Outdoor Education


Ventura Charter School values real world learning outside of the classroom. Stewardship of the earth is a fundamental tenant of the School vision. An awareness of the fragility of the ecosystems is crucial as well as the development of a strong sense of responsibility for protecting, preserving, and restoring the earth for future generations. Multi-sensory experiences in nature also stimulate creativity and imagination. Immersion in a natural environment allows students to build cognitive constructs for intellectual development. When students interact with the environment, they become more attentive, less restless, and more engaged in independent, creative problem solving.


At Ventura Charter School, students regularly participate in outdoor learning opportunities, field trips, and service projects that allow them to take their learning off campus including:

  • A three day all school campout each fall featuring a sunrise hike, nature and animal studies, community building, and scientific exploration;
  • Beach walks and bicycle rides; an outdoor day of classes and Thanksgiving feast; Regular school garden learning centers;
  • Partnerships with community organizations such as the Channel Islands Marine Resource Institute and the Ormand Beach restoration project to promote understanding and the protection of local wetlands and sanctuaries;
  • A Trash-a-Thon to clean up city litter hot-spots;
  • Annual middle school trips to places such as Yosemite, Morro Bay, and Ashland, Oregon;
  • Classroom visits to butterfly preserves, Ojai Meadows Preserve, and a seal sanctuary.

These field experiences are an integral part of our standards based curriculum and encourage the students to make connections with their classroom learning and the larger world around them. Our role is to help students develop the skills, values, and attitudes that facilitate a scientific understanding of the natural world.


To read more about the value of outdoor education: The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Now I see the secret of making the best persons, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

- Walt Whitman