Ventura Charter School students return from school-wide campout with a strong sense of community

With each passing year we have been blessed to watch our child flourish.

Ventura Charter School of Arts & Global Education – a tuition-free Ventura County public school – welcomes students’ home as they return from a school-wide campout adventure in October. The expedition spanned three days in the local Ventura County wilderness where students, families, and teachers gathered at Steckel Park in Santa Paula to prepare for the school year by building solid connections while creating a strong sense of community to last throughout the school year. This year nearly 400 students and 300 families attended the campout, which is the only such school-wide activity of its kind within Ventura County’s public schools.

“The Campout, has allowed our child to slowly come out of his shell and meet new people. With each passing year we have been blessed to watch our child flourish and grow during this event,” said Jaret and Jackie Flowers, parents of

Ventura Charter School students for 6 years, “This school is full of loving and caring parents, teachers and faculty.”

During the trip, students embarked on a sunrise hike, completed a riverboat challenge, formed a drum-circle, participated in lessons on local animals and nature, learned to explore and engage with their surroundings in a scientific way and had time to have fun and build friendships that are sure to continue on campus. All grade levels were invited to participate, with older students in grades 3 and up camping overnight with their families and younger K-2 students enjoying daytime camp activities.

“It’s always fun to see the first-time campers getting their hands dirty and embracing the lessons,” said Lisa Hildebrand, Executive Director of Ventura Charter School of Arts and Global Education, “For our older students, they look forward to the campout each year. For them, it’s about having fun with friends, as they grow their critical thinking skills, build new and deeper connections, and engage with their environment in ways that carry into the classroom.”

This is just one of the many unique ways that Ventura Charter School engages students with each other and with the natural world as part of an education that extends beyond the classroom. Taking care of the Earth and understanding the natural world are part of the core principles of Ventura Charter School and are an integral part of its global education.

“Ventura Charter Schools campout is one of the most unique school community building experiences families can share with their children and my favorite school event,” said Terra, the parent of an 11-year-old Ventura Charter School student, “We come together to enjoy nature, sing at campfire, and bond together with Charter families and Charter staff to create an exciting and memorable outdoor adventure for the kids.”

To learn more about how Ventura Charter School encourages students to engage with their education in a way that works best for them, and to take a campus tour and learn about enrollment visit:

Ventura Charter School – Starting as Open Classroom in the 1970’s, Ventura Charter School of Global Arts & Education launched in

2006 as a tuition-free public charter school within the Ventura County Office of Education. The school currently serves over 400 K8th grade students on its campus located within the larger DATA middle school property. Ventura Charter School is an expeditionary learning school in partnership with EL Education. It is guided by 10 founding principles and its mission to, “engage every student in meaningful and supportive learning experiences to grow resilient, educated, and socially intelligent human beings.”

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