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Foothill Horizons is a California Outdoor School Association (COSA) certified residential outdoor school, summer camp, and site rental facility. Participants enjoy their time in nature, connect with one another, and have the experience of a lifetime amidst the 143 acres of forest in the foothills of the central Sierra!

Outdoor Education

Foothill Horizons, a California Outdoor School Association (COSA)-certified outdoor school in the central Sierra foothills, offers students a 143-acre classroom of forests, meadows, and creeks for exploration, connection, and the adventure of a lifetime!

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Summer Camp

Campers live their favorite stories each week at summer camp. Campers from 2nd grade to high school enjoy group games, creative classes, pool time, campfire skits, and nightly adventures into the week's plot.
 

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Facility Rental

Foothill Horizons is a residential outdoor school in the foothills of the central Sierra. Amid 143 acres of forest, meadows and creeks, students learn about ecology, how to respect nature and each other all while having the learning adventure of a lifetime!

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Foothill Horizon Outdoor School

We Teach

Our school offers children a chance to learn science through hands-on, interactive lessons aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Students experience a minimum of 5 hours of science instruction a day, equivalent to 5 weeks of science education in the average classroom in California. Students also develop social and personal skills such as teamwork, communication, responsibility and kindness through group living, daily team challenges and a collaborative learning environment.

 

We Provide Leadership Opportunities 

Over 600 high school students each school year volunteer their time to be Counselors and role models for our overnight programs.  These amazing young leaders join their student group on hikes, during meals, during games and evening activities.  Their biggest responsibility is providing overnight supervision in the dormitories and helping to get their group to activities on time.  Each counselor is coached throughout the week and receives written feedback on their performance that may even be used as a Letter of Recommendation for future employment.  

We Prepare Future Outdoor Educators

Each school year, we select at least 5 outstanding candidates for our Naturalist Internship cohort.  These individuals will learn student management skills, how to teach in the outdoors, best practices for writing lesson plans, contribute to the program operation behind the scenes and of course, teach students out on the trail.  This 9-month internship is an ideal training ground for those who want to pursue a career in teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU SEND YOUR CHILD TO FOOTHILL? 

Skills for life! - Your child will be engaging in conversation, learning how to ask questions and make observations, working with others, sharing thoughts about the day over a meal, and overcome challenges.

Social and Emotional Growth! - Your child will make new friends, find a bit of independence by managing their time and decisions, and will get to try new things. 

Science knowledge! - Your child will get hands-on experience being a scientist by making observations, developing an argument based on evidence, and will begin to see the ways all things are connected.

Self Confidence! - Your child will discover that they are a strong and capable learner.

Memories that last a lifetime! - Climbing through the boulder caves, visiting the creek, hiking to the top of the Sky Tower to see the stars, singing together at Campfire... just to name a few.

Experienced staff! - Many of our Naturalists have been part of the Foothill Family for decades, so we know how to make your child's week the best ever. 

... and of course... Over 60 years of tradition!  

 

 

 

Foothill Events


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Key Contacts

Jessica Hewitt

Titles: Director III, Outdoor Education
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673
Biography:
Email questions:
  • ScheduleĀ a class for Outdoor Ed
  • Students with Special Needs
  • Busing & Transportation
  • Hiring

Clare Olson

Titles: Senior Administrative Assistant
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673
Biography:
Email questions:
  • Foothill Merchandise
  • Billing & Contracts
  • Outdoor Ed Paperwork
  • Site Rentals

Diann Rastetter

Titles: Assistant Director, Outdoor Education
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673
Biography:
Email questions:
  • The Counselor Program
  • Naturalist Internship
  • Website & Social Media

Alexander Frierson

Titles: Naturalist Coordinator
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-238-1328
Biography:
Email questions:
  • Weekly schedules
  • Evening Program
  • Technology Support

Lucas Smith

Titles: Health Clerk
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673
Biography:
Email questions:
  • Medication Administration
  • Health Concerns

Shannon Perez

Titles: Food Services Supervisor
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673
Biography:
Email questions:
  • Menus
  • Food Allergies
  • Special Diets

Patrick Hanson

Titles: Facilities Lead, Outdoor Education
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-209-499-0733
Biography:
Email questions:
  • Grounds & Maintenance
  • Vehicles

David Josephson

Titles: Lead Custodian
Email:
Phone Numbers:
Work: 209-532-6673