Education Outside the Classroom

Current educational research indicates that connections with the natural world increase children’s ability to learn and also improve self-esteem and social behavior. Recent studies also show that spending time outdoors increases memory up to 20 percent. Meaningful outdoor experiences are a powerful tool for lifelong impact and learning.

With a staff of nearly 50 seasoned outdoor educators, on our way to official certification from AEE (Association of Experiential Education), and a passion for experiential learning and environmental stewardship, Positive Adventures is at the top of the class when it comes to Outdoor Education.

So, What Do We Specialize in?

We specialize in outdoor multi day and overnight programs using customized curriculum to build leadership and provide tools for healthy lifestyle choices.  With a sterling record of safety, comprehensive risk management policies and ongoing trainings and continuing education for our staff, Positive Adventures will provide a trip of a lifetime for students and teachers.  Staff are Livescanned, CPR/1st Aid certified, belay certified and led by senior staff possessing Wilderness First Responder certifications, American Mountain Guide Association certifications, advanced degrees, and medical training.

How Do We Design Our Outdoor Education Courses?

Positive Adventures outdoor courses are generally conducted “Expedition Style.” In other words, Positive Adventures field staff, client participants, and chaperones all contribute to the well-being of the entire group. Our field staff lead by example and actively encourage everyone to participate in common duties (e.g. cooking, cleaning up, helping to lead hikes and generally watching out for themselves and each other). We like to think of this idea as being an extension of the community that we comprise when we unite to attain common goals.

5 Things That Set Us Apart

1 | Customizable Programs – We offer diverse programming in a variety of locations with a focus on improving campus culture and achieving your desired results.

2 | Our Team – We retain, train and develop highly educated and skilled outdoor industry professionals with above industry pay and year-round work.

3 | Operational Excellence – Our programs align with standards set by the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). We run the business with environmentally friendly guidelines.

4 | Progressive Programming – We work with all grades in varying locations providing sequential curriculum by laying a foundation, developing key skills, and level of challenge.

5 | Risk Management – We put meticulous care into our program operations. As a leader in the industry, we take extra steps where others do not.

Outdoor Education Course Locations

Central Coast Programs

The unique environments of the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur coast and Ventana wilderness set the tone for the Coastal Mountain Base Camp or Backpacking program. The experiential program allows students to learn as a result of direct, hands-on guided exploration through the ruggedly beautiful terrain of the northern Santa Lucia Mountains, the diverse flora of the Big Sur coast, and the tranquil beauty of Monterey Bay.

Southern California Beaches

Positive Adventures offers youth programs which include surf, retreats, outdoor education, and leadership development programs. Each day, the salty ocean breeze blows the sand into new patterns outside your cabin or tent. In the evening, you’ll fall asleep to the pulse of the pounding surf.

Big Bear Retreats

Our Big Bear Retreat locations lie two hours east of Los Angeles and just minutes from Big Bear Lake. Positive Adventures programs and activities include canoeing, hiking, high and low ropes course challenges, archery, zip lining, environmental education, leadership initiatives and more!

Joshua Tree

The desert fauna of Joshua Tree National Park provides the backdrop for our unique Desert Introduction Program. Students are exposed to intricate living systems in the California desert environment that offer a wide variety of learning opportunities. This program is an excellent introduction to outdoor living as it provides a reasonable level of challenge with a high level of comfort.

santa barbara coastal capitans

Santa Barbara

The Coastal Capitans retreat is located in beautiful Santa Barbara. This location is right on the ocean and offers tent camping, ocean kayaking, a ropes course, and outdoor leadership activities.

idyllwild staff professional development


Many excellent camping areas are nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains at an elevation of 5, 200 ft. There are options for tent camping, cabin stays, and even a beautiful conference center & summer camp. This area has a diverse ecosystem that allows the teaching of many eco-concepts such as adaptation and interrelatedness that lends itself to natural history interpretation.

jennie lakes

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

The landscape of the Jennie Lakes Wilderness area is located near Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park at the crest of the Sierra Nevada and testifies to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. With unsurpassed views, lush green meadows, alpine lakes and stream all nestled between forested ridges, this is the perfect setting for an outdoor education program.

half dome reflection

Yosemite National Park

The landscape of Yosemite National Park testifies to nature’s size, beauty and diversity – with unsurpassed views, rugged foothills, deep canyons, dramatic waterfalls and some of the world’s largest trees. There are more than 800 miles of outstanding hiking trails for visitors of every ability and inclination to deliver peak experiences, whatever the topography and terrain.

colorado river retreat

Colorado River

Sandy beaches, colorful caves, and active hot springs provide the backdrop for this unique outdoor education experience. This program combines guided river canoeing or kayaking, hot spring exploration, hiking, evening programs and team development.

lake tahoe

Lake Tahoe

It’s no wonder that Lake Tahoe has been named one of the most beautiful places on this earth. Nestled in the middle of nature and surrounding Tahoe National Forest, the rugged, pine-covered mountains are perfect for hiking and other outdoor leadership camping retreats!

group snowshoeing in winter

Winter Elevation Adventures

The winter environment offers abundant learning opportunities for youth. While many children choose to snuggle up with their electronics, we believe that winter is the perfect time to get kids outside for some hands-on experiential education. Activities range from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing and your kids will gain invaluable experience and skills that will serve them for a lifetime. 

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