Thank you for your interest in Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools at Sempervirens. Exploring New Horizons is a private non-profit [501 (c) (3)] California corporation that conducts residential outdoor education at three facilities. In all three programs, teaching is conducted outside and centers around exploration and appreciation of the natural world.

Program Description

Exploring New Horizons at Sempervirens offers 4- and 5-day programs in which students hike in the old growth redwoods at Big Basin State Park, discover what’s living in the tidepools at Natural Bridges State Beach, and explore our beautiful organic garden and orchard.

Throughout their week, fifth and sixth grade students turn over logs in search of salamanders, study astronomy on a night hike, and learn how they are connected to a watershed while naturalists weave science, art, and music into their hikes and lessons.

Sempervirens is located at the headwaters of Wadell Creek and the San Lorenzo River in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

School Presentations

When a school signs up for a week of outdoor school, our Program Coordinator schedules a number of presentations to help prepare your class for their outdoor school visit. They will first meet with the students to help prepare them for their week at outdoor school, and then there will be a separate presentation for the parents to answer any questions and alleviate any concerns they might have. She will also schedule a meeting with the teachers sometime in the afternoon to discuss the teacher’s role at outdoor school and to answer any questions. Sempervirens will also take care of counselor recruitment and training! Our Program Coordinator will go to a high school in your area and interview and train high school students to act as counselors during the week. Teachers may request students whom they wish to be counselors and may be a part of the interview and training process if they are interested.

A Week at Sempervirens

During their week, teachers spend the night at Weaving Unity Retreat Center (link), located directly across the street from the outdoor school. Teachers may elect to pay extra for use of the hot tub, a private room, a massage or palm reading.

Teachers are responsible for one hour of teacher time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They are also in charge of awarding the coveted golden dustpan Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings after breakfast. For the rest of the week, teachers may participate in all other aspects of the program as they please. All hikes are led by naturalists. Medicines are distributed by our medic and program director.

Cost

The cost of the program varies annually. Please call to find out the fee for this year’s program. Program fee is charged per student (counselors and teachers are free). The fee includes busing to and from the beach and Big Basin, housing, and all meals except for the first lunch, which students bring. Teachers and counselors are not charged for their week at the outdoor school.

Resources

These downloads prepare teachers, students and parents for a positive experience at Camp Sempervirens.

Please call (831) 338-3077 for any questions or email our program director Asa Deane.