Outdoor Education

Teaching that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live

Field studies guide and complement our science instruction with a progression of overnight outdoor education trips arranged each year beginning in third grade. All trips are included in the cost of tuition for students.

These trips are experiential in nature, underscore content imperatives at each grade level, and provide opportunities for leadership and risk taking.

We are also intentional partners with organizations that share our values in promoting environmental sustainability.

Overnight Trips

Joshua Tree National Park

3rd Grade Trip

To culminate their study on habitat and biomes, in the fall third graders and one of their parents travel to Joshua Tree National Park for a three-day/two-night adventure. This is the first of the Walden School overnight outdoor education trips and is hosted by The Boojum Institute for Experiential Education.

Students and parents camp in tents at the base of amazing rock formations in Joshua Tree. All participants have hands-on experiences learning about desert ecology, biology, and geology. They also participate in adventure-based activities such as rock climbing and scrambling. Activities have included studying native plants, tracking animals such as lizards and desert tortoises, examining the local and regional geology, star gazing, and campfires.

The Joshua Tree trip is included in the cost of tuition for the students and is an additional fee for participating adults.


4th Grade Trip

After a 3-month study of astronomy, fourth grade students travel by bus to Idyllwild, California, for a three-day/two-night adventure focused on Physical Science and Astronomy. Walden students stay in dorm rooms in groups of three or four. The program is run by Guided Discoveries, a non-profit founded in 1978 with the goal of making a difference in children's lives through science.

The AstroCamp course emphasizes hands-on programs that encourage the children to do the science. Through the use of "toys" and unique educational settings, the students are connected to the experience. This connection leads to personal discoveries, which is the learning process.

Some of the activities the students will experience are rocketry, ropes courses, telescopes, electricity, and magnetism. Walden students have been attending this program for over fifteen years.

The AstroCamp trip is included in the cost of tuition. No additional fees are assessed.

Catalina Island Mountain and Sea Adventures

5th Grade Trip

Marine Biology is an emphasis in fifth grade. In the spring, fifth grade students travel by ferry boat to Catalina Island for a five-day, four-night marine science trip. The students stay in permanent tents on the Mountain and Sea Adventures campus. 

The Mountain and Sea Adventures program focuses on experiential science utilizing hands-on labs and equipment, expert instructors, and the natural land and sea environments of Catalina Island. The curriculum strives to increase science literacy, to stimulate minds, and to create excitement about science.

A few of the activities the students will do are snorkeling, dissection of a squid, evening hikes, kayaking, classification of vertebrates and invertebrates, and Catalina Island ecology.

The Catalina Island trip is included in the cost of tuition. No additional fees are assessed.

Grand Teton National Park

6th Grade Trip

In January, sixth grade students fly to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to attend the Teton Science School for a full six days (Sunday – Friday). The Teton Science School was founded in 1967 as a non-profit educational organization with the goal of teaching students from all over the United States about natural and cultural history, while exploring the Greater Yellowstone Geo-ecosystem.

Walden students stay in modern, dormitory-style buildings on the Jackson Campus. Each day, they travel throughout the Jackson area to hike, ski, and snowshoe in Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The students have hands-on experiences in field ecology, including animal tracking, wildlife observation, ecological field research, alpine ecology, field journaling and sketching, and leave-no-trace backcountry ethics.

The Teton Science School trip is included in the cost of tuition. No additional fees are assessed.