Nature Sages Teen Program

Register for Classes Online

Registration opens July 19th!

Before registering, please read and understand our refund and discount policies.  Then, click to register.

2016-17 Session 1 2016-17  Session 2 2016-17  Session 3 2016-17  Session 4

Questions about our hot/wet weather policies?  Read our Rain or Shine suggestions for more information about how we embrace exposure and the elements.

Nature Sages

Grade: 7th-9th

Class Size: 24, with two instructors

Class Duration:  3 hours, 25 mins.  

Class Tuition: $445/8-week session (includes food for one overnight campout)

 Campout Note: There is one overnight campout each session in lieu of regular class.  The campout may be at Sienna Ranch or will be within a one-hour drive.  Exact dates will be given closer to the start of each session.   


Sienna Ranch’s Nature Sages Teen Program is designed to deepen our students’ connection with nature while building each individual’s sense of self and purpose. By fostering an awareness of the outside world, we also hope to build connections to our inner experience. We will be engaging in hands-on creative projects intended to grow our connection to nature, to develop and build skills in survival, homesteading and primitive arts, and to encourage personal reflection. Nature Sages also offers the opportunity for students to learn about and spend time with our Ranch animals, and to grow as leaders and mentors by facilitating activities for our younger students- the Explorers and Junior Ranchers. We will continue to grow our survival skills which will be directly applied during our session campout. Previous students will have a chance to utilize and build upon their certifications while beginning students will gain new skills.

Nature Sages is open to all levels of experience. Whether you have grown up at Sienna Ranch or you are joining us for the very first time- everyone is welcome!  Honoring the unique needs of male and female students in this age range, the Nature Sage campout will be led by a male and a female instructor in order to offer gender separation opportunities throughout the program. During the campouts, all sleeping arrangements will be strictly gender segregated.


Each Session will include:

  • Overnight camp out
  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Meaningful, usable nature-based, take home craft or project (wooden spoons, bows, knife and sheath, etc)
  • Homesteading skill (eg canning, making yoghurt, working with wool, wood and pottery)
  • Animal interaction and care
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Nature immersion hikes of moderate difficulty up to 2-4 miles per week
  • Group games with other Sienna Ranch students.


Our Nature Sage program has been developed to:

  • Honor the older youth at Sienna Ranch
  • Offer opportunities for the older students to grow as leaders and mentors
  • Be a culmination of skills and knowledge learned at the Ranch
  • Offer opportunities for hands-on use of Explorers certifications in applicable settings
  • Further the building of Community
  • Develop a greater sense of purpose and self awareness
  • Foster a sense of connection to the natural world
  • Nurture a deeper connection to self and expression


 Nature Sage Apprentice Extension **NEW in 2016** 

Grade: 7th-9th

Class Size: 12 students, must be currently enrolled in Nature Sages to add-on this extension

Class Duration:  1 hour  

Class Tuition: $85/8-week session (*refundable if volunteer agreement is fulfilled for relevant camp)

Nature Sages now starts and finishes on Fridays in sync with Explorers and Junior Ranchers.  Sages who wish to make their day longer may register for the Nature Sages Apprentice Extension, where they will learn the basics for assisting in the garden, archery, woodshop and more.  Sages will be mentored through what it means to be an instructor’s assistant at the ranch, while having fun at our favorite spots around the property.  This training happens during the 2-3pm time on Friday when younger students are in their Junior Woodshop, Archery and Gardening extensions.

Tuition for the Instructor Apprentice Extension is $85/session.  Nature Sages will have the opportunity to have tuition refunded or credit earned toward future ranch programming by completing at least one quarter of Apprentice Extension and then assisting in a qualifying holiday and/or summer camp.

*If original tuition is paid with Charter School Funds Sienna Ranch will provide families a Sienna Ranch Credit to be used for any future programming desired.  If families wish to qualify for a cash/check/credit card refund for Apprentice Programming, please plan ahead and pay this portion of your tuition out of pocket.  

School Year Online Tools

2016-17 School Year Wait List Report a Planned Absence Here


Meet the Instructors:


Sophia grew up in rural Oklahoma camping, fishing, and gardening with her grandparents. She studied school counseling, and has a Masters in Education. Some of her experiences include: working with the youth of the Choctaw Nation in college-prep programs and facilitating challenge/ropes courses, a 6 month permaculture internship in Hawaii, and most recently teaching and administrative positions at two outdoor science schools here in CA.

Sophia is very excited to be spending her days at the ranch playing, sharing knowledge, and letting Mama nature be the lead teacher! She believes in cultivating a love and respect for our planet by allowing children to explore, and learn from their natural curiosities. Some hobbies include: yoga, crafting, baking, snorkeling, camping, disc golf, dancing, and reading in the sunshine.


EliotEliot grew up playing in the creeks and parks of Franklin, Indiana. He studied English Literature and Philosophy/Religious Studies at Elmira College in New York and then spent the next 6 years traveling around the country (and the world) studying and teaching environmental education, including stops at High Trails Outdoor Science School in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California and Hava v’ Adam, an ecological farm in Modi’in, Israel. He believes that spending time outdoors is important, and that everyone should learn a little bit about how to grow their own food and cook it, too. His hobbies include: making music, cooking, hiking, gardening, scrabble, frisbee, watching football and just being outside.



YoshiYoshi was born and raised in the urban wilderness of Los Angeles, surrounded by a big caring family. She first discovered art to be incredibly powerful tool to express emotions and connect to others. She followed this passion into her studies and received degrees in Art and in Psychology from the University of Santa Cruz. During this time, Yoshi facilitated art making in public schools, summer camps, afterschool programs, a women’s center and also taught privately.

While working in the city, she found herself being pulled to the great outdoors, which led to 4 years leading groups of “at risk youth” in the Utah wilderness, through the heat, rain and snow. She saw hundreds of teens grow into themselves, and was inspired daily by their depth and strength. She supported them by maintaining safety in the group, teaching survival skills, primitive crafts, navigating hikes, facilitating nightly discussions, and incorporating art and ceremony.

Yoshi first joined the Sienna Ranch family as a Special Events Staff and is excited to integrate her passion for nature and gift for teen facilitation into the Nature Sages program.  In her free time you can find Yoshi tutoring algebra, exploring the woods, dancing, meditating, eating Vietnamese food, reading graphic novels or spending time with friends.



Registration opens July 19th!

Before registering, please read and understand our refund and discount policies.  Then, click to register.

2016-17 Session 1 2016-17  Session 2 2016-17  Session 3 2016-17  Session 4