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: 5-7 minutesMedivac Helicopter: availableLaw Enforcement: 5 minutes
The camp features challengecourses, playing fields, aswimming pool, modern well keptaccommodations, and wholesomemeals. A variety of programs canbe put together using theseelements. Students can do theropes course and climbing wall inaddition to outdoor andenvironmental education.
Located in the Coastal RedwoodForest of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Take a close up view of theSanta Cruz MountainsExperience, which can beprovided by Naturalists atLarge for you and yourstudents.
Mount Cross and the CoastalRedwood Forest are awonderful backdrop for thestudy of Redwood Ecology,Environmental Science andthe development of classunity through challengingactivity.
Meals are wholesome affairs providing the nutritionThere’s a variety of menu needed for activeoptions from which to choose participants
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.
There are some choices in lodging at Mount Cross. Madrone Cabins are a circle of seven, single-room, heated cabins. There is a men’s and women’s restroom/shower building located in the center. Each cabin has five bunk beds to accommodate up to ten people.
The lodge has semi-private rooms varying in size accommodating 1-4 persons, shared restrooms and showers, a central meeting area for 20 -25 people, and a kitchenette.The dorm has twofaculty rooms on eachside, as well asrestroom and showerfacilities in the middleof the dorm. Each roomhas either six or sevenbunk beds.
You will walk, play andlearn among…majestic redwoods andrefreshing streams.
The Naturalists at Largeropes program is designedto introduce all studentsto this exciting activity.Students learn to worktogether and cooperatetowards a common goal.Ropes instruction iscomplemented bychallenge and initiativegames that will fostergreater group interaction.
The high-ropes course at Mt. Cross consists ofa Burma Bridge, a Catwalk, a Multi-VineTraverse, a Trapeze Leap, a Giants Ladder,Islands in the Sky, and a Tube Net.
Lessons learned includetrust in fellow students,increased ability tofocus, and developmentof self-esteem. The fewclimbing skills acquiredby the students focuson a safe and successfulexperience. Theorganization of groundschool preparation andropes sites are designedwith this philosophy inmind.
Natural History HikesStudy of human impact on old-growth and second-growth redwoodsIntroduction to environmentalscience conceptsCoastal range natural history andecology
Students will discover theunique natural and human historyof the area, develop groupcooperation through sharedexperiences, enhance leadershipabilities, and learn basic outdoorskills. Naturalists at Largeprograms are designed to givethe students a "sense of place". This is accomplished by introducing them to the natural and cultural history of the surrounding area while they explore the trails and study the various habitats.
Students are constantlyencouraged to solve problemsposed by the Naturalists atLarge instructors, comprisedof both intellectual problemsand well thought-out and wellexecuted physical problems(i.e. initiative activities). Eachtrail group is with a Naturalistsat Large naturalist-instructor,and a faculty or parentchaperon each day for theentire program.
And a few other optional activities… Animal Tracking Map & Compass Orienteering Journal & Reflective Activity
The following is a sample three-day schedule that has been usedby several schools. Four-day andfive-day trips often add off-siteoptions and allow for a more in-depth experience of the region.All Naturalists at Large trips aretailored to meet each school’soutdoor education goals.
(Day one)11:00 Arrive at Mount CrossCamp Bus greeters. Orientation tosite, Staff and Faculty meetingBreak into trail groups / smallgroup orientation andintroductions.12:00 Lunch1:00 Move in to lodging2:00 Begin Initiatives & Challenges6:30 Dinner7:30 Evening Program: Nightawareness and trust activities9:00 Students released to faculty
(Day two)7:30 Breakfast9:00 Groups A & B do redwoodecology hike, group initiatives.Groups C & D do low ropes12:00 Lunch by groups1:00 Groups C & D do redwoodecology hike, group initiatives.Groups A & B do low ropes4:30 Return to camp6:00 Dinner7:30 Evening Program: Starstudy / Campfire9:00 Students releasedto faculty
(Day three)7:30 Breakfast8:15 Pack8:45 All gear staged andready to load on bus9:00 Groups C & D do streamstudy and games. Groups A &B do high ropes11:30 Lunch by trail groups12:00 Groups A, B do streamstudy and games. Groups C & Ddo high ropes2:30 Return to camp for debrief3:00 Load gear on bus3:30 School departs
Ask about… Allergies, Medications, 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.
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).
Plastic bag protection. A half dozen, 1 or 2gallon storage 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.