Frequently Asked Questions

Are parents prohibited from attending?

We do not allow parents to attend our program for a number of reasons. Our program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to grow and explore independence. Our model allows students to wholly interact with our instructors from the moment they arrive at camp to their departure. Pali Institute instructors are trained to provide a safe atmosphere for growth and personal exploration.

The safety of students from all schools that attend Pali Institute is paramount. Every employee that works on our property has a LiveScan background check through the DOJ & FBI and is checked against the National Sex Offender Registry. Classroom teachers that attend with their students undergo the same process. Pali Institute cannot guarantee that parents have gone through the same thorough background check and must err on the side of caution to protect all students on site.

My child has special dietary needs. Should I send food with him/her?

Please call Pali to speak with our staff and/or Chef to discuss your child's dietary requirements. We may ask you to send supplemental food that will be prepared by our kitchen during mealtimes.

What is the weather like at Pali?

Please check the weather the night before sending your child to Pali. The weather in the mountains is very unpredictable and varies from day to day. If the weather report calls for rain or snow, please ensure that your child is prepared with waterproof clothing and appropriate shoes/boots. We typically use for the most accurate forecast. Our zip code is 92382.

What is the ratio of students to instructors?

In cabin, the student to instructor ratio is 11:1. Activity groups are typically 16:1.

My child is a picky eater. What are his/her options?

The cuisine at Pali is incredible! There is always something for everyone to enjoy. Fresh fruit is available, as well as a full salad bar during lunch and dinner. Please do not hesitate to contact Pali for a menu if you have any concerns.

My child has a nut allergy. Are there nuts at Pali?

No! Pali is a nut-aware facility. If we see nuts, they will be confiscated and given to your student's teachers. There are no nuts in any of the food prepared at Pali.

Are the instructors qualified?

All instructors are over the age of 21; hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree; participate in extensive and rigorous staff training spanning 14 days; and are CPR/First Aid certified. We employ two full-time RNs on-site. All instructors carry radios 24/7.

My child has never been away from home. What if he/she gets homesick, sleepwalks, wets the bed, or has night terrors?

Our staff is well trained in how to handle any and all situations that might arise. All personal student issues are handled with the utmost discretion and respect. If you have a specific concern, please outline it in detail in the parent pack and call us to relay your concerns. We will ensure that your child is kept safe both physically and emotionally.

Is there anything my child should not bring to Pali?

We ask that parents refrain from packing snacks. We are located in a national forest and do our very best to keep our cabins pest free. Kids never go hungry at Pali and are welcome to help themselves to seconds at meals.

We discourage sending any over-the-counter medications, as our nurses have an ample supply of over the counter medications and will dispense them if necessary. Please indicate that your child is allowed to take over the counter medications on the health form in the event that your child should need them. This prevents children from sharing medication without supervision.

Once again, cell phones and other devices with Internet capabilities are strictly prohibited.

Can I contact my child while they are at Pali?

Parents are welcome to send letters. You can mail letters via USPS or email a letter to If you email a letter, please put your student's name and their school name in the subject line. All letters will be delivered the evening before departure from Pali. Further, we do not allow students to call home during their stay. If your student is homesick, a call home and the sound of your voice will send them further over the edge 99% of the time. If your student is injured or spends longer than three hours in the Wellness Center, we will contact you. Teachers and Pali Institute administrators are always available to speak with you if you have any questions during your student's stay, or if you need to contact your child due to a family or other emergency.

What should I pack for my child?

You will receive a comprehensive packing list prior to your child's trip.

Why can't my child bring a cell phone?

Pali has a strict no cell phone policy. We want students to get away from technology for the duration of their trip and enjoy the experience. Additionally, for safety reasons, we want to know with whom students are communicating while at Pali. Any technology capable of connecting to the Internet will be collected and given to your school's teachers for safekeeping. Cameras are always welcome, provided it is separate from the cell phone.

Is my child in school when they are at Pali Institute?

Yes. Pali institute is the only program in California accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Experiential Education (AEE). All of our classes hit common core standards and are regularly updated and improved upon by our Education Department.

Will other schools be at Pali while our school is attending?

Yes. Pali is a 74-acre facility and is able to accommodate several hundred students at any given time. All programs are completely private and separated by school. The only time your child will see students from other schools is during meal times and occasionally on trails within the Pali property. Students will eat with their cabin groups and will always be accompanied by an Instructor.

Where are the nearest emergency facilities?

The nearest paramedic station is located less than two miles away from Pali. The closest hospital is located in Lake Arrowhead, 7.2 miles away.