The Anchorage Youth Hiking Club: Summer Sessions for ages 10-16

Come spend your summer days exploring the trails of the Chugach State Park

Weekly sessions limited to groups of 7 youth. We’ll explore Alaska’s great wild beauty together, growing in outdoor safety skills, confidence, and gaining new friendships along the way.






Photo courtesy of AFW Productions

the anchorage youth hiking club

SUMMERS SPENT EXPLORING ALASKA’S GREAT WILD BEAUTY

WEEKLY, M-F SESSIONS FROM JUNE 22 – AUGUST 14


As your child gets older and has more responsibility, Into the Woods Alaska offers a way for them to build confidence and self-reliance in Alaska’s outdoors – in all seasons.  

We want your child to experience and interact with nature not just on a recreational level but also as a naturalist and environmental steward.  We strive to teach them to observe the world around them and record their findings using the scientific method. Campers will spend a majority of their time exploring the many ecosystems and trails that the Chugach State Park has to offer from the alpine valley of Powerline Trail, to the majesty of Rabbit Lakes, to the forest of falls creek, to the peak of Flat Top!  We will have periodic breaks to journal and eat but each day we will venture farther physically and mentally as we challenge our young explorers in our low student to guide ratio of 7:1. 

Each session will have two components that we will continue to build upon throughout the week: science and outdoors skills.  We will use various teaching techniques to strengthen your child’s abilities to be responsible and safe in nature as well as increase their own knowledge about the natural world around them.  Some of our science topics include ecology, geology and wildlife biology of Alaska as well as whatever rabbit hole your explorer may take us with their own observations. Our outdoor safety skills include orienteering, signs of hypothermia and how to avoid it, and basic survival techniques.  We will accomplish this in the following itinerary.

Photo courtesy of AFW Productions

100% outdoors. Small, family-style groups of 10 or less. Nature immersion.

At Into the Woods, we believe that every child has the right to grow up playing in the woods. Into the Woods is locally owned and operated; it was founded by Kristina and Dan, who dreamed of a uniquely Alaskan, outdoor education summer camp experience that teaches youth how to be confident operators in Alaska’s back country.


A NEW DAY, A NEW TRAIL TO EXPLORE…

Due to the fickle nature of Alaska trails, there are many environmental factors that go into choosing the perfect trail for each day based on group dynamics, our topic of learning, possible trail closures, and environmental/wildlife conditions. We keep parents apprised of all our movements, where we are going, when we leave and when we are returning. 


ANCHORAGE YOUTH HIKING CLUB SUMMER DAY CAMP ITINERARY

OUR ITINERARY FOR GETTING OUT INTO A BEAUTIFUL ALASKAN SUMMER


WHAT WE’LL DO AND WHERE WE’LL GO

*note: this itinerary is subject to change based on trail conditions, investigations of interest, group dynamic, or safety conditions. Our guides will keep parents apprised of any major logistical changes to the itinerary and/or group location. 

9:00 to 10:00 am: Drop off

SEE CALENDAR FOR LOCATIONS

10:00 am: Circle up. Discuss science topic of the day, trail route, safety briefing, and introduce outdoors skill of the day. Journal time: each camper journals their questions of the day, the hypothesis for what they might see or experience concerning the science topic, and all the questions they may have.

10:30: Start our daily hike.

12:00 to 12:30 pm: Lunch time!

12:30 to 1:00 pm: Journal time: record observations.

1:00 to 2:00 pm: Resume exploring!

2:00 to 2:30 pm: Snack time!

2:30 to 3:30 pm: Outdoors skill training.

3:30 to 5:30 pm: Hike to end point; snack and journal along the way.

5:30 to 6:00 pm: Pick up.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: AYHC SUMMER DAY CAMP GEAR LIST

PACK YOUR BAG AND GET READY FOR A DAY OF GETTING INTO AN ALASKAN SUMMER


For this day of fun and learning to happen we expect our campers to come with appropriate footwear and clothing to spend most of the day outside playing in the woods. We also want them to come with a bag lunch to eat picnic style on the trail as well as extra snacks and water.  Additionally, we recommend packing a spare set of clothes for when we return in case their original outfit gets wet while exploring.

Many of the items on the list can be found for a great price at The Hoarding Marmot, an outdoor gear consignment shop in Anchorage. They have a wide selection of name brand clothing, shoes, and backpacks for children for a fraction of retail price, in almost new condition. Stay away from cotton clothing and look for synthetic or wool clothing for your camper.

A note on cotton! Cotton absorbs moisture and cools the body down, which can be dangerous and lead to hypothermia, or at least prevent warming up, even on warm Alaska summer days. A hypothermia study lead by the military in Florida indicates that even at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the human body can become hypothermic when the skin is covered in water.

…Luckily for us, this is easy to prevent with the correct outdoor clothing-synthetic or wool materials that wick moisture away from the skin or stay warm when wet (wool), and many layers so we can take off when we get hot or pile on when we get cold. Warm, insulating layers are close to the body and waterproof and wind layers are on the outside to keep moisture and wind out and keep our body warmth in. Extra socks are important, and waterproof hiking boots or shoes recommended; children can put on dry socks when their feet get wet to prevent blisters.

Let us know if you need help with obtaining any of these items – chances are we have plenty of extra supplies to share!

GEAR LIST

We provide: whistle, compass, notebook/journal, art supplies.

Food and Water:

A sack lunch with: two meals (2x the main lunch meal you would pack. For example, 2 sandwiches), snacks, fruit, and 2x 1 Liter water bottles.

Apparel:​ ​Hardshell​ ​Layers

● Waterproof​ ​jacket​ ​with​ ​hood

● Waterproof​ ​full-length​ ​pants

Apparel:​ ​Insulating​ ​Layers

● Mid​-weight​ ​jacket,​ ​pullover​ ​or​ ​sweater​ ​(softshell,​ ​fleece,​ ​microfleece​ ​or​ ​wool)

Apparel:​ ​Base​ ​Layers

● Base​ ​layer​ ​​short-sleeve​ ​top​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool)

● Base​ ​layer​ ​long-sleeve​ ​top​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool)

● Base​ ​layer​ ​​full-length​ ​pants​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool)

Apparel:​ ​Hats,​ ​Gloves,​ ​

● Beanie​ ​or​ ​other​ ​winter​ ​hat​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool)…always good to have, just in case!

● Gloves​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool)…in case we have a wet, chilly summer day!

Footwear

● Hiking​ ​boots or trail shoes​ ​(leather​ ​or​ ​synthetic;​ ​waterproof;​ ​high-top)

● Hiking​ ​socks​ ​(synthetic​ ​or​ ​wool;​ ​4​ ​pairs)

Personal​ ​Items

● Light daypack

● 1-L​ ​water​ ​bottles​ ​(Nalgene,​ ​Kleen​ ​Kanteen,​ ​CamelBak,​ ​or​ ​similar;​ ​2 ​bottles)

● Lip​ ​balm

● Sunscreen

● Bug​ ​repellent

● Mosquito head net

● Pens​ or pencil

Optional​ ​Items

● Bandana​ ​or​ ​buff

● Gaiters

● Watch

Gear List: A day hiking in Alaska’s great wild beauty

Listed below is our recommended gear list for a full day of exploring the Chugach State Park. This list is what we recommend, however use your best judgement. If it is a very hot, dry summer, we likely won’t need hat or gloves! However, some summers are wet and chilly, in which case warmer gear (on the list) is essential!


SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT

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 will follow wildlife and environmental safety standards both at camp but also during their personal time off.

WHY GET INTO THE WOODS?


NATURE IMMERSION

Immersing oneself in nature and distancing from screen devices is the perfect way for every child to spend their summers –immersed in Alaska’s great wild beauty.

OUTDOOR SAFETY SKILLS

At Into the Woods Alaska, an important part of each Outdoor Studies Program is to build upon a foundation of outdoor safety skills that will last your child a lifetime.

NATURAL SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS

We build upon a set of natural science foundations that set your child up for a life of evidence-based and observational learning, a scientific skill which can be applied to any field and leads to success in any endeavor.

UNPARALLELED OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES FOR ALASKAN YOUTH

Youth learn confidence, teamwork, and a life-long passion for the great, wild beauty of our planet.