The SJOE program began in 1956 as a pilot program with 49 students from Jefferson School in Tracy, CA. The students spent five days and four nights at Camp Jones Gulch, the San Francisco Y.M.C.A. camp located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their experience was so successful that within three years the San Joaquin Outdoor School grew to be the third largest outdoor education program in the state, serving more than 1,000 sixth grade students from 28 districts throughout the county. In 1960, the program expanded to cover the full school year, employing full-time naturalists and serving almost every school district in the county. In 1990, the program expanded to a second nearby site, Redwood Glen, to accommodate the county's growth. We stopped operating at that site in 2009.

Today, the program continues to serve roughly 160 students and 20 cabin leaders weekly.  Please explore our site to find out more about our wonderful program!

If you have more information about the history of our program, please contact us!