June 22 – 26, 2015
Since 2000, Denali Discovery Camp has provided local youth with experiential learning adventures through hands-on exploration in Denali National Park. Offered by the Denali Education Center partnering with the National Park Service through the Murie Science & Learning Center, this week-long day camp is open to students entering 1st through 8th grades. In small peer groups, students will hike, camp, explore and discover in the diverse habitats of Denali National Park. Through age-appropriate games, hikes and activities led by expert instructors, students will gain an understanding of Denali Discovery Camp’s main content areas: habitat, wildlife, plant life, natural science, landscape, and wilderness. Balancing between structured activities and informal exploration, students will have the opportunity to discover a personal connection to Denali National Park. Because using the wilderness classroom is a privilege, Denali Discovery Camp teaches and adheres to the principles of Leave No Trace and strives to maintain a low impact camp experience for current and future Discovery Campers.
To provide local children with quality learning experiences through hands-on adventure and fun in Denali National Park and Preserve.
- Provide an opportunity for children to experience the outdoors in a fun and safe manner.
- Develop a sense of inquiry and curiosity about the natural world.
- Cultivate skills of observation, awareness, and reflection about our environment.
- Promote understanding of the subarctic ecosystem.
- Convey the significance of Denali National Park and Preserve as a protected ecosystem.
- Foster stewardship of wilderness and wild places.
We maintain an engaging learning atmosphere in each Denali Discovery Camp group by bringing together instructors of varying talents and creativity. With a student to instructor ratio of three-to-one, each group is led by a Park Ranger and two other instructors hired for their local knowledge and experience working with youth. The instructor teams share their collective wealth of knowledge with students in the form of fun, hands-on, and informative activities.
Registration begins on Monday, April 13, at 9:00 a.m. Denali Borough residents will be given preference, and non-residents will be placed on a waiting list. On Monday, April 20, non-local residents on the wait list will be added as space allows. Any remaining spaces will be assigned first-come, first-serve. Register online (a registration link from this page will be made live on April 13) or call the office at 683-2597. Space may be reserved by credit card or check in the mail commitment beginning April 13.
Tuition for each camp group:
- Nature Scouts…students entering 1st & 2nd grades, $225
- Denali Detectives…students entering 3rd & 4th grades, $250
- Ecosystem Explorers…students entering 5th & 6th grades, $275
- Wilderness Researchers…students entering 7th & 8th grades, $300
While each camp group has its own daily excursions, all four groups join together twice during the week. Monday morning kicks off the week with a brief orientation highlighting camp preparedness, Leave No Trace, and wildlife safety. Students will also use this time to meet their instructors and fellow campers. On Friday afternoon, students join together to celebrate their adventures and share experiences from the week with friends and family. During the week, camp groups will explore the major habitat areas of Denali National Park and Preserve through hikes and educational activities led by camp staff. On occasion, hikes will be led by Park naturalists or scientists that are currently doing research in the Park.
Every Discover Denali camp group enjoys an overnight camping experience: The youngest campers, Nature Scouts and Denali Detectives, spend Thursday night at Savage River Campground and the Teklanika Field Camp, respectively. The Ecosystem Explorers spend Wednesday and Thursday nights at Igloo Campground, while Wilderness Researchers spend Tuesday afternoon through Friday morning at Wonder Lake Campground. On Friday, each group will conduct closing activities in the field and students will be given a chance to evaluate the program. We will conclude camp with a closing ceremony and barbecue at the Denali Education Center; all students, staff and families are invited to share in the experience.
For more detailed information about each group: