Think Outside

Seashore, River, and Lake Environments

The Western United States contains a plethora of scenic locations perfect for water-based activities. Whether you are looking to study riparian ecosystems while paddling down the Colorado River or explore the California coastline in sea kayaks, we can create a program to meet your needs. Activities and locations offered vary by specific itinerary and may include some of the ones detailed below.


Recreational Activities

  • Sea kayaking
  • River canoeing
  • Bicycling on paths and coastal trails
  • Hiking
  • Yoga and mindfulness practice
  • Large group games


Educational Activities

  • Tide-pooling and intertidal zone investigations
  • Natural history and ecology hikes
  • Lessons in biology, geology, weather, marine science, outdoor survival skills, cultural history, native plant use, and more
  • Exploration of native and endemic species
  • Environmental awareness games and lessons
  • Team-building initiatives/challenges
  • Journal writing and creative assignments
  • Service-learning projects


Evening programs

  • Campfires with skits, songs, stories, and s’mores
  • Environmental resource use discussions
  • Astronomy observation and lessons
  • Native American myths and stories
  • Night hikes focusing on nocturnal animal adaptations.


Activities are presented in a variety of formats throughout the program and are experiential in nature. Lessons are planned to be stimulating and challenging. Instructors give participants the tools to promote personal discovery and self-direction in learning, while supporting learners with information about the topics being explored. A thoughtfully developed progression of hands-on learning, structured lessons, experiential outdoor activities, and free time is provided to maximize learning and craft a positive, memorable experience.

From beaches to mountains, Big Sur has one of the most dramatic landscapes in California. The coastal scenery accompanied with tree-lined valleys will allow your group to get lost in the serenity of nature. The Big Sur base-camp programs take place in state parks along the Big Sur Coast and in the Ventana area of the Los Padres National Forest south of Santa Cruz, California. They introduce students to one of the country’s greatest natural and cultural resources and offer excellent opportunities for studies in mountain ecology, national lands management, and landscape geography. They also offer exceptional and inspirational outdoor experiences that provide participants with the opportunity for personal reflection and growth.

The camps Boojum has selected for our California Coast programs offer the comfort of a residential camp setting in a spectacular location. Our facilities offer heated, comfortable cabins or dormitories for participants. Bathrooms with flush toilets, running water, and showers are available. Participants eat hearty meals in a comfortable setting and break-out rooms are available for a variety of indoor activities. Hiking trails, low and high ropes Challenge Course events, campfire areas, tide-pooling, bicycling, and sea kayaking may be made available for participants. A variety of ecosystems and habitats—riparian, chaparral, deciduous forest, intertidal, and marine—are ready for exploration by eager participants.

Our program begins with a ferry ride from Ventura, California, to Santa Cruz Island through sparkling waters where seals, dolphins, seabirds, and whales may be sighted. The Island, over 22 miles long, offers over 60,000 acres of wilderness laced with hiking trails, scenic bluff vistas, and a unique ecology with endemic species found nowhere else in the world. We explore the land and sea environments by Scorpion Bay and Potato Harbor through hiking, beachcombing, and kayaking. Our Santa Cruz Island experience offers adventurous sea kayaking along towering cliffs and through arches, where participants can explore the ocean-land interface from aboard their kayaks. Supported by Boojum’s experienced guides, participants learn about themselves, each other and the natural world in a truly unique and remarkable location.

The coastal zones of California offer a fascinating array of plant and animal ecology that is unique. Coastal mountain ranges and inland waterways are explored during our sea kayaking and coastal ecology programs. Groups will experience a wide range of life zones and habitats while diverse ecological concepts are taught and explored! At the beginning of the course, participants are given specific guidelines regarding appropriate behavior in relation to vegetation, terrain, and wildlife. For programs involving kayaking, participants are guided by local experts. A Boojum instructor is present with each group while participating in activities.

The Colorado River Flatwater Canoeing Program offers a quality outdoor education experience in the wilderness of the lower Colorado River. This stretch of river, in the Black Canyon region below Hoover Dam, is a spectacular outdoor setting and fantastic location for experiential education courses.

The trip generally covers 15 – 30 river miles, with three to seven miles paddled each day. The program is run expedition-style, with downriver travel each day and camping at a new beach location every night. The program generally starts with an afternoon of canoe skills training on Lake Mead prior to put-in. Program elements include expeditionary canoeing, hiking pristine canyons, and group activities at the campsites. The desert and riparian ecosystems—one hot and dry, the other cool and lush—offer a study in ecological contrasts and an unparalleled opportunity for group adventures and environmental education.

The Colorado River’s desert-river combination, enhanced by the petroglyphs, canyon exploration, and hot springs, offers an outdoor adventure that’s hard to find anywhere else. In addition to the wilderness environment and unique set of ecosystems, this program offers a sense of adventure with the comfort of canoe-camping. Coolers of fresh food and an ever-flowing river that carries you and your gear downstream help make this a comfortable excursion and the perfect atmosphere in which to focus on group and personal goals.

Participants will experience personal growth through this uniquely designed program that encourages positive group dynamics and develops a sense of trust amongst team members. Groups will get up close and personal to nature as they explore and learn about coastal history, local wildlife, and have fun while they do it! Boojum’s Coastal California experiences offer an exploration of not only coastal ecology but do it in a stunning landscape that’s a powerful and memorable educational experience for all. Supported by Boojum’s experienced guides, participants learn about themselves, each other and the natural world in a truly unique and remarkable location.

The Outdoor Adventures by Boojum’s Malibu Creek Basecamp Program offers an outdoor education experience in leafy stream-sides, oak, and sycamore woodlands, and chaparral-covered slopes. Malibu Creek State Park’s 10,000 acres of rugged, pristine land was once a Chumash native location and now an attractive mix of meadows, hills, streams, cliffs, and forest. This area is rich in both natural and human history.

The program location offers a diversity of activities, from hiking (30 miles of trail) and rock-climbing to natural history studies. The mild climate and diversity of ecosystems make this an ideal location for environmental education, team-building, and outdoor adventures. Comfortable campground sites with bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, and scenic views enchant visitors to the park.

With over 5000 years of cultural history and over 1500 different species of plants and animals to search for, Point Reyes National Seashore is a great place for your next outdoor education program to take place. Boojum’s Point Reyes Sea Kayaking Expedition offers an exploration of coastal ecology, rare and unique plant and animal life, and a peaceful, beautiful landscape that’s a powerful, memorable educational experience for all. Supported by Boojum’s experienced staff, participants learn about themselves, each other and the natural world in a truly unique and remarkable location.

Often called “The Crown Jewel of the State Park System” Point Lobos State Reserve may be the best place for a memorable experience for your group. Located on the central coast of California in Monterey County you will find the entrance three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. Rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and rich flora and fauna will make Point Lobos a great location for your group. Boojum will provide all basecamp equipment and offer a program that explores coves and rolling meadows. Directly offshore you will find one of the world’s richest underwater habitats. Wildlife includes migrating gray whales, seals, sea otters, and sea lions. Various species of seabirds also make the reserve their abode.

Boojum’s Santa Barbara Coastal Program tours along the coast of Refugio to El Capitan, with the prevailing currents and swells. We often see dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions, cormorants, pelicans, schools of minnows, healthy kelp beds, and of course seagulls! The wildlife experience on the Pacific coast is remarkable and offers an exploration of coastal ecology and a stunning landscape that’s a powerful, memorable educational experience for all. Supported by Boojum’s experienced guides, participants learn about themselves, each other and the natural world in a truly unique and remarkable location.

Our Santa Cruz program is designed as an introduction to the unique and diverse natural areas of the central coast of California. Participants explore mountains, forests, and coastal landscapes through day hiking, natural history lessons, and environmental awareness activities. Groups also experience a full complement of group-development and team-building games, initiatives and activities, and build character and responsibility through group living. The program’s main outdoor classrooms are the forests, meadows, and riparian (stream-side) areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Participants stay in tents or wooden cabins during the program and eat hearty meals in a comfortable dining hall.

Located 16 miles south of Santa Cruz via Highway 1 and San Andreas Road, Sunset Beach is a great area for an educational or outdoor recreation focused program. This location offers plenty of shade with its plentiful pine trees, and spectacular sites of mountainous sand dunes. The comfortable, low-stress camp environment helps participants focus on the activities at hand. A myriad of activities ensure that participants will experience a diversity of compelling and interesting curriculum options and that the course can be tailored precisely to your needs. The structured, established campground setting offers the perfect atmosphere in which to focus on group and personal development and meet partner goals.

We acknowledge that the land on which we currently program includes the ancestral homes and unceded territory of the Yuhaviatam/ Maarenga’yam, Newe Segobia, Ɂívil̃uwenetem Meytémak, Me-Wuk, Nuwuvi, Yokuts, Chukchansi, Chumash, Amah Mutsun and Costanoan people, commonly referred to as Serrano, Western Shoshone, Cahuilla, Coast Miwok, Southern Paiute, Pueblos, Southern Sierra Miwok, Chumash, Barbareño Chumash, Popeloutchom, Ohlone, and Chalon people. This land was stolen by Spanish, Mexican, and then American profiteers through acts of forced servitude, genocide, and deceit.

As a land-based business, we acknowledge that we benefit from the ongoing system of settler colonialism, which includes the genocide waged against these people and the theft of their land. 

This acknowledgement is an essential, yet small, element of a much larger attempt towards cooperatively building a world where right relationship is possible. 

We constantly ask ourselves: “What does it mean to use and be successful from stolen land? How do we achieve right relationship to this land and its people?” 

We feel it is our duty as a guest to this land to listen to Native voices, in the spirit of building continued accountable relationships. 

Allan ZabeckiSeashore, River, and Lake Environments