Greetings from Ojai!

Though winter seems to have mostly passed us by, spring has still arrived. The hills are greening, flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. We are reaching out with some exciting updates and in-person events, as well as an important update regarding the passing of a long-time community member.

With gratitude,

The Executive Stewardship Circle
Brendan Clarke & Sharon Shay Sloan, Co-Directors
David Bryan Board Chair

Upcoming Events

Open House – April 11, 2021
Come join us and explore the changed landscape on Sunday, April 11, 2021, from 10am – 4pm. This will be outdoors only, masks on, with other standard COVID protocol. There will be a basic orientation, and then self-guided tours. RSVP here or learn more. For questions, email:

Council Training 1 – April 24-25 (in-person) at TOF
We are excited to announce our first TOF-hosted council training on the ridge since the fire. This will be an in-person (with COVID precautions) dive into the basics of council. Learn more or register here. Questions? Please email:

Guided Nature Walk w/ Elena Ríos – April 18, 2021
Come explore TOF on a guided, nature immersion walk with Elena Ríos. The day will include a blend of the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing) and council. 9am – 11am. Limit 10 people. Learn more or register here.

Gear Redistribution Drive

Have high-quality new or used gear? A caucus of white people from The FIRE Fellowship are organizing a gear redistribution drive for People of the Global Majority* to connect all fellows with what they need to have equitable access to the outdoors. Monetary donations welcome too. Click here to see the full ask letter.

* People of the Global Majority (PoGM) is a term used to replace the language “People of Color,” and seeks to correct the false frame of “minorities,” and honor the wide variations in skin color.


New Board Members
We are thrilled to welcome six new board members to The Ojai Foundation Board of Directors. Alan Mobley, Elena Ríos, Ilarion Merculieff, Mario Johonson, Tyrone Sandaal, and Yamin Chehin have all stepped into their new roles at the start of 2021. We are grateful for their wisdom, experience, and generosity. Learn more about them by reading their bios.


It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of Paul Perotta on November 2, 2020. Paul is remembered as a beloved and humble servant of the sweat ceremony at The Ojai Foundation. Through his work on the New Roads School and Crossroads School Senior trips, Paul positively influenced the lives of countless young people, opening their minds to another way of seeing and being in the world. Paul’s beloved Elissa Zimmerman wrote of his passing, “He had to reach deep for his highest, most enlightened self at the end, and he did so, with flying colors.” We are so grateful for the gifts and love he brought to the land and to the people. We send our sincere condolence to his friends, family and loved ones.

“Paul Perrotta was a friend to Crossroads School. Affectionately known as ‘Brother Paul’ throughout campus, his teachings emphasized Love as the great healer. Paul mobilized his gentleness and humility as teachers, letting others know through his very presence that something greater valued and cared for their existence. His quiet voice and empathetic presence provided comfort to those he spent time with. Paul embodied his caring by making the effort to attend multiple school events in Santa Monica, including acting as an impromptu graduation speaker at Crossroads in 2010. Brother Paul positively affected the lives of hundreds of students and faculty, and our community honors his teachings and his life’s work with deep gratitude.” 

~ David Listenberger, Crossroads School,
former Mysteries Chair and co-lead on countless student trips to TOF.

“In the many years that Paul worked with New Roads students, I never knew one of them who did not ‘fall in love’ with this dear, dear man.  When he showed up at their graduation, their excitement was electric. The news of Paul’s passing has slowly trickled through the former student body; the collective sadness is palpable.”

~ David Bryan, New Roads School
former Head of School and co-lead on countless student trips to TOF.