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Santa Cruz Mountains

After School Adventures

Play, connect, and explore in God's creation.

We know you want your kids to have a great childhood, one where they get to play outside, laugh and know they're loved. At After School Adventures we expect to get dirty and wet, build forts, get scrapes, have fun, make memories and mudpies! Let our loving staff guide your 1st–5th grade child on outdoor explorations and share about the God who loves them.
Fall registration is temporarily closed.
Registration will open again on Sept. 3
  Ponderosa Lodge
  1st–5th Grade

Get a Taste of After School Adventures!

Outdoor play and exploration are our priorities. Get a taste of what we're all about!

Watch Now

Our Values

 
Relationship Based

We start with relationships. That’s the foundation. We want to nurture positive relationships with ourselves, each other, Jesus, and nature. We’re all connected. We’re in this together.

 
Grace Filled

We desire to be a caring and grace-filled presence in your child’s life. We think that giving free and open ended time in nature back to children is an incredible grace—something they might not know that they desperately need.

 
Knowing Nature

Nature is an integral part of our lives, it’s more than a backdrop or something to look at. We want children to come to know nature and rediscover a sense of awe and wonder for the world.

Our hope is that through extended time exploring the outdoors children in our program will experience the love of Jesus as revealed through creation and leave feeling refreshed and renewed.

Details

Every day after school for 1st–5th graders. After School Adventures starts Wednesday, August 21st, 2019.

Fall registration is temporarily closed.
Registration will open again on Sept. 3
Day Time Availability
Mondays
2:30–6:15pm
Mondays 2:30–6:15pm Availability: Open Open
Tuesdays
2:30–6:15pm
Tuesdays 2:30–6:15pm Availability: Waitlist Waitlist
Wednesdays
2:30–6:15pm
Wednesdays 1:45–6:15pm Availability:Waitlist Waitlist
Thursdays
2:30–6:15pm
Thursdays 2:30–6:15pm Availability: Waitlist Waitlist
Fridays
2:30–6:15pm
Fridays 2:30–6:15pm Availability: Open Open
  • Transportation
    Drop Off

    School Bus Drop Off
    Duck Bus (SLVE)

     

    Individual Drop Off
    Park at roundabout and bring child to Lodge

    Our address is
    Ponderosa Lodge
    4600 Graham Hill Rd
    Felton, CA 95018

  • Payment Details
    • Payments due monthly on or before the 5th.
    • Payments made after the 5th will be charged a late fee: $50.
    • If the 5th falls on a weekend, payment is due the Friday before.
    • If payment is not made by the 20th, your spot will be dropped and filled by the waitlist.
    • Yearly Registration Fee: $75 per family
    • Late Pick-up Fee: $25 after 5 minutes. Then $2 per minute after that.
  • Do I qualify for a discount?
    • 10% Discount on monthly fees for 2nd Child.
    • 15% Discount for Mount Hermon Residents
    • Need financial assistance? Please inquire to see if you qualify!
    • 831-252-6096
    • after.school@mounthermon.org
  • Cancellation
    • We require 2 weeks notice for cancelling.

Pricing

Price per Child per Month

Days per Week Price
1 Day $145
Wed Only $180
2 Days $254
3 Days $325
4 Days $380
5 Days $440
 

Did you know that the average child in the US spends only 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors?

Research says that time in nature lowers stress, improves physical and mental health, promotes compassion, builds confidence and helps children to do better in school.

For decades our Outdoor Science School and summer camp programs have helped children reconnect with the beauty of the natural world and the Creator. Our aim is to provide a loving environment where children can play, be themselves, and explore all that our unique setting has to offer—creek exploration, nature walks, redwood groves, field play and adventure activities.
  • “We couldn't be happier with this program!”

    “ The program fosters our son's inquisitiveness and love for the outdoors: science, reptiles, team building, plants, birds, friendships, forts, to name a few. The staff are loving & caring. We appreciate how the staff pour kindness and respect into the kids and care about each one. After School Adventures is always the highlight of our son's week!” —Denise M.

  • “I can't recommend this program enough!”

    “Our 8-year-old and 6-year-old boys absolutely love Mount Hermon's After School Adventures, and so do we! It feels like summer camp every day! My kids are also constantly teaching me things about our local flora and fauna that I didn't know that they learned from their teachers there. The facilities and surrounding area are amazing. There is so much space for them to explore, and everything is set up beautifully.”
    —Rebecca T.

  • “A Magical Place”

    “My son LOVES this program so much he told me he wants to keep going for the rest of his life! Nature, friends, adventure, what more could a kid want? It's a magical place for sure!”
    —Amanda W.

  • “We love this program!”

    “Every week I get to hear about things like forts, swings and fairy rings, amazing sunsets and blue belly lizards. The staff are warm and caring. I love that my kids are getting time to play and explore outside while making new friends.”
    —Janelle H.

  • “We couldn't be happier!”

    “Our 5 year old has been in the program since the start and we couldn't be happier with her experience thus far. The staff is so supportive of exploration and everyday, she comes home peaceful and chattering about everything she is learning about the environment around her. The other night I asked her what she would wish for if she could wish for only one thing. She said, "I wish every day of the week was Mount Hermon day, so I could go 7 days in a row.”
    —Anne L.

  • “We love After School Adventures!”

    “Our son has been going since it started two days a week and he is enjoying it so much. Being outdoors and exploring has been so good for him and the staff is so wonderful. We will definitely be returning in the fall!”
    —Emily C.

FAQs

  • What do you do when it rains?
    As an outdoor program, we will still play outside when it rains so we ask that parents send their children dressed for the weather. Some of our most exciting explorations will occur when the weather is changing! For extreme weather conditions, we have indoor spaces available to us and alternative activities planned.
  • Is this safe?
    Yes and no. Yes, in that we take the safety of our children very seriously. We set clear expectations and boundaries in all outdoor activities to manage risks. We maintain a 12 to 1 ratio or better at all times. Our staff goes through extensive safety training and are well prepared for emergency situations. We comply with all public health standards for organized camps and have access to a health technician on the Mount Hermon property. Upon registration you will receive a parent handbook outlining all of our policies and procedures in detail.

    No, in that your child may get occasional scrapes and bumps as they explore the outdoors. We might encounter stinging nettle, poison oak or get stung by a bee. While an adult is always present, we desire to give children a reasonable amount of space and freedom to explore in nature. For example, children may choose to walk on logs, go barefoot, and climb rocks or tree stumps. In fact, the more a child tries out their abilities and becomes familiar with their environment the less accidents they will have as they grow in awareness, confidence and dexterity.
  • Are your staff fingerprinted? Do they have first aid training?
    Yes. All staff have clear background checks, have been fingerprinted, and are up to date with first aid and CPR.
  • What should my child wear and bring?
    Anything you wear to After School Adventures may come home dirty or wet so children may want to pack a change of clothes for after school if they don’t want their school clothes to get dirty. You may want to bring your child a towel to sit on in the car ride home or another change of clothes if you have plans afterwards.

    Bring clothes fit for the weather.
    Wear closed toed shoes.
    Bring a water bottle and a snack. (please note that we are a nut free zone.)
  • What is your discipline policy?
    Many common problems in the classroom or indoors simply do not arise in the outdoor environment. Want to run? That’s fine! Want to shout? That’s OK too! Want to make a big mess? Totally cool. Many children who struggle with structured indoor environments will thrive in the outdoor environment where free exploration is the norm. In all of our outdoor activities we set clear boundaries and make sure children understand the reasons behind rules especially regarding safety. We include children in setting group expectations and encourage them to hold each other accountable. We use positive discipline strategies with children. We care deeply about upholding an environment where children feel safe. On rare occasions a child may be asked to leave our program if the safety of others, (emotionally, physically or otherwise), was consistently being compromised.
  • Are there discounts?
    Yes! Inquire by phone or Email to see if you qualify.

    831-252-6096
    after.school@mounthermon.org
  • Do you serve children with special needs?
    It is our hope that in the future we can respond with a resounding, YES. At this time, we are not equipped to serve children needing 1:1 assistance. Currently, we are able to serve children with special needs on a case by case basis. Please do not hesitate to inquire and even if the answer is no, do feel free to check back with us as our program grows.
  • What is your ratio of teachers to students?
    1:12 or better!
  • What are your closure dates?
    We follow the SLV district calendar for our closure dates. We stay open on SLV professional development/teacher work days and our hours stay the same. We are closed on October 4th for Staff Training and November 11–13th for Mount Hermon's All Staff Retreat.

    These are the dates we are closed in 2019–2020:
    • Labor Day, Sept. 2
    • Staff Training, October 4
    • Veteran's Day, November 11
    • Staff Retreat, November 12,13
    • Thanksgiving Break, November 25 - 29
    • Winter Break, December 20 - January 3
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 20
    • President's Day, February 17
    • Spring Break, April 6-10
    • Memorial Day, May 25

Our Staff

staff group photo
Brynna Ahlstrom

Brynna Ahlstrom

Rebekah Boettcher

Rebekah Boettcher

Autumn Burchell

Autumn Burchell

Logan Dosker

Logan Dosker

Josh Lund

Josh Lund

Anthony Vander Schaaf

Anthony Vander Schaaf

 
Location

Ponderosa Lodge
4600 Graham Hill Rd
Felton, CA 95018
Get Directions


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Not just a job— Making Memories for a Lifetime