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Alaska College
Leadership Adventure

DATES: 6/24 - 7/14, 7/17 - 8/6
Duration: 21 Days
tuition: $ 4,695
Arrive/Depart: Anchorage, AK
Grades: 12th - College


  • Develop Leadership Skills
  • Backpack the Talkeetna Mountains
  • Sea Kayak Prince William Sound
  • Earn Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Challenge Level: Challenging
trip map
  • Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Leadership Training
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification

Our leadership expedition for college-age students combines backpacking in the Talkeetna Mountains with sea kayaking in Prince William Sound and Wilderness First Aid Certification. We welcome previous Wilderness Ventures participants, as well as new students having completed the 12th grade through college. The Alaska College program is an ideal sequel to our other offerings and an excellent beginning experience for older students interested in pursuing outdoor leadership positions. While completion does not guarantee future placement with Wilderness Ventures, it does offer students an advantage in obtaining eventual employment in this field.

Backpack the Talkeetna Mountains

From the Anchorage airport, we'll pack supplies for the first half of this program, then proceed to the spectacular Talkeetna Mountains for a 7-day, off-trail backpacking trip. This wild alpine environment, lush and rarely visited, is home to wolves, bears, caribou, Dall sheep, lynx, and wolverine.

Sea Kayak Prince William Sound

From the Talkeetna Mountains, we'll paddle through Prince William Sound on a serene 6-day sea kayaking trip. Rocky cliffs, dense rain forests, spectacular coastal mountains, active glaciers, and abundant marine life make for dramatic surroundings. We'll explore the minimum- impact skills required in aquatic environments and learn techniques for sea travel and navigation.

Earn Wilderness First Aid Certification

Spend two days learning first aid techniques imperative for backcountry travel, a wonderful concrete step in developing your qualifications and skills as an outdoor leader. Learn how to use first aid to manage emergencies in the wilderness. Receive hands on experience in assessment, treatment, evacuation and prevention scenarios. 

Our Curriculum

The first portion of our program consists of extensive off-trail navigation and development of hard wilderness skills, such as expedition planning, zero-impact camping, map and compass use, and food management; we will have plenty of opportunities to enhance these skills as we practice them on our 2 extended treks. While other outdoor leadership schools emphasize only hard skills, we believe that effective leadership requires much more. A wilderness leader is simultaneously guide, naturalist, counselor, teacher, and facilitator. This trip, taught from a leader's perspective, emphasizes these other soft skills, and we will have numerous opportunities to lead and manage the group process. A balance of hard skills and soft sensitivity skills are qualities we look for in our leaders each summer. This unique and practical curriculum is designed to develop such leaders and, coupled with travel through Alaska's wilderness, provides an experience for which we feel there is no substitute.


All major components of this trip have been offered by us over the past 37 years.


Teachers/Group Leaders: This adventure or a variation of it can be offered as a private/custom trip with your own departure dates. Please contact our group desk at 800-533-2281. 


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   Reservations & Info: 800-533-2281 or email info@wildernessventures.com
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Teen Summer Camps at Wilderness Ventures!

If you’re searching for traditional Teen Summer Camps or Teen Adventure Programs, you’ve come to a place where traditional turns into Exhilarating! Since 1973, Wilderness Ventures has been conducting unique Teen Summer Camps in many of the finest areas for teen summer camp activities in the world. Our teen summer camps and international adventure programs for teens combine an enriching group living experience with Outdoor Adventure and leadership skill training in a fun, non-competitive Wilderness Camp environment.


As the pioneering teen summer camp, Wilderness Ventures has been conducting adventure tours in the American West for 39 years. We conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, visiting all of the most splendid wilderness areas in the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. Today, we take great pride in running the best teen adventure camps in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and in several international destinations, including Central and South America, Europe, Australia and the South Pacific. Because of our vast teen adventure experience, our exclusive destinations, and the enviable degree of control that we have over the quality of our adventures, we are largely considered the best teen summer camp available to today's teens.

Teen Summer Camp Destinations

When we conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, we wanted to bring our teen summer campers to the best, most beautiful and most inspiring environments on the planet. Some highlights of our first teen summer camp consisted of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Three Sisters Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park and Olympic National Park. Back in the early 1970s, permits to our nation's treasured wilderness areas was still possible to obtain. With tremendous foresight, our founders Mike and Helen Cottingham were able to aquire permits to the best and most beautiful teen summer camp environments in the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, California and Hawaii. Affectionately, we refer to these environments as “Our Last Best Places,” and the exclusive permits that we hold to these treasured environments allows us to conduct teen summer camps in the most beautiful locations on the planet. For example, we are the only teen summer camp with the authority to lead teen backpacking trips in Grand Teton National Park and Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness; we are the only teen adventure camp allowed to lead sea kayaking expeditions onto the high alpine lakes of Yellowstone National Park, where our own adventure camp sea kayaking specialists.

Teen Summer Camp Safety

Because of our self-managed permits in these teen summer camp destinations, we have a high degree of control over who leads our expeditions. Our teen summer camp leaders are the most highly qualified, most extensively trained staff members in the teen summer camp industry; see “Our Leaders.” But another important distinction between Wilderness Ventures and other teen summer camps is the level of control our leaders have over the adventures they are leading. Many teen summer camps must, for example, subcontract their important outdoor adventure activities to permit holders so that they can conduct teen backpacking trips and teen hiking trips; this process often dilutes the quality of the leadership in charge of the health, safety, enjoyment and general well being of the teen summer camp activities. Since we operate under our own permits, we have the assurance that only our own highly qualified and trained leaders are conducting our teen summer camps.  Wilderness Ventures is an equal service provider.