ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS: Ventura Wild brings children and families into local wild places as a way to rekindle a deep sense of belonging and connection to the natural world. We strive to provide space for each child’s unique gifts and interests to blossom through shared adventure, skill development and play.

We do a lot of playing. Place based and child centered play that provides endless learning opportunities. We also guide and facilitate intentions and awareness by gently offering stories, games, activities and simply modeling our own curiosity and enthusiasm. The Ventura Wild staff act as mentors, teachers and leaders, shifting with the individual and group needs and interests. It is a truly magical experience for all involved.

The leader to participant ratio is 1:4. This ratio is due to the goal of building connections, and to the wild nature of our program including tree climbing, rock walking, swimming holes, creeks, rivers and the ocean. The group sizes are 8 – 12 children.  The lead staff make the program daily plans, coordinate with co leaders, and is the point person on communicating with parents.

Our curriculum is developed specifically for each group, flexible to location, season, weather, staff inspirations and teachable moments that flow from mysteries and natural surprises.  We are always amazed at how much children grow as learners and as humans when they are alive in the moment.

2020 Spring Programs

Registration Now Open!


“Encourage your child to have muddy, grassy or sandy feet by the end of each day, that’s the childhood they deserve.” ~Penny Whitehouse

HOME SCHOOL CHARTERS: We are working fast to become vendors for Inspire, Sage Oak, Valley Oak and other local charter schools.  

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS: Click here to read short descriptions, and see a list of destination options.  

STAFF: Click here to read about our staff.  


Donate to Scholarship Fund


Scholarships are funded by families and local organizations. We appreciate even a small contribution, and bringing nature to low income and underserved populations is one of the best gifts we can give our community.

If you would like to be considered to receive a scholarship, contact Heather at Let Heather know what specific program you are interested in, and your child’s name and age. It would help to know the amount that you are able to pay as well. We want as many families as possible to have a chance to participate.

Please consider that these funds are not a free discount, but for families who really need support to attend. We work hard to create diversity and equitable opportunities for all families.

As much as we want to provide assistance to get more kids outside, we ALSO need contributions to our fund.   Thank you for considering your status carefully and how much you value this experience for your children.


  • Full refund available (except summer) up to two weeks before programs begin.
  • Cancellations 2 weeks or less before the start of a program will not be refunded unless we can fill the spot. Ventura Wild staff will do everything possible to fill the spot, and if filled, you will only be charged the $30 non-refundable deposit.
  • You may change your child’s program once at no cost. After that, we will charge $5 per change.

Though we do have waiting lists, people often make other plans and we can’t always fill a spot on short notice.

PLEASE REGISTER EARLY! We hope you understand that our staff only get to work when we have enough registrations. With a 4:1 ratio we need 8 kids to have two staff, and 12 kids for three staff. If we run under that, we have to subsidize the programs with more fundraising instead of more programs, and we often lose staff due to insecurity of income. Cancellations can really affect our program viability. Thanks for your understanding and support!

Spring Intermediate Skills
Ages: 10 – 15
Times: 3:30 – 6:00
Wednesdays, April 15 – June 3
Fee: 245 (8 classes)

Spring Heron Homeschool
Ages: 6 – 9  (split into older and younger groups)
Times: 10:00 – 2:00
Thursday, April 16 – June 4    (AVAILABLE!)
Fee: $335 (8 classes)

Ojai After School
Ages 6 – 12
Times: 3:30 – 5:30
April 16 – June 4
Fee: $205 (8 classes)

Spring Acorn Preschool-Aged Programs
Ages: 4 – 6
Times: 9:00 – 12:00
1. Wednesdays, April 15 – June 3
2. Fridays, April 17 – June 5   (AVAILABLE!)
Fee: $275  (8 classes)

Family Potluck Celebrations! 
All Ages Welcome
Time: 10:00 – 3:00
1. Saturday, Feb. 29   Rain & Water Party
2. Saturday, May 9   Soil & Earth Party

Family Night Hike  –  Piedre Blanca 
All Ages Welcome
Time: 5:00 – 8:00
1. Saturday, May 23
2. Friday, June 12
Fee: $25 or donation

Mom’s Retreat
Time: 8:00 Sat.  – 2:00 Sun.
Sat.-Sun April 25-26
Fee: $275

Big Bear Little Bear YOUNGER
Ages 2 – 3
Times: 9:00 – 11:00
Mondays, April 13 – June 8 (no class May 25)
Tuesdays April 14 – June 2
Fee: $175  (8 classes)

Spring Meiner’s Oaks Elementary School – after school club
Ages 6 – 9
Mondays, April 13 – June 8   Times: 2:45 – 4:45
Wednesdays, April 15 – June 3  Times: 12:30 – 2:30
Fee: $190  (8 classes)

Hawks  Advanced Ecoliteracy
Ages 10-15 (Or with prerequisite)
Times: 3:00 – 6:00
Mondays, April 13 – June 8
Fee: $285 (8 classes)

Rock Tree Sky Adventures
Tuesdays  (in house program)

Big Bear Little Bear Younger
Ages 2 – 3
Times: 9:00 – 11:00
Tuesdays April 14 – June 2
Fee: $175  (8 classes)

Big Bear Little Bear Older
Ages 4-5
Times: 9:00 – 11:00
Tuesdays, April 14 – June 2
Fee: $175 (8 classes)

Ventura After School
Ages 6 – 12
Times: 3:30 – 5:30
Tuesdays, April 14 – June 2
Fee: $215 (8 classes)

Spring Half Day
Ages 4 – 7
Times: 2:00 – 4:30
Wednesdays, April 15 – June 3
Fee: $235  (8 classes)