The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre

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Contact Name

Amanda Chick

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Santa Barbara, CA
United States

Join the team at The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre and immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings of the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara, California. As a Naturalist, you’ll be at the heart of our educational programs, leading curriculum hikes, facilitating special activities, and ensuring that students have a safe and unforgettable experience in the great outdoors.



As a Naturalist at The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre, you will play a pivotal role in delivering our educational programs. This is a full-time seasonal position, and housing is provided during the season start and end dates


  • 21 years or older 
  • BA/BS in outdoor/environmental education, environmental science, science degree, related field, OR relevant experience.
  • Valid driver’s license or state ID and social security card, or United States Passport.
  • Ability to pass background check 
  • Positive role model for minors.
  • Documented experience and ability to teach an outdoor science school curriculum to school children.
  • Strong knowledge of local ecology, geology, and natural history or willingness to learn 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, especially in working with 5th and 6th grade students
  • First Aid and CPR certification (or willingness to obtain).
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
  • Enthusiasm for outdoor activities and a passion for environmental education.
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a dynamic, outdoor environment.
  • Desire to live and work in a camp community
  • Ability to conduct skits, songs and/or stories in front of large groups of children & adults.
  • Ability to accept guidance and supervision from and to work with others.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check.
  • Be able to walk / hike 7+ miles a day 
  • Love working outdoors – rain or shine
  • Characteristics such as flexibility, a positive outlook, creativity, concern for safety, good interpersonal skills, adaptability, decision-making skills, maturity, integrity, and approachability.
Preferred Qualifications 
  • 3+ years of Outdoor Education Experience 
  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Lead five curriculum-based hikes, educating students on local flora and fauna, geology, ecology, and conservation principles. Ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience for all participants.
  • Organize and lead special activities, such as campfires, nine-mile hikes, arts & crafts, and team-building exercises, and to enhance students’ understanding of and appreciation for the natural world.
  • Collaborate with the program team to assist with logistical aspects of the program, including mealtime supervision and general camp support.
  • Prioritize the safety and well-being of all program participants, following established safety protocols and emergency procedures.
  • Inspire a sense of environmental responsibility among students, emphasizing the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.
  • Provide retail help in the Trading Post when assigned.
  • Clean and maintain camp equipment and course materials.
  • Assist with the general cleanup and cleaning of camp.
  • Participate in staff training.
  • Participate in weekly staff meetings.
Program Details
  • Program Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
  • Program Location Santa Barbara, CA
  • Work Schedule: 40 hours per week
  • Housing: On-site housing provided during season start and end dates
  • Meals provided during program days 
  • Season March 25th – June 7th 
Seasonal Duration 
  • Start March 25th, End June 7th with the potential to sign on for the 2024/2025 season  

At The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre, we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. We encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply.

Join our team of dedicated naturalists and help us inspire a lifelong love of nature and a commitment to environmental conservation in the next generation. Your passion for the outdoors and education can make a meaningful difference in the lives of students and the future of our planet.

Interested in joining our naturalist team?

Email your resume and cover letter to

Compensation Information

$640 a week

Housing throughout the season

Meals while program is running