Our Place Summer

Nature Camp - Forest School - Outdoor Camp in Los Angeles

Get outside and connect with nature! 

Available in West LA and North East LA!

We hike, play, and explore, all the while seamlessly weaving wonder, learning, and fun into our active days! Our thoughtful program itineraries are designed to increase your child’s connection to nature, stimulate their critical thinking skills and inspire their creative imaginations

Although each day is different, our program is centered around hiking, nature games, team building, and the practice of inquiry-based learning as a way to unravel our local outdoor environments akin to a forest school!

Where we explore?

With so many proximal natural settings, we are excited to share our favorites. Typical destinations include state parks, national forests, natural parks, native plant nurseries, and wildlife preserves!

Registration

“Our Place” runs Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-2:30 pm during these weeks:

  • Session 1: June 14 – 18

    Session 2: June 21 – 25

    Session 3: June 28 – July 2

    Session 4: July 5 – July 9

    Session 5: July 12 – July 16

    Session 6: July 19 – July 23

    Session 7: July 26 – July 30

    Session 8: Aug 2 – Aug 6

    Session 9: Aug 9 – Aug 13

    Session 10: Aug 16- Aug 20

    Session 11: Aug 23 – Aug 27

Pricing Opportunities

Sibling Discount 

Concurrent sibling enrollment qualifies for 10% off during checkout – Shoot a quick message to admin.la@biocitizen.org to get the code!


Scholarships / Payment Options

Need-Based Scholarship – If you are interested in a scholarship for your child, check this link to apply!

Estas interesado en una beca para venir al campamento ¡marque este para solicitarla!

Merit-Based – Application coming soon

Program Breakdown

Ages: 5 – 14

Group Size: 12 kids and 2 staff

Session Pricing: $550.00 (5 days)

*10% discount available for concurrent enrollment of siblings

           **Scholarships are available as well!

Time: Drop Off at 8:30 AM, and Pick Up at 2:30 PM (6 hrs.)

Locations: Drop Off and Pick Up at Specified Locations (Locations sent out prior to session start)

Transportation: Provided by families (Covid-19 Protocols)

Pick-up & Drop-off Logistics

For pick-up and drop-off, the lead teacher of the group will send out an email with GPS links to all the pick-up and drop-off locations by the Friday before the start of your student’s Session. The locations are dependent on the activities scheduled and all locations are regionally appropriate. 

Drop Off at 8:30 AM, and Pick Up at 2:30 PM (6 hrs.)

Locations: Drop Off and Pick Up at Specified Locations (Locations sent out prior to session start)

Transportation: Provided by families (Covid-19 Protocols)

Sample Itinerary

Here’s what a typical day in the field looks like:

8:30 -8:45 AM – Student Drop-off

8:45 – 9:00 AM –  Morning Circle: Intro circle, name games, plan for the day

9:00 – 10:00 AM –  Morning Activity: Hiking, exploring, connecting.

10:00 – 10:15 AM – Snack break

10:15 – 12:30 PM – Activity Continued: Usually this is more hiking and exploring nature. We’ll dive into discussions about whatever our topic or theme for the day is.

12:30 – 1:00 PM – Lunch break: We often sit in the grass and eat our lunch and chill out for a little while. 

1:00 – 1:30 PMGame/Craft: We’ll dive into a daily game, or a nature craft for the day.

1:30 – 1:50 PM – Nature Journaling:  Kids love drawing and writing about their day in their journal. 

1:50 – 2:15 PMHike back to pick-up location

2:15 – 2:30 PM – Closing Circle and Share highlights from the day.

2:30 – 2:45 PM – Pick Up

Regional Offerings

North East LA 

Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Elysian Heights, Atwater Village,  Pasadena, Altadena, etc.

Sample Destinations: 

  • Griffith Park
  • Elysian Park
  • San Gabriel Mountains
  • Los Angeles River Watershed

 

West LA

Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Pacific Palisades, etc.

Sample Destinations:

  • Santa Monica Mountains
  • Will Roger’s State Historic Park
  • Temescal Canyon Gateway Park
  • Topanga State Park (lower)
  • Malibu Creek State Park (this destination will likely be a 1x /week location since it’s considerably further from most people)

Camp Goals

Students will develop a deeper awareness of the biodiversity of our local wilderness and urban areas, including the desert and coastal habitats, and how healthy biodiversity impacts us all. Students will also be encouraged to develop a deeper sense of their own resilience and endurance as we will be covering a good amount of trail (or pavement) each day.

Our classes are designed to counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Slowing down and being mindful while we walk, increases the students’ perceptual abilities, while group generated inquiry, activates their critical thinking skills. Our structured yet flexible daily curricula are designed to inspire them to go from being passive receivers of “reality” to be active participants in, and shapers of it.

COVID-19 and your child

We follow the most current federal and local guidelines with regards to best practices for preventing, identifying, and managing COVID-19.

Here are the bullet points:

  • Weekly Covid-19 Tests for ALL STAFF
  • All outdoor programming
  • Touch-less temp check at drop-off each morning (99.6 or higher, child doesn’t attend)
  • Physical Distancing whenever possible (6+ feet)
  • Face Mask worn at all times
    • With the exception of eating, drinking, or adequate physical distance (6+ feet or more) both staff and campers are required to wear their masks
    • Acceptable facial coverings – N95 masks, medical-grade masks, or equivalent CLOSE FITTING facial coverings
    • Unacceptable facial coverings – bandana, gaiters, t-shirt cloth, your hand, etc.
  • Increased Hygiene Protocols
    • Hand-sanitizing/hand-washing
      • Before/after meals,
      • After shared items (field guides, talking stick, etc)
      • After restroom use

Check out our full description of our current COVID 19 Protocols and feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns! We’d be happy to discuss them with you!

Although we cannot require testing, we can vehemently implore our community to do the following:

1. Get a free COVID-19 Test by the Friday before the session start. (At the latest)

2. Quarantine (actually) over the weekend.

3. Check for fever or any symptoms and if any are present DO NOT send your student. 

Follow these three simple steps, and you can help ensure we all have a safe and healthy summer!

Let’s all do our part to be “Covid-Cool” this summer!  

Wonder | Connection | Stewardship

Biocitizen LA’s “Our Place” Summer Camp provides your child with the opportunity to experience the environment in playful, mindful, and wild ways while exploring the meanings and systems that formed the places we inhabit each day.

Our Place is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with “Our Place,” the natural and urban environment of the Los Angeles River Basin Biome.

Our daily explorations bring students into direct contact with LA’s myriad of wild and urban habitats and ecosystems. Our classes are active, immersive, and reflective: We hike, climb, swim, share, and always take time to simply sit and observe the world around us.​

Each week-long session is self-contained with five highly active days in which we roam multiple outdoor classrooms all over the Los Angeles area, and beyond; on a treasure hunt in pursuit of natural and cultural signs and stories…an active and immersive adventure! Our students walk 1.5 – 5 miles per day and will get to carry their own lunch, snacks, water, and personal belongings!

Merit and Need Based Financial Aid

We are able to offer scholarships to students interested in joining us either based on merit or need. Scholarships cover only a portion of the camp cost.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship click here.

FAQ’s

Q1: What are your educator’s qualifications?

Our talented educator team loves the outdoors, and loves working with kids!

All staff possesses the following:

  • Demonstrated professional and relevant experience in child-care
  • Minimum of 20 hours of staff training prior to summer 
    • Including but not limited to: Natural history interpretation, conflict management, non-violent communication, nature journaling, group management, inclusive community development, indigenous history
  • Minimum of CPR/First Aid Certified
  • Federal Background Check
  • Interest and passion for nature, education, and kids!

Q2: What’s the best way to refer a friend or get on the waitlist? Is the website up to date on availability?

Click on the REGISTER NOW button, and then select the week you are interested in enrolling in. Once you make your selection, you will see a box pop up below indicating how many spaces are available. 

Our site is indeed up-to-date, and when you select the week you would like to register, the selection window will let you know how many spaces are available. 

Q3: How will you communicate pick-up & drop-off locations?

Each Friday, before the start of your student’s session, our lead teacher of the group will send out an email with GPS links to all the pick-up and drop-off locations. 

Q4: Are Camelbacks cool?

You better believe it! 1.5 – 3-liter bladders are great to throw in the backpack and can help make hydrating fun!

Here are a couple of recommendationsDO NOT GET A SUPER CHEAP ONE, it will leak all over your student’s belongings and then everyone will be both sad and wet 🙁

Q5: Will my child get to play in the water?

Absolutely! From streams, creeks, sprinklers, we aim to have at least 1 day/week for water time!

Q6: Physical Distancing for pod buddies or siblings?

If your child and their friend(s) are in the same pod or has a sibling in their group, we do not require them to be physically distant. 

Q7: Will the program be too strict that students won’t have an enjoyable experience?

We had an absolutely amazing 2020 summer season, and have no doubt this one will be as good, if not better!

Our team of highly trained staff, incorporate a diverse range of games and activities, awesome nature crafts, and tons of classic Biocitizen fun!   

Join The Waitlist Please list the following so that we can properly place your child quickly if a spot becomes available. Thanks for your interest! - Your name, email and phone number - Child's name and age - Specific friend requests (do you have a friend in the group?)