Best Science Camp Near Big Bear

Is your child’s school or homeschool group looking for new ideas for the next field trip? Have you considered an overnight opportunity?

study performed by the University of Arkansas found that the decline in school field trips led to lower test scores and higher poor attendance records. The study also found that students actually retain a great deal of information after an educational trip.
Science camp can be particularly interesting to those with bright curiosities, but how should you find the right one?

The perfect science camp is located in none other than Southern California. The Pali Institute is prepared for your trip with qualified instructors, plenty of activities, and a stunning natural landscape.

Read on to learn more reasons Pali Institute is the best science camp near Big Bear.


Pali Institute is fully staffed with highly trained professionals so you can be confident that your students are well cared for throughout their trip. Our student to staff ratio is 11:1 in our cabins and no more than 15:1 for activities.

Our staff is one that is well trained in multiple areas. At Pali Institute, the counselors have backgrounds from all over the world. Our counselors bring in a fresh mix of perspectives and a vast array of knowledge.

All of our group leaders are over the age of 21 and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Our instructors have bachelor’s degrees, and a variety of other science and teaching credentials. Included in our staff are two full-time registered nurses.


We are proud to be the only outdoor education program accredited by the Association for Experiential Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Pali Institute program mixes 90 – 180-minute class sessions of Outdoor Education, Science, and Leadership with evening leisure programs.

Pali Institute science curriculum modules follow the state guidelines. Through engaging, experiential learning, students can put theoretical knowledge to work. For example, through examination of biodiversity in the forest, dissection of marine animals or even physics out on our ropes course.

Teachers are welcome to participate. The Pali curriculum is meant to be delivered by our staff, so teachers are not required to lead any instructional time while at camp.


The Pali Institute is the perfect camp for an overnight field trip. No special equipment is necessary. Our student accommodations are climate-controlled cabins with bunk beds, private bathrooms, and showers. Students may bring sleeping bags or bedding.

Accompanying teachers have single beds and private rooms. Teachers are welcome to join in activities. We take care of classroom instruction and hands-on lab work.

We offer a wide array of programming, including outdoor education, science, leadership, and evening activities.

Our programs are fully customizable so that you can create the right education match for your school. We offer a choice between programs that last three, four, or even five days. Educators can select from more than 30 classes to fit the educational goals of the group.

The Pali Institute offers several evening activities that perfectly complement the program of your choice.


Pali Institute has many facilities that are accessible to those with physical limitations. Our staff is happy to make adaptations to activities to allow full participation by a whole class. If a child needs special assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at Pali to discuss all possible options.

We are passionate about teaching children of all sizes and abilities.


The food at Pali Institute is served buffet-style. Students are free to make their choice from a variety of main dishes and sides. Our award-winning executive chef oversees child-friendly favorites such as wraps and burgers, nuggets, pancakes and more.

Don’t worry, every meal includes a vegetarian protein selection such as grilled, marinated tofu, hearty chickpea hummus, macaroni and cheese, omelets and more. We offer a large selection of food so even the pickiest of eaters will be happy.  There is always a full salad bar and fresh fruit.

Feel free to alert us of any dietary restrictions or specific allergies.  Pali Institute operates a nut-free kitchen. We can also adapt to gluten-free, dairy-free, halal and many other restrictions with advance notice.


Pali Institute is located in the heart of the San Bernardino mountains, just outside the community of Running Springs.

Pali is a hidden unspoiled mountain forest, along a private mountain road, giving us the ability to educate campers on wildlife and outdoor safety practices. Pali rests on 250 acres and can easily accommodate multiple schools at any given time. Even with more than one school on-site we still provide private classes and activities to each group. There is no interaction between schools except maybe during meals.


Are you ready to schedule Pali Institute for your next overnight field trip?

Our staff is ready to answer all of your questions so you don’t have to worry about any of the small details.

To recap:

  • Our instructors are highly trained and motivated to make your school’s trip as educational and as energetic as possible.
  • You can personalize any program to fit educational goals and financial budgets.
  • We adapt our activities to make our educational enhancement as accessible as possible for all of those who wish to attend.
  • Pali Institute is located right near the heart of the San Bernardino mountains. We are about 90 minutes from the Los Angeles and Orange County metro areas and about 3 hours from Las Vegas.

Check out our FAQ page to find out more about the Pali Institute.

Start planning your trip today!