Best Leadership School Trip in Southern California

You’ve heard of attention deficit disorder, but what about nature-deficit disorder?

Think of nature as a vitamin. You’re probably not getting the right dose and your students probably aren’t either. Even five to eight-year-olds spend an average of two hours a day on devices. It’s not a serious illness, but students who are too plugged in and nature-deficient might have lower academic performance and levels of physical activity.

What’s the antidote? Take advantage of educational field trips.  Whether you’re an educator or parent, we have an answer to help you encourage students to unplug.  Browse this list of school trip ideas to find the best Leadership School Trip in Southern California.


Research shows that field trips can be hugely beneficial to student growth and learning. Exposure may help students perform better on standardized tests. And these important experiences can also leave a lasting impact on their lives.

One study revealed that young people who have been exposed to educational outings demonstrate higher high school graduation rates. Even after graduating they continue to benefit in their careers and from a life-long enjoyment of learning.

So what are some important aspects of an effective educational field trip? Finding outings close to home is a great way to connect students to their communities. Incorporating fun and physical activity can be a rewarding way to help students connect with what they’re learning in class.

Choosing an activity that requires exploring and not just sitting is key. A hands-on field trip will help students gain a memorable learning experience.


If you’re thinking about Southern California field trips, a visit to one of the many natural wonders may come to mind. California is the third largest state in the country, so it’s no surprise that the diversity in climate, topography, and ecosystems is vast. Ours is a state rich in biodiversity and outdoor learning opportunities.

This provides educators and parents so many choices when planning educational field trips in California.


While cultural institutions like museums are a wonderful destination, consider getting back to nature with your students for leadership and team-building activities..

Nature is proven to relieve stress, and studies show that children can actually be more motivated and receptive to learning when outside. It seems like a no-brainer to seize the opportunity to use the natural world as an educational and motivational tool.

What do we mean when we talk about outdoor education?

It’s an umbrella term that covers a range of activities that help students connect with and learn about nature. This type of learning can occur in various outdoor settings like parks or camps. And it includes activities like rock climbing, ropes courses, and learning survival skills.

Are you looking for some ideas for leadership school trips in Southern California? Here are a few to consider.


There are many celebrated botanical gardens in Southern California. Set your group up with puzzles to solve or projects to complete together. Many gardens in the region offer guided tours for schools and students from third grade on up.

These tours are often based on the California State Teaching Curriculum. You may also be able to request adjustments to the tour according to the age and interests of your students. Many of these activities can be adapted to a leadership focus.

Botanical gardens help students learn about botany in general. They can also learn about the native plants to the region. All of this can contribute to a better understanding of the natural history of California and how both plants and animals adapt to their habitats.


The flora, fauna, and ecosystems are so diverse in Southern California. Introduce students to the biodiversity around them to help them build an appreciation for ecology. Head to Sequoia and Kings Canyons National Parks. The giant sequoia trees are truly a sight to behold, especially the General Sherman tree, which is the largest on the planet.

There are also a number of wildlife sanctuaries in the Los Angeles area, and many offer tours and interactive opportunities for students. Again, some facilities have curriculum that can be adapted to leadership skills and teamwork.


A conversation about Southern California field trip ideas wouldn’t be complete without mentioning ocean and beach educational opportunities.  You can find programs that offer sport activities combined with skill-building opportunities and science curriculum. Some places offer specialized study.

For example, some facilities offer courses in marine life in tide pools or aboard a marine research vessel. Students can learn about oceanography equipment and research processes. Again, some of these courses can be adapted to focus on leadership skills and teamwork.


What if you combine an educational purpose with state-of-the art experiential learning? We’re all about celebrating the many benefits of outdoor learning. Pali Institute is proud to be the only outdoor education program with accreditation from the Association of Experiential Education and the Western Association of School and Colleges.

That means we want to help students learn important lessons through experience and apply those lessons outside of the classroom. One of our biggest priorities is helping students become more confident and better leaders through our outdoor education programs. Our programs are designed with student leadership in mind.

There are many different leadership-building programs available to students at our institute. Our leadership sessions last from three to five days and combine a mixture of puzzles and group exercises like role play and recreational activities like zip lining and high ropes. Our educators have created age-appropriate and inclusive activities as part of the curriculum.

Regardless of the specific task or activity, all programs share the same goals of helping students:

  • Develop appreciation for outdoors
  • Learn respect and acceptance of others
  • Work on interpersonal skills
  • Gain teamwork experience
  • Practice leadership

If you’re looking for overnight leadership school field trip ideas for students age 9 and older, we have you covered. We take the burden of instruction and curriculum planning off of adult chaperones and teachers. Instead, we invite parents and teachers to fully participate while our educators take the group through its activities.


The possibilities are nearly endless for leadership field trips in California. And we’re thrilled to offer parents and educators options for innovative outdoor education and the best leadership programs.

Do you have questions about scheduling an overnight educational outing for your class? We’re happy to work with you to decide on the best course and program length.

We can’t wait to help you book a trip today!