We work with eachschool every stepof the way toidentify theiroutdoor educationgoals and thentailor a program tomeet those specificneeds.
Trail Group sizes of 9 to 14 students Always with one instructor and one adult from your school
Naturalists at Largeprovides a complete outdoor curriculumfor primary through high school level students. We can accommodate trips for 15 students to over 200.
Naturalists at Large draws it’s instructorsfrom all over the United States. These aremen and women with 4-year universitydegrees who have proven experienceworking with youth in the outdoors and inthe classroom.
With their high comfort and experience inthe outdoors, their passion for teaching,and a commitment to safety first, we havethe foundation for a fantastic experiencefor you and your students.
All of our instructors are CPR and WildernessFirst Aid Certified. 80 % of them holdadvanced certifications such as WildernessEmergency Medical Training, Wilderness FirstResponders and Wilderness Advanced FirstAid.RESPONSE TIMES: for Emergency ServicesAmbulance: 5 minute response in the valleyMedivac helicopter: 30-40 minutes.Law Enforcement: 5 minutes in the valley
Yosemite National Park is located inthe central Sierra Nevada ofCalifornia and lies 150 miles east ofSan Francisco and only a six hourdrive from Los Angeles. Yosemite isinternationally recognized for itsspectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls,clear streams, giant sequoia groves,and biological diversity.
John Muir…"was a man whose lifewas nothing short ofinspirational. Hiswritings are clear,vibrant and full ofprophetic wisdom - hewas one of the first torealize that all speciesare interconnected andhitched together."
Highlights of the park includeYosemite Valley, and its high cliffsand waterfalls; Wawonas historycenter and historic hotel; theMariposa Grove, which containshundreds of ancient giant sequoias;Glacier Points (summer-fall)spectacular view of YosemiteValley and the high country.
Meals are wholesome affairs providing the nutrition needed for active participants There’s a variety of menuoptions from which to choose
Allergies and Special Food Needs• Program meals offer vegetarian food options.• For those with specific needs due to allergies or personal reasons, we suggest discussion with your faculty.• Naturalists at Large can help guide those with special diets to supplement their meals in ways which everyone can most easily manage.
Educational Themes can include:Yosemite National Park; A Sense of Place. Geology of the Sierra Nevada Mountains Birds of the Sierra Tree identification Plants and Animals Black Bears The conifer forest High Sierra weather Plant and animal adaptations Glaciation vs. Mass Wasting
We wish to explore the importance of nationalparks to our culture and the individual throughgroup discussions and journal exercises. Thisshared group experience will foster schoolspirit and increase group unity.
The program of hikingand group activities willemphasize eachstudents responsibilityto the environment. Theunique natural history ofthe Sierra mixedconifer forest andassociated plants andanimals.
In every walk with nature wereceive far more than we seek
Destination HikesUpper or Lower Yosemite Falls Vernal or Nevada Falls Little Yosemite Valley Mirror Lake
Evening Programs Naturalists at Large will use the evening as analternative activity/learning time for students. Each evening will have a different focus.Astronomy: constellations, motion of stars and planets, stellar evolution, stories and myths. Evening hikes to foster confidence with no artificial light. We also cover nocturnal adaptations of animals. Traditional campfire: songs, stories and skitsperformed by the students and Naturalists at Large staff.
(Day one)1:30ish School arrives at Curry Village parkingarea. Load luggage onto NAL cube truck.Group game, Walk to Upper Pines, Studentorientation, Tent demo / camp set-up / split intotrail groupsGames and activities, introduction to Yosemite5:00 Free time in camp supervised by faculty6:00 Dinner7:30 Evening program: Preview week, goals, group building and games9:00 Students released to faculty9:30 In tents10:00 Camp quiet hours
(Day two)5:30 Shower time for students7:45 Breakfast9:00 Meet groups to begin day: Spider Caves/Yosemite Falls Hike to Mirror Meadow5:00 Free time supervised by faculty6:00 Dinner7:30 Evening program: Night walk with activities about nocturnal communities9:00 Students released to faculty9:30 In tents10:00 Camp quiet hours
(Day three)5:30 Shower time for students7:00 Breakfast7:45 Meet groups: All day hike Hike to Upper Yosemite Falls Hike to Vernal Falls / Nevada Falls5:00 Free time supervised by faculty6:00 Dinner7:30 Evening program: Individual group debrief8:00 Student run campfire with naturalist support9:00 Students released to faculty9:30 In tents10:00 Camp quiet hours
(Day four)5:30 Shower time for students7:00 Tent take down demo / Break down camp8:00 Breakfast (all gear packed prior) Pack sack lunch for bus8:45 Camp trash sweep9:00 School departs
A great adventure forthe group… And the individual.
Let children walk with Nature,let them see the beautifulblendings and communions ofdeath and life, their joyousinseparable unity, as taught inwoods and meadows, plains andmountains and streams of ourblessed star. …Muir
Ask about… Medications, Allergies, and Special Dietary Needs
Equipment RemindersFollow your equipment list.Pack together. Adult and student can doublecheck the contents of the gear bag.All clothing should fit in a medium size duffle.A day pack is essential to move about the programwith water, some food, extra layers of clothing,and personal incidentals.Utensil Kit that may be reused for each meal anda cup that can handle hot & cold liquids.
Rain gear is a must. (water-proof shell) RainPonchos are fine.Comfortable closed toed shoes are required.Light weight hikers or tennis shoes with a fewpairs of good outdoor socks (non-cotton).A good water bottle (quart or liter).The proper sleeping bag (check your equipmentlist for specifics).Ground pad. Ensolite pads are much cheaperthan thermarest types and work just as well.
Plastic bag protection. A half dozen, 2 gallonstorage ziplocks are good for protectingclothing in a gear bag from moisture. Along witha couple hefty 15 to 30 gallon bags to line yourgear bag and sleeping bag (& daypack).Don’t send gear that you could not afford lostor broken (expensive cameras, cell phones, andother electronics). A handy disposable camerawould be just fine.Follow your equipment list, ask questions,borrow from friends.