The Summer Explorers Club: Summer Day Camps for ages 5-12

This summer, give your child the gift of nature with a uniquely Alaskan, unrivaled summer outdoor studies program


Photo courtesy of AFW Productions

the summer explorers club

Offering weekly, Monday – Friday sessions: JUNE 22 – AUGUST 14

  • Ages 5-12
  • Individualized learning & multi-age group learning dynamic
  • Drop-off 8-9 am
  • Pick-up 4:30-6 pm (See our calendar for locations)
  • Small Groups per weekly session
  • Student to Guide Ratio = 10:1


With safety as our top priority, our summer camps are designed to unleash your child’s imagination while they learn how to become confident operators in the great Alaskan outdoors. Into the Woods summer camps focus on outdoor safety skills and natural science; learning these skills through play and experience, our campers become more confident in themselves, learn the value of teamwork, and learn how to be still and observe the bounty of nature all around us.

Into the Woods Alaska Summer Camps are about combining the importance of simple play outside with what nature can teach us.  We strive to teach kids to observe the world around them and ask the age-old question you as a parent are familiar with: “why?”  Why do the trees in Alaska grow in the forest but not the beach? Why does this rock look different from that one? Campers will spend a majority of their time exploring the many ecosystems and trails that Kincaid Park has to offer from the beach to the bluffs to the forests!  We will have periodic breaks at the Main Chalet or under a shelter we set up (with a tarp or a natural shelter we create!), but each day we will challenge our young explorers to be more aware and build their knowledge in our low student to guide ratio of 10:1. 

Each session will have two components that we will continue to build upon throughout the week: science and outdoors skills.  We will use age appropriate teaching techniques to strengthen your child’s abilities to be responsible and safe in nature as well as increase their knowledge about the natural world around them.  Some of our science topics include mammals of Alaska, ecosystems, insects, food web, and vegetation of Alaska as well as whatever rabbit hole your young explorer may take us with their own observations. Our outdoor safety skills include map reading and route finding, building shelter, filtering water and signs of hypothermia. 

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.


The power of a multi-age learning environment

When older children help younger children learn, many beautiful things happen: both the older and younger child grow in confidence as they build a healthy relationship based on mutual trust and respect; the older child solidifies their knowledge by teaching it to someone else, while the younger child receives more individualized attention; both children grow in both their knowledge of the topic being learned and in their ability to work with others in a team setting. Rather than segregating kids by age, we believe that guiding children in a multi-age learning environment creates an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect, and leadership, producing a strong desire to learn and maximizing the learning environment.


the summer explorers day camp itinerary

A DAY OF EXPLORATION IN THE BOUNTY OF KINCAID PARK


What we’ll do & 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. 

8:00 to 9:00 am: Drop off. SEE CALENDAR FOR LOCATIONS.

9:00 to 9:30 am: Circle up. Discuss science topic of the day, trail route, safety briefing, and introduce outdoors skill of the day.

9:30 to 10:00 am: 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.

10:00: Start exploring!

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 4:30 pm: Hike to pick-up point, snack and journal along the way. Kids finish their journal science topic of the day, writing their answer or theory regarding the questions from the beginning of the day.

4:30 to 6:00 pm: Pick up. SEE CALENDAR FOR LOCATIONS.

COME EXPLORE THE GIFT OF NATURE

what you’ll need: summer DAY CAMP GEAR LIST

PACK YOUR BAGS FOR A DAY EXPLORING OUR BEAUTIFUL 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: Summer Day Camp

Listed below is our recommended gear list for a full day of exploring in the Kincaid Woods. 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.