Quail Springs is a non-profit educational farm with goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats, dogs, and a big garden with countless worms and microbes working away in our compost piles! We steward 450 acres of beautiful wild lands as well as a natural spring at the top of our canyon that makes all of our farming possible. The land is rich with wildlife, dark skies full of stars at night, and deep quiet. Camping is in our lovely campground canyon, complete with outhouses and solar showers. We are located near the town of Ventucopa, CA, approximately 2.5 hours from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
Our Youth Program Offerings
We offer multi-night camping retreats with activities that connect students with their own sense of self and place in their community. We offer school and group visits year-round with programming tailored to your needs, so you can pick and choose to create an ideal week on the farm with our skilled and knowledgeable staff. Or choose a basic package and we will plan the week for you based on current projects, seasonal highlights and a few of our favorite activities.
We provide full or partial catering of meals depending on your needs and wishes, served in our cozy commons space. Here at Quail Springs we work hard to source as many of our ingredients as possible from our own farm or organic farms in our community.
All of our youth programs feature nature awareness & nature connection skills, team building, group bonding, self-discovery, exploring and interacting with our beautiful site & farm, and hands-on, experiential outdoor learning. Our large heated classroom yurt is available for your groups’ needs and activities, though much of the “classroom” will be our lovely outside spaces and farm areas during your stay.
Our Activities Include:
Team Building Activities
Games and activities that can empower, inspire, challenge and help participants engage more deeply with themselves and the group.
Farm & Garden
Plant new starts in our garden beds, harvest fresh ingredients for our meals, tend our animals and gather fodder to feed them, help nourish the soil with compost, and gain a deep awareness and appreciation for all that goes into our food supply. Collect eggs, feed and water our poultry, gather wild fodder for our rabbits and learn how we add farm waste to the cycle of life through our farm systems.
Nature Awareness & Bird Language
Hands-on, sensory-based activities out on the land that will help you engage your listening skills, your powers of observation, and your curiosity about the natural world.
Let your students get their hands in the mud with this session and help us add beautiful cob benches to our outdoor living spaces or new animal structures.
Dairy Goats and Hands-On Milking
Greet the morning with the goats! Break into small groups for daily morning milking sessions where students will get to observe and try their hand at all aspects of tending our dairy goats and help us provide milk for cheese, yogurt and buttermilk here on the farm.
Learn to weave baskets, make herbal salves, dye with plants, felt with wool or make wooden beads and buttons to go with your own yucca cordage friendship bracelets from the land. Projects vary greatly by the season and current passions of instructors.
Bees and Honey
Witness the magic that takes place inside our beehives and learn all about the mystery and wonder of bee life and colony behavior from expert beekeeper and storyteller, Brenton Kelly.
A great session to weave into curriculum around life cycles, the food chain, tending our planet in a healthy way and the importance of the millions of microorganisms that support our world. We will talk students through the process and demonstrate what happens to our waste on the farm through our active compost systems.
Primitive Fire Making
Learn the ancient practice of fire from friction! We will use materials harvested from our land and get to know how our ancestors used fire more deeply through the practice of making fire from the land.
Naturalist Walks, Sit Spots & Star Gazing
Get to know the wild plants, animals, birds and landscape of our unique desert canyon through guided wanders with our knowledgeable staff. We offer stories about the history of this land and practices to help tend the wild, while supporting your students to connect with the edible and medicinal plants as well as crafting materials that grow here.
Evening Camp Fires & Storytelling
We can facilitate an evening of storytelling and song with popcorn to share around! Or kindle the fire for you and leave you under the stars to connect with your group in your own way.
We always look forward to meeting and working with new and returning groups. Please fill out the form below and our Program Coordinator will contact you as soon as possible.