Channel Islands School Programs | Outdoor Adventure

School & Group Environmental Science at Channel Islands

Leaving everything familiar behind, students study isolated landscapes and seascapes, experience unique animals and plants, and begin to think differently about the world and their place in it.

Your NatureBridge Program

Ready to plan your trip? We have put together the resources you need to streamline the planning process. All day visits to the Channel Islands are available to groups participating in our five-day Santa Monica Mountains programs. Planning paperwork, including planning questionaires and participant registration forms, can be found at

Plan your educational experience

Our curriculum is customized for each program by our environmental science educators, who all hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a science or science-related field. You will choose one to two California State Science Standards, and the level of social growth you would like your students to experience on their trip. We combine science lessons, data collection and observation, and team building to meet your exact needs. Students depart our campuses with leadership skills and a mastery of your chosen standards – all learned in a beautiful and inspiring setting. You can also view our Areas of Study for generalized descriptions of our lesson topics; it may help you narrow the academic focus for your trip.

Program locations and vendor information

Ferry to Santa Cruz Island
We take an Island Packers ferry from Ventura Harbor and land on Santa Cruz Island at Scorpion Anchorage. 
Please contact us if you have other questions regarding the accommodations you will experience on your trip or which vessel your group has been assigned to.
Contact us at 818-914-7660.

Island Information

Motion Sickness: While some participants do experience motion sickness aboard the boat, a self-administered dose of over the counter anti-nausea medication is typically very effective.

Swimming: We do not permit swimming or wading in the Pacific Ocean.

Cancellations: We will camp, hike, and conduct the program in inclement weather, including rain. At times, decisions may be made to cancel a trip due to weather considerations. We will do our best to let you know as far in advance of the possibility of a cancellation. The decision to cancel is, at times, out of our hands, as we rely on Island Packers or Truth Aquatics to transport us safely to the island. Of course, we will do everything we can to reschedule or refund your trip as outlined in your contract, and we will deal with this issue personally and on a case-by-case basis to all parties' satisfactions.

Teaching Tools

Help prepare your students and answer any questions before your visit! You can request a pre-trip visit to your classroom from a NatureBridge staff member. Because staffing is limited, we may not be able to accommodate every request. However, we recommend a pre-trip visit for all first-time groups. Contact Hagit Elaz at to schedule a pre-trip visit.


Are you ready for your NatureBridge field trip? It will take some preparation on your part to have the best trip ever. Definitely bring your sense of adventure, a willingness to try and push yourself beyond what you have done before, and your enthusiasm to learn about nature. The more you learn, the more you will be able to appreciate why nature is so special!

Contacting your child while on a program

Should the need arise for a guardian to contact their child during program hours, please call the phone numbers listed below. Remember, we operate in several program sites. Take note of where your child will be during his/her NatureBridge program.
Please note that cell phones rarely, if ever, work in our program locations in the Santa Monica Mountains. 
  • Circle X Ranch - Santa Monica Mountains: 310-774-5990 (our main campus office number)
  • Camp JCA Shalom - Santa Monica Mountains: 818-889-5500.  Explain that your your child is there with a NatureBridge program, as other youth groups may be using the site simultaneously.

Thank you for volunteering to be a chaperone! Your positive attitude and willingness to participate during the instructional day is of great importance to both students and NatureBridge staff. Remember, the students will look to you for behavior cues. We ask that you remain positive and as upbeat as possible, even in inclement weather or during challenging portions of the hiking day.

Chaperone Responsibilties & FAQs

Read the Chaperone Responsibilities Agreement to get a better idea of the chaperone responsibilities required on your NatureBridge program. 

Working together

Fundraising can be a fun and creative group activity. When students work together to raise funds for an exciting goal, the process becomes a fulfilling endeavor. Many schools provide their students with the opportunity to raise their own tuition or funds for transportation to campus.

Community investment in students and schools increases when local businesses, civic groups, and families have an opportunity to participate and engage in the fundraising process.

Funding ideas

View our page of fundraising ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If you have a creative idea or a success story you would like to share with other teachers, please send us your idea.


View our page of grant opportunities and writing tips to get you started.  If you have a success story you would like to share with other teachers, please send us your idea.

NatureBridge Scholarships

NatureBridge is committed to reaching students in all the communities we serve. Thanks to the generosity of donors, NatureBridge offers scholarships to approximately 35 percent of our schools.  Scholarships are awarded based on the free and reduced lunch rate of a school (or private-school equivalent) and/or other supplemental information to support need.
If you believe your school or group may qualify for a scholarship, please fill out and submit a scholarship application form to Karen Oxrider.

It was a pleasure to have your group participate in a NatureBridge program.

Online program evaluation: We’d love to get your feedback so we can continually improve our programming. We appreciate your time and thoughtful comments.

Teacher professional development: Join us for our Teacher Professional Development workshops to continue your educational experience and enhance your classroom curriculum!

Plan next year’s trip: Contact Karen Oxrider to check for program availability and space.
Request a post-trip classroom visit: Now that your group has had the experience of a lifetime, you can stretch the impact of the trip by requesting a post-trip classroom visit from a NatureBridge staff member. Due to limited staff size and availability, we may not be able to accommodate every request. Please contact Meg Jakubowski at or 310-774-5990 to discuss your post-trip options.
Or inquire via phone:
Karen Oxrider


A Proud Partner of the National Park Service