Welcome to Into the Woods Alaska

Amazing things are on the way. Outdoor Preschool. Homeschool Programs. After School. Summer Camps. Expeditions. Women's Backpacking Trips. Teen/Jr. Youth Backpacking Trips. Book your adventure today.

Join us for our uniquely Alaskan Summer Camps

This Summer 2022, come explore the gift of nature with us.

Into the Woods Alaska’s Summer Camps are all about fostering a lifetime of outdoor safety skills and sustainability in outdoor recreation, for all ages, through authentic, place-based connections to our local wild spaces. Into the Woods AK is your local source for youth outdoor safety, education, and adventure skills. Our team of outdoor science educators can’t wait to share their knowledge, skills, and passion for the outdoors this summer 2022 in our uniquely Alaskan youth outdoor science programs. 

Our 2022 Summer Camp Age Groups

The Details

  1. On the main menu above, hover over “youth programs”
  2. hover down over the program location you are looking for (Kincaid vs. Hillside programs)
  3. either follow the hover to your right for the age group you are interested in, or on mobile click on the right-hand arrow to open up the booking link for age-group programs. 

There are two main components of our programs that we focus on covering in the curriculum: the environmental science side and the outdoor skills side. Our curriculum is scaffolded to meet the developmental needs and requirements of each age group and is place-based and season-based. For example, we may spend a lesson learning about photosynthesis and about food planning for trips. For the Wolf Pups, our youngest group, that means looking at leaves with microscopes and drawing what they see, telling stories about energy, and talking about food that we pack for adventure. As participants increase in age, lessons become increasingly challenging and complex, until we arrive at the teen years where we combine our lessons with leadership – we teach them, then teens get experience teaching others what they’ve learned. 

We offer week-long, full-day programs from May 23-August 12 (excluding Memorial day and Independence Day) at Kincaid Park (Jodhpur Trail head) and on the Hillside Trails (NE corner of Service HS trail head) for ages 5-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. We are all about fostering outdoor leadership skills and that begins with helping kids develop their own sense of agency and independent critical thinking skills when they are in the outdoor setting.

Additionally, teens aged 16-18 can apply for a paid apprentice guide position, with preference being given to former participants in our Outdoor Leadership programs.

This itinerary is tentative and may be subject to change.

7:30 am – 9:00 am: Early drop off  available

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Regular drop off

10:00 am – 10:15 am: Camp starts with our morning meeting and  “fab four”:

  1. The Three Be’s: safety, kindness, respect
  2. Bear and Moose Safety Practice 
  3. Our leave no trace/sustainability best practices
  4. Our “trip plan” for the day

10:15 am – 12:30 pm: Morning Block. Daily lessons, games, and art.

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Afternoon block. Siesta time for Wolf Pups. Longer hikes and trail exploration, and skills practice for other groups, mixed in with free play time.

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Pickup

*Fridays, we have an “art show” and Theater in the woods performance at 3:30 pm – we display art kids have worked on during the week and then all ages gather to both put on their show, where they teach something they’ve learned over the week, and to watch other groups’ performances.  

The following is an example of what a week at camp might look like. This schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Summer camps are booked on a weekly schedule, with the following tentative daily plan. Schedules may change due to extraneous factors such as environmental, wildlife, or other events. During each day, campers will rotate between lessons, hikes, and electives. Electives may include an outdoor art station or an outdoor sports/skills station. Between structured activities, participants will have plenty of time to engage in free play with friends, relax, and practice their Friday play. 

  • Monday:  Intro day, games, establishing our “trip plan” for the week.
    • We begin establishing early on in the week that kids have agency in their outdoor experience; this means that kids are involved in understanding our weekly and daily “trip plan”, our expectations for kindness, safety, respect, our leave-no-trace standards, and knowing what our safety standards are. 
    • Outdoor Art & Science elective in the PM for ages 10+
    • Games and Outdoor Skills elective in the PM for ages 5-9 
  • Tuesday: The Science of the the Woods. All groups practice lesson in environmental science based on week’s theme.
    • Outdoor Art & Science elective in the PM for ages 5-9
    • Games and Outdoor Skills elective in the PM for ages 10+ 
  • Wednesday:  Long walk in the woods and “camp out” station rotation day. 
    • Older youth, ages 10+, may go on long day hike in front range today. We will van kids to trailhead at beginning of day and return in van by 4:30 pick up time. 
    • Outdoor Art & Science elective in the PM for ages 10+
    • Games and Outdoor Skills elective in the PM for ages 5-9 
  • Thursday: Outdoor Skills Practice Day
    • older kids, age 10+, do scenarios and learn how to teach skills to each other. Younger kiddos, ages 5-9, learn the basics of safety and practice skills in games and play.
    • Outdoor Art & Science elective in the PM for ages 5-9
    • Games and Outdoor Skills elective in the PM for ages 10+ 
  • Friday:  Closing day – play, practice, perform  
    • Friday is the day we bring it all together – kids get extra practice in new skills as they choose, they engage in leadership by “teaching” through their end-of-week performance, art is displayed at “art show” by artists, and they make sure to play as much as possible before saying goodbye to friends old and new
  • Pack plenty of food, a water bottle (we have plenty of water to refill), and an extra set of clothes, with 4 pairs of extra socks, in a sealed ziploc bag.
  • dress for the weather – if it looks like rain, pack rain coat and pants
  • Kids may leave extra gear and food in our van at trailhead if we go on long hikes. 

It is important that parents with kids in our programs join Remind, our communication app. This is our way of quickly keeping everyone on the same page and allows us to immediately disseminate urgent information in case of exigent circumstances that may come up.

  • Remind codes for summer camps:
    • for all programs: @ialask to the number 81010
    • for camps at Kincaid Park: text @itwakinca to the number 81010
    • for camps on the Hillside Trails: @hillak to the number 81010

Next summer, we will be offering a series of 3 backpacking trips for ages 10+ as an “add-on” during summer camp weeks, from Wednesday to Friday/Saturday. We will send out an announcement with more details to families in mid-April. We will go backpacking/camping in our local front range to acquaint Anchorage kids with their “backyard” in addition to an end-of-summer thru-hike on Kesugi Ridge. Contact us if you have more questions, and stay tuned for more details. 

2022 Summer Camps at Kincaid Park

Our 2022 Summer Camp Programs at Kincaid Park

Drop off and Pick up: 

Kincaid Sand Dunes Park
8200 Jodhpur St, Anchorage, AK 99502
  • Early drop off available from 7:30 am – 9:00 am
  • regular drop off between 9:00 am and 10:00 am
  • programs start at 9:30 am with our morning meeting
    • the morning meeting and our “fab four”:
      • 1. The Three Be’s: safety, kindness, respect
      • 2. Bear and Moose Safety Practice 
      • 3. Our leave no trace/sustainability best practices
      • 4.  Our “trip plan” for the day
  • we depart trail head with our groups at 10:15-10:30 am
  • 10:30-1:30: main lesson of the day (either environmental science lesson and/or outdoor safety skill).
    • Some days the lessons occur over long hikes and breaks to play in the woods, while other days we station ourselves near the trailhead in a “camp stations” set up. If you need to pick up early some days, we can try to arrange it in advance. 
  • 2:00-4:00: elective classrooms. Our afternoon ‘electives’ are art and outdoor sports/skills. Kids have this time to spend with friends, take breaks to play, and learn a new skill. During the week, kids practice their “Friday Play” during this afternoon time.
  • Pick up between 4:30-6:00 pm
  • *Fridays, we have an “art show” and Theater in the woods performance at 3:30 pm – we display art kids have worked on during the week and then all ages gather to both put on their show, where they teach something they’ve learned over the week, and to watch other groups’ performances.
    • Friday show will be at the Sand Dunes, approx. 1/4 mile walk south from trailhead. Family is welcome to attend!

2021/2022 Winter and Spring Programs

The Three Pillars of Focus in our

Outdoor Science Education Programs


Outdoor Science and Naturalist Studies

In addition to learning a set of outdoor recreation skills, we dive deep into understanding the environmental science and phenomena behind safe and sustainable outdoor recreation. Understanding the natural phenomena behind our outdoor explorations is often essential in understanding how to be safe and to leave minimal impact on our precious wild spaces. Our guides also lead seasonal courses on Alaskan wildlife, flora and fauna. These topics are an essential part of all of our programs in teaching the importance of sustainable recreation in the wilderness.


Outdoor Recreation and Safety Skills

Alaskans love multi-sport, human-powered adventures, and we are fortunate to have many outdoor adventures unfold to us as the seasons change. We teach a variety of recreation activities through the lens of safety, sustainability, and recreating as stewards of the land. In our seasonal outdoor programs and workshops, participants gain safety skills to last a lifetime and share with others, teamwork, & survival skills in the winter and summer environments. Safety and sustainable recreation is the foundation of all of our programs.


Mentorship, Leadership, and Community

For ITWAK, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". The greatest resource we have is our community and the people in it. From age 4 to 104, we invest in a circular economy of our community's shared knowledge and experience. Our youth outdoor leaders and apprentice guides both gain from and share mentorship and leadership in our programs. Adult participants find a place where they are welcome to learn and share skills and knowledge in a welcoming community where kindness, respect, and safety form a solid foundation.

Safety in the Wilderness Setting

Safety is our top priority – whether we are out in the remote backcountry or exploring our local urban<>wild interfaces like Kincaid Park, Westchester Lagoon, or the Hillside trail system. 

We stay safe by training, earning and refreshing our Wilderness Medical credentials, and extensive preparation considering  risks involved in all of our programs and activities by making it a key component of program planning. 

Our team is made up of outdoor enthusiasts who spend a significant amount of their personal time in the wilderness setting; each team member has wilderness medical training and certification in addition to the certifications that hold their primary area of expertise and interest – from mountain biking to avalanche awareness.  Collectively, we hold a bevy of skills and certifications wilderness medical training in outdoor skills. Teaching safe and sustainable use of our wild spaces is the foundation upon which we build our programs. 

About Us​

One Touch Of Nature Makes The Whole World Kin

We are dedicated to providing an unparalleled youth & adult outdoor and environmental science education program emphasizing place-based, experiential learning. Our youth and adult participants alike learn environmental science, outdoor safety, teamwork, and survival skills that will keep them and their back country companions safe over a lifetime of exploring our world’s wild spaces.

Our programs are designed to foster authentic learning experiences that will not only last a lifetime, but encourage our participants to become actively engaged in conservation, protection, and sustainable use of our wild spaces. In our programs, participants learn specific and general outdoor recreation, science, and safety skills through hands-on, active and experiential learning. We offer special courses with specific learning goals/certifications/skill sets in mind as well as general courses that introduce younger children to the concept of being an outdoor explorer. Check out our upcoming courses to see our year-round offerings by clicking “our programs” in the header above and taking a stroll through our website. 

...get in touch

We would love to hear from you – please use this form to get in touch! 

Careers and Internships

Please use the following form to apply for a position with Into the Woods Alaska!  

We are looking for outdoor professionals who are passionate about sharing their knowledge, skills, and abilities with youth and adults. We place an emphasis on inclusivity in sharing, a fun team environment, professional fulfillment and growth, and safety. Compensation is between $18-$22/hour, depending on experience, and our work weeks are 3 long days with 4 left over for team trips or a long, 4 day weekend for your own Alaskan summer adventures. Apply today! 

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