After School Programs, Featured

Summer Programs 2022

Join us for our Summer 2022 Youth Outdoor Science Programs

May 23 – August 12, 2022

Coming Soon! Registration Opens November 26, 2021

Early Registration Bonus! Discounted Prices until January 15, 2022.

Weekly Programs at Kincaid Park

Weekly Programs on the Hillside Trails

The Borealis Bike Club

Alaska Youth Outdoor Science Leadership Program


Our word of 2022 is Resiliency. We all have had to be resilient for the last (nearly) two years, and we will have to be resilient for the future we face – a future of unknowns due to climate change. Our programs are designed to teach youth the value of resiliency; we meet each youth at their level and they learn new skills and ideas, building resiliency along the way. With resilience, children today will be able to deal with and meet the pressing challenges that we face tomorrow.


Our planet is in peril – this we see more and more every day, on many levels of society and across our daily lives. From natural disasters, to high summer temperatures, to entire ecosystem changes, to social inequalities made greater by climate change issues, to our current Anthropocene mass extinction event: our world is changing. Our youth need to be ready to be engaged and build a more sustainable, harmonious future for our species and our planet to survive together. We believe that having a foundationally positive relationship with our natural world is the key to youth understanding the importance of protecting it in the future. It all starts with having a chance to grow up in the woods.


Our Jr. Youth now will have the opportunity to graduate into the Youth Outdoor Science Leadership Program, which is dedicated to helping our local teens share the brightest ideas on building a sustainable future with their peers around the world, and bringing those ideas to the forefront of Alaska’s future development. Our teens will have the opportunity to engage in local hikes, field research, and outdoor leadership training.

Presenting our Tentative Weekly Themes for Summer 2022 Programs:

Scroll down to read our curriculum plan and schedule, or click below to see the PDF

Our programs are growing – now in our third year, we are solidifying our mission to build the next generation of stewards and advocates for a more sustainable and economically viable future for Alaska.

We are planning to offer programs at Kincaid Park and on the Hillside trails to run simultaneously.

We approach each weekly curriculum with two concepts at play: environmental science and outdoor studies skills. In 2022 we are looking at all of our curriculum through the lens of climate change and building a sustainable future for Alaska. We will encourage kids to question common practices and ideas, and to come up with their solutions to some of the most pressing problems that result from climate change. We will use case studies of species failures and success stories from AK and around the world, and teach and practice outdoor science in a manner that is in harmony with our natural world, not in conquest of it.

(The topics below are in draft form, and will be a scaffolded curriculum with learning objectives appropriate for each developmental age group. Youth Outdoor leaders (ages 14+) learn more in-depth detail and outdoor leadership for each type of curriculum.)

Environmental Science TopicOutdoor Studies Topic
Insects, Micro Flora & Fauna. Insects: the food of the future?Planning Cities for the future – how do we adapt and build sustainable lifestyles?
Mycorrhizal Network, Fungi, arboreal relationshipsOrienteering, Map reading, compass, reading terrain. Why are trails important? (leave no trace – case study: the flattop destruction and current restoration)
Layers of the Forest: why are trees important, types of trees in AK, trees around the world.Trail Helpers: first aid skills and techniques. Safe Recreation Concepts: are we there to “conquer” the challenging landscapes of nature, or work in collaboration and harmony with it? What is involved in a trail rescue? Resources Involved.
FISH 1: fish of alaska, special adaptations, fish failures with warming waters, case study: pike, eating fish, fish in history, habitatsShelters, hypothermia, wind, wet – recognizing dangerous situations, prevention of dangerous situations before they start, how to deal with hypothermia with yourself and others.
What’s in the Water? (life in aquatic ecosystems)
Water tables of Anchorage and our local wild<>urban interface
Water Safety Knowledge and Skills: recreation and consumption (filtratrion, purifying etc.)
BIRDS 1: Migratory, non-migratory, adaptation to climate change. One bird species as a case study for climate change. The dying off of Murres in Alaska.Planning an expedition and adapting gear to climate and weather.
geology of AK, compared to rest of world. geology and climate changeHiking, using the trails, leave no trace. recreation – are we using nature for fun, or enjoying sports in harmony with nature?
Large Fauna of Alaska, compared to adaptations of other large fauna of other ecosystems and climates. Case studies: our local Bears, our local Moose.Looking at humans as animals, where do we fit in the earth’s future? How do we ensure our success as a species? Are our common practices of securing food and shelter sustainable?
Ecosystems under pressure: species moving in, species moving out. the classic: specialist, generalist, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore. Our Anthropocene Extinction Event.planning food for day trips, expeditions
Climate change and the arctic: moving forward. What is a circular economy? How do we sustain life in a changing climate?Trails of the world – how do Alaskans enjoy trails? How do other cultures enjoy them? Why is being outdoors part of a healthy lifestyle? How can you be a leader outdoors?
FISH 2: the ocean, jellyfish, warming water. Global species? Case study: HalibutSkin care, foot care – blisters …”pressure wounds”. Take care of your feet!
BIRDS 2: local failures/extinctions and local successes…why? Case studies in contrast: Ravens, Murres, Eagles, Gulls, Swans, Terns.Flying in – amazing fly-in trips in AK and the world and how to get there!

Youth in the Woods, through the seasons –>>