Outdoor Education

Make your reservations today!

Contact Rochelle Tolbert at (415) 331-9622 x 686.

Hands on Learning, team-building challenges, community service, and adventurous fun all within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area! Welcome to our Outdoor Education Program.

Since 1990, YMCA Point Bonita has given students in grades K-12 the opportunity to experience learning in a holistic way.

Living cooperatively at our coastal residential campus for two to five days, students and their teachers are guided by our outstanding naturalists on all-day hikes through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Every program is tailored to the students and teachers we serve, each curriculum designed to re-enforce classroom learning.

We bring science to life!

Through pond studies, tide-pooling, animal sightings, plant walks, geology talks, and ecologically demonstrative games, the Outdoor Education Program transforms state science standards into real life experience. As students touch a sea anemone, look at magnified bugs, watch a bee pollinate a flower, hear the call of a red-wing blackbird, sample herbs in our organic garden, they are drawn into the miraculous nature of life. As theory becomes reality, they begin to care about our world.

We create community!

In addition to living, learning, and playing in the outdoors together, students are guided by our naturalists through team-building challenges that teach them vital communication and conflict resolution skills. Set up as physical and intellectual "puzzles" for students to solve, challenges teach students to listen as well as speak, to build off of each others' ideas in an atmosphere of respect, and to realize that "success" is a larger concept than "completion."

We care for our land!

Community service projects protect the health of our National Park and empower students to make positive changes in their lives. As volunteer stewards of the land, students participate in beach clean-ups and habitat restoration projects in cooperation with the National Park Service. They experience first-hand how every contribution makes a difference.

We create environmental stewards!

By weaving a thread of choice and impact throughout each aspect of the Outdoor Education Program, we empower students to become Ambassadors of the Environment when they return home to their own communities.

Find out more!


Outdoor Education

Camp Jones Gulch is the home for the residential Environmental Education programs for both San Mateo and San Joaquin counties.

High-quality County Office of Education naturalists teach campers about the bio-diverse environment by walking through it, singing about it, exploring it and getting connected to it.

Week-long residential programs for fifth and sixth graders that focus on experiential environmental education using Camp Jones Gulch’s 927-acre site and nearby beaches.

Feel free to visit our Outdoor Education page.

We are proud to host these long-standing programs:

San Mateo Outdoor Education started in 1968

Office at Camp Jones Gulch:

Main: (650) 747-0414 or Fax: (650) 747-0399

San Joaquin Outdoor Education started in 1956

Office at Camp Jones Gulch:

Main: (650) 747-0139 or Fax: (650) 747-1513


4th Grade Field Trip Outreach Program

The Presidio Community YMCA is partnering with the National Park Service to bring fourth graders to the Presidio to learn about the natural and cultural history of the park and get outside and play.

Last year 250 youth from nine public elementary schools in the Mission, Bayview and Excelsior districts of San Francisco spent a day in Presidio learning about Fort Point and the native plants and animals surrounding it.

For more information, contact Lara Rrempel at lrempel@ymcasf.org or 415-447-9673.