Trailside discovery camp

Trailside Discovery Camp is an award winning camp program in Alaska that provides a broad range of outdoor environmental education experiences for students ages 4 to 16 from all economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. We provide summer camps at a variety of locations in Anchorage, Eagle River and Palmer. We also offer special winter and spring programs during school breaks. Session prices start from $320 per week, one time non-refundable registration fee $60. Pre Care (7:30-9) & After Care (4-5:30) included. (4 day holiday weeks at pro rated amount)

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Dear Trailside Families,

We have been through a lot over the past year. We’ve had challenges, but we have also seen incredible resilience. All of our families, your families, and our broader community have learned to adapt. I am so honored to work through these changes with all of our staff and Trailside families. Everyone’s support has helped us stand by our safety protocols and provide new ways to find fun and joy for our campers.

In response to safety mandates and families’ needs, we have expanded our camp opportunities. In 2020 we adapted our camp model to serve more families than ever before. After creating an extensive mitigation plan, we launched an in-person camp with the best practices in play. Simultaneously we started an online virtual camp together that allowed us to serve over 280 campers per week, sharing skills and stories with more families in the safety of their homes.

We know 2021 is uncertain, and Trailside will continue to monitor state mandates, ACA Guidance, and CDC recommendations.

We are planning on running in-person camps around Anchorage and Palmer. We will be implementing a flexible cancellation policy. We ask that parents sign up for the number of sessions they are looking for so our staff can plan accordingly.

The need for camp is clear for me: social interaction, outdoor activities, and free play is more important now than ever before. For 2021 you will see:

  • In-service day programming
  • Summer sessions at multiple locations: Kincaid Park, Ruth Arcand Park, and Lidia Selkregg Chalet at Russian Jack Spring Park are already confirmed. More locations might come.

Our dedicated staff of students and teaching professionals balance teaching and learning with traditional elements of camp. Trailside Discovery Camp packs a summer of outdoor adventure into each week. Check out our session descriptions and find the adventure that is best for your child.

Trailside Discovery Camp is a non-profit program of The Alaska Center Education Fund. We aim to provide environmental opportunities for young Alaskans of any age. Our unique “kid-to-career” approach connects with campers of all ages to build a movement of young Alaskans with the skills, knowledge, connection, and inspiration to become future conservation leaders.

I look forward to meeting all of our campers this summer, new and returning, and I can’t wait to make new memories with you all.

See you on the trail,
Vicki Long-Leather


While COVID-19 case rates have decreased significantly, and vaccinations are available to all Alaskans ages 12 and up, we want to ensure that all of the children we serve (which includes children as young as 4 years old) can enjoy camp comfortably and safely. To that end, starting June 7, we are implementing the following mask policy:
  1. Mask wearing for campers is optional when outside (informed by parental preference) unless in proximity to members of the public or during other times where staff feel masks are necessary. 
  2. Masks are required for all campers & staff when inside buildings.
  3. Mask wearing for fully vaccinated staff is optional when outside (Trailside has copies of all vaccinated staff COVID-19 vaccination records). Staff who are not vaccinated will wear masks at all times. 
Because we want all campers to feel comfortable, our staff will ensure that the choices families make regarding masks are supported (whether a camper wears a mask outside or not). Our staff is quite comfortable supporting mask-wearing given our experiences in the past year!


American Camp Association Accredited

Trailside Discovery Camp at Spring Creek Farm and Campbell Creek Science Center, are American Camp Association Accredited. To learn more about the ACA Accreditation, click here.

Title VI Compliance

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq. and its implementing regulations provide that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin under any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. Trailside Discovery Camp takes reasonable steps to ensure that such persons have meaningful access to the programs, services, and information we provide.

Special Thanks to:

9zero7 Fat Bikes, First National Bank Alaska, CIRI, REI, BLM/Campbell Creek Science Center, CITC, Skinny Raven Sports, Alaska Wildland Adventures, Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Rasmuson Foundation

Do you use a Fred Meyer rewards card?

Trailside Discovery Camp can now receive donations YOU generate when you shop at Fred Meyer. When you shop, you’ll still get every Rewards Point, Fuel Point and Rebate you would normally get AND Trailside gets dollars kicked in, too. Every one of these dollars goes toward helping us provide Alaskan kids with the best early outdoor experiences possible through our award-winning Trailside Discovery Camp.

Sign up here! Type “Trailside” into the organization search box at the prompt, or enter our code:FS273 to link your Rewards account to Trailside Discovery Camp.

Want to learn more about our programs? Contact [email protected]or call (907) 274-KIDS (5437).