these policies.
Please Note Naturalists at Large reserves the right to cancel, move meeting locations, or reschedule a program due to hazardous weather conditions.

How many kids does it take to run a program?
We cap our programs at 24 participants broken up into 4 groups (ratio of 6:1).

What should I bring and wear?

Please use the link below to see the full packing list.  This document will help your child be prepared for anything, and any weather while enjoying the great outdoors with NAL!

Naturalists at Large packing list

How many kids does it take to run a program?

We cap our programs at 24 participants total.  If the program has reached its capacity, then the children will be broken up into 4 small groups (by age range) with a ratio of 6:1.
Ventura Naturalist will run a program with a minimum of 4 participants.

Where do programs meet?

Programs are currently meeting within the city of Ventura, CA. But we plan to utilize more scenic and wild places near our community. Your lead Naturalist will be in contact with you at least 24 hours before the start of the program, if there are any unexpected changes to location. Please contact us ASAP if your child is not able to attend due to last minute changes by emailing [email protected]