Meet Into the Woods Alaska

Into the Woods Alaska was conceived from a philosophy that nature is paramount in our lives and in the life of a healthy community.

We believe that every child has the right to grow up playing in the woods, and every adult should know how to get into the woods to renew their spirit and lead a healthy life. We started Into the Woods Alaska because we were longing for something different – a new way of approaching childcare that emphasized experiential learning while playing in the woods. This idea was born from our experience as parents in the Anchorage area – long we searched for day cares and summer camps whose focus was play in the outdoors, where kids could grow up learning how to operate safely in Alaska’s wild country.


Into the Woods Alaska’s Mission is three-fold:


1: We are dedicated to the idea that all children have the right to grow up playing in the woods, within which they can experience intellectual and emotional growth and health.

2: Children that connect with nature will become adults who advocate for its protection.

3: Children who grow up learning fundamental outdoor safety and survival skills will be safe lifetime users of our world’s wild spaces. These skills, learned from a young age, will become second-nature, allowing children to save their lives and the lives of others. Everyone they share the outdoors with over the course of their lives will gain from their depth of knowledge and experience.


We wanted something different from summer camps that had tight schedules and busy activities all day…we wanted our kids to just play in the woods, to learn by being independent thinkers, and follow their own innate curiosities rather than an adult telling them how to think or what questions to ask. Into the Woods is a different kind of outdoors camp. It is an outdoor education for any age. It is a place where we teach the value of scientific observation and learning through play. It is a place where kids can be free of screens, schedules, stress….and just play.

When you or your child goes on an adventure with Into the Woods Alaska, it is a family event. We make safety a top priority while learning outdoor safety skills and opening our eyes to the life that is all around us. Our world is changing rapidly due to climate change, and we fear that future generations won’t have this nature to find peace in unless we act now.

We firmly believe that when children and adults get out in nature they will become advocates for protecting it. We all need to do our part to ensure future generations will be able to see whales in resurrection bay, salmon leaping up the Kenai, glaciers in our mountains, forests flourishing (not in wildfire or in drought), birds on the wing, and our ecosystems full of life.

Meet you in the Woods,

~ Kristina, Dan, and the Team

Safety is of utmost importance to us for your young explorers as well as our guides.  

We therefore have safety protocols in the event of an emergency or necessary field medicine.  Our lead guides are CPR/ first aid and/or Wilderness First Aid certified at a minimum while some are certified at a higher level of Wilderness First Responder.  All personnel at Into the Woods, LLC have background checks and references.  All guides will carry appropriate radios and communication equipment as well as bear spray.  All guides are trained in and follow wildlife and environmental safety standards both at work and during their personal recreation in the great outdoors.


MEET THE TEAM

We are a small team of talented outdoors enthusiasts and professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.

kristina kvernplassen

co-founder, lead guide

Kristina grew up in Anchorage, where she spent her childhood playing in the woods in the BLM tract off of Elmore (then Abbott road), discovering hidden worlds in the dwarf spruce trees up at Glen Alps, camping and backpacking throughout Alaska, and zooming around the woods and trails of Kincaid Park. Kristina is lead guide and co-founder of ITWAK with her husband Dan. Kristina is honored to have the opportunity to get kids outdoors to play in the woods and learn new skills with Into the Woods Alaska.

dan dillehay

co-founder, lead guide

Dan grew up in Great Falls, Virginia, playing in the woods around his house and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In high school, he went to an outdoors-education based program and his passion for the outdoors grew. Dan made his way to Montana for university, and then Alaska, where he discovered Alaska’s great wild beauty was unlike anything he had yet experienced and the salmon and trout fishing was the best in the world. Dan is co-founder and lead guide at ITWAK and looks forward to helping Alaska kids get outdoors for many years to come.


Want to work with us?