Santa Monica Mountains School Programs | Outdoor Adventure

School & Group Environmental Science at Santa Monica Mountains

From the top of Sandstone Peak to the Arroyo Sequit watershed, students explore the park’s Mediterranean ecosystem and learn through academic and physical challenges how their actions impact the world.

Your NatureBridge Program

Ready to plan your trip? We’ve put together the resources you need to streamline the planning process. Please look over the contents below. If you need additional information, please call or email as directed in the sections below. 

NatureBridge is committed to planning and conducting a safe and specialized program to meet your group’s academic and social growth needs. To this end, there are many forms for us to use to craft your program. Submitting most of these completed forms to us as soon as you can will ensure ample time for us to plan!

Planning tools

Download and print these two helpful documents.

  • The Planning Checklist will give you an overview of how best to plan your program from start to finish, including timelines, forms, suggestions, and tips!
  • The Essential Paperwork Table helps you to keep track of all the forms you may need to use to plan your trip.
  • The NatureBridge Pre-Trip Presentation will help you give your parents and students an overview of what to expect on their NatureBridge program.

If you have any questions about these forms, please contact Director of Operations Hagit Elaz or call 818-914-7660 ext 404

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.  We combine science lessons, data collection and observation, and team building to meet your exact needs.  You can view our Areas of Study for generalized descriptions of our lesson topics; it may help you narrow the academic focus for your trip.

Essential forms and paperwork

We recommend using the latest version of Adobe Reader (download free) to electronically fill out the following planning forms.

Participant registration forms

Packing lists

Teacher/group leader’s program logistic forms

Sleeping arrangement forms

Miscellaneous forms

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 Alessandra Chardon at to schedule a pre-trip visit.

Are you ready for your NatureBridge experience? It will take some preparation on your part to have the best experience 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!

Get Ready!

Logistics & Forms

The required forms should be sent home with the student and returned to the group leader or teacher. They are available here for download if you need them:

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 ext 114. Explain that 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.


First, each adult participant must completely fill out and sign the Participant Registration Form. NatureBridge cares about your safety, too! Return this to the group coordinator or teacher.

Download this packing list to get ready! You will only need the Channel Islands packing list for a combination 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 and Chaperone Program Evaluation

Teacher professional development: Join us at one of our 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.

Track the California Phenology Project’s progress: Most of our student groups take data with the CPP for the National Phenology Network. You might be interested in conducting your own phenology project on your school’s campus. Check the California Phenology Project website for further suggestions or contact Senior Education Manager Meg Jakubowski at for how you might use the data you collected in your classroom!

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 Alessandra Chardon at or 310-774-5990 to discuss your post-trip options.

Or inquire via phone:
Karen Oxrider


Ask About Large Group Incentives for the 2018-2019 School Year

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