Summer Camps in Anchorage!

Summer Camp

May 26th – Aug 14th

Registration Opens January 8 at 6pm.

Join Trailside Discovery Camp for a summer of adventure, exploration, growth, and fun! Discover the last frontier through hands-on exploration, and outdoor fun! Your camper will enjoy getting outdoors to explore the creek systems, learn about the wildlife that inhabit our great state, kayak and canoe beautiful local bodies of water, fatbike winding trail systems, and build life long friends all with a muddy, dirt covered smile on their face. Trailside Discovery Camp packs a summer of outdoor adventure into each week. Sessions will be held in correspondence with the Anchorage School District holiday release dates for Summer.

In Anchorage we have 2 locations: Campbell Creek Science Center and Lidia Selkregg Chalet at Russian Jack Springs Park.

Please make sure you register for the right location.

Campbell Creek Science Center: 5600 Science Center Drive, Anchorage, AK 99507
Camp hours: Drop off- 8:45-9:00am, Pick up- 3:45-4pm  
(Optional Pre Care starts at 7:30am, after care until 5:30pm)

Russian Jack Chalet: 1600 Lidia Selkregg Ln, Anchorage, AK 99504
Camp hours: Drop off- 8:45-9:00am, Pick up- 3:45-4pm  
(Optional Pre Care starts at 7:30am, after care until 5:30pm)

Bus pick up options are available for an additional fee.

 
 

Half Day Toddler Programs: Ages 2-3
From 10am-1pm

Is your camper not quite ready for camp? Or do you want to spend some quality time exploring the trails? This program is for you and will get your camper ready to be apart of our full day program.

Tots, Trees, and Bumblebees
  • Identify types of life in the forest
  • Spend time at the creek
  • Enjoy a nature walk

Preschool Programs: Ages 4-5

Join our compassionate and enthusiastic staff in exploring the outdoors using a variety of hands on and sensory activities. Campers ages four through five will come to learn more about their role in the outdoors while strengthening their motor, social, and observational skills. Ratio 1:6. All classes are $290 unless otherwise noted.

Doodle Bugs- *NEW 
  • Observe natural beauty
  • Track adventures in doodle bug journals
  • Create art from nature materials
Treetop Explorers
  • Explore a forest habitat
  • What makes a tree?
  • Discover a variety of leaves
Salmon Snoopers
  • Learn about the five types of salmon
  • Create a salmon art project
  • Explore the salmon life cycle
Deep Sea Safari
  • Investigate water habitats
  • Learn about animals that live in the sea
  • Create an ocean project
Bug Buddies- *NEW
  • Identify different types of insects
  • Go on a bug hunt
  • Invent your own bug
Out of this world- *NEW
  • Discover what is in the solar system
  • Create your own planet
  • Explore the stars
T-Rex Times- *NEW
  • How tall was a T-Rex?
  • Create a dinosaur
  • Explore geological timeline
Flying Friends- *NEW
  • What is a raptor?
  • Find feathered friends in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy a visit from Bird TLC
Aqua Mania- *NEW
  • Learn the water cycle boogie
  • Explore the creek and salmon life cycle
  • Experience the power of water
Salmon Snoopers – *NEW 
  • Learn about the five types of salmon
  • Create a salmon art project
  • Explore the salmon life cycle
Outdoor Detective
  • Dissect a rotting log and discover it’s mysteries
  • Unlock the secrets held within the forest
  • Unearth Leave No Trace Principles
Flower Power- *NEW
  • Petals, leaves & everything in between
  • Create your own flower!
  • Watch as your knowledge of flower blossoms
Mineral Magic- *NEW
  • Erupt with joy when you make your own volcano
  • Find the rock of your dreams
  • Have a rockin’ time learning about geology
Musical Munchkins- *NEW
  • Explore the sounds of the forests
  • Create your own musical notes
  • Make your own nature instrument

Day Programs: Ages 6-7

Join our enthusiastic instructors in our day programs focusing on environmental concepts including ecology, geology, agriculture, bugs, and outdoor survival skills. Your camper will get the opportunity to take part in hands-on lessons, activities, and games that encourage positive interactions with the outdoors! Campers will spend their time exploring the beautiful trails around the science center, visiting the Campbell Creek, and learning about Alaskan wildlife safety. Every week there will be a walking field trip. Ratio 1:8. All classes are $295 unless otherwise noted.

Outdoor Orchestra- *NEW
  • Appreciate the sounds of nature
  • You’ll be blown away by the world of woodwinds
  • Create your own instrument
  • Band together and perform a masterpiece
Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead
  • Explore components of science, technology, engineering, art, and math
  • Take part on challenging, hands-on activities
  • Use math and science to make an art project
Geology Rocks!
  • Travel in a geological time machine
  • Identify different types of rocks
  • Become best friends with a pet rock
Wind, Water, Weather
  • Learn about the water cycle
  • Explore weather patterns and their impact
  • Create wind chimes
S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L- *NEW
  • Create your own shelter
  • Learn the S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L steps
  • Learn first aid in the wilderness
Feathers, Bones & Beaks- *NEW
  • Discover how birds can fly!
  • Go on a bird hike
  • Make a bird craft
Knock Knock, Whoo Lives Here?- *NEW
  • Dissect an owl pellet
  • How far can owls turn their heads
  • Learn various habitats
Seeds to Fireweed- *NEW
  • Discover what plants need to grow!
  • Learn the flower life cycle
  • Make your own flower
Wildlife Wildin’- *NEW
  • What wildlife are unique to Alaska?
  • Identify parts of animals
  • Explore habitats
Woodland Wizards
  • Identify trees around camp
  • Search high and low for forest creatures
  • Why are trees useful?
Paws & Claws- *NEW
  • Search for signs of wildlife
  • Identify animal tracks
  • What makes a mammal?
Dino Days
  • Identify different types of dinos
  • Become a junior Paleontologist
  • Make your own fossil
Jammin’ with Salmon-*NEW
  • Be apart of a Salmon dissection
  • Learn the salmon cycle
  • Observe salmon in their natural habitat
Birds of a Feather – NEW!
  • Look and listen for birds
  • Basic bird anatomy
  • Where do birds live?

Day Programs: Ages 8-9

Knowledgeable and engaging instructors lead day programs focusing on environmental concepts. Campers will take part in hands-on lessons, activities, and games that explore topics in depth. Groups will spend time on Campbell tract as well as travel off-site to various locations throughout Anchorage and Alaska. Ratio 1:8. All classes are $295 unless otherwise noted. Field Trips will be on Tuesday & Thursdays

Mission: Space
  • Visit a local planetarium
  • Explore our solar system
  • Stars and constellations
Animal Kingdom 
  • Visit the AK Wildlife Conservation Center or Zoo
  • Characteristics of types of animals
  • Animal and human relationships
 Picture Perfect
  • Capture your surroundings
  • Explore types of photography
  • Slideshow presentation at the end of the wee
Farm to Feast- *NEW
  • Visit a local food production site
  • Learn about seeds, soil and compost
  • Map your snack!
Rivers, Lakes & Streams
  • Visit two bodies of water
  • Re-create the water cycle
  • Learn about aquatic animals
Art-venture *NEW
  • Use materials found in nature to create projects
  • Sketch across the Anchorage bowl
  • Create a group masterpiece
Ocean Commotion- *NEW
  • Go with the flow as you learn about current & tides
  • Have an encounter with the ocean
  • Explore environment & ecology
Salmon Scientists- *NEW
  • Visit the Salmon hatchery
  • Dissect a salmon
  • Explore Alaskans use of Salmon

High Adventure: Ages 8-9

Trail Riders I *Bring your own bike
  • Explore the single tracks of Anchorage
  • Learn to fix your own bike
  • Engage in trail safety & etiquette
  • Ride based on skill level with Trail Riders II
Summit Seekers – NEW!
  • Summit local mountains
  • Orienteering, map reading & GPS skills
  • Learn about local geology
Paddle Mania 
  • Water safety instruction
  • Visit a local lake and participate in water activities
  • Try out canoeing, kayaking and/or paddle boarding
Mountain Masters 
  • Advance your shelter building skills
  • Spend a day climbing off-site
  • Learn about survival tools
Intro to Camping (includes 1 overnight)* – -$375
  • Explore low-impact camping
  • Learn about safety in the outdoors
  • Spend one night camping out
Ready, Aim, Fire -$335
  • Shoot a compound and recurve bow
  • Visit Kincaid for target practice
  • Make your own bow

Day Programs: Ages 10-14

Our knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and charismatic instructors are excited for campers to join them as they explore their natural surroundings. Instructors will focus on conveying their knowledge through group activities, games, team building and hands on lessons. Instructional techniques include experiential learning in a natural environment to promote lifelong learning. Every program includes at least one offsite field trip. Ratio 1:8. All classes are $290 unless otherwise noted.

Ages 10 – 12

Arctic Artist
  • Sand art, beading, and leaf collages
  • Create Alaskan clay pottery
  • Explore your artistic side with nature
Behind the Lens- *NEW
  • Learn landscape & macro techniques
  • Practice the rule of thirds
  • Take stellar photos of the great Alaskan outdoors
Glacier Getaway- *NEW
  • Visit a real life glacier
  • Learn the difference between glacier and ice fields
  • Create your own glacier
Space Odyssey
  • Learn why it is important to explore space
  • Field trip to visit the local planetarium
  • Learn about the lifestyle of an astronaut

Ages 12 – 14

We changed our age groups to reflect that older campers have unique characteristics. We encourage parents to self select their child’s maturity. The 12-14 will consist of campers who are ready to build on leadership, adventure and explore their surroundings with new friends. These sessions will be built up on pre set curriculum and camper choice. Every program will include field trips. Ratio 1:8

Lead the Way (Leadership Program) 
  • Team building and leadership development
  • Learn what it takes to become a leader
  • Teach your own lesson
Capture Alaska
  • Learn basic skills of photography
  • Photograph various outdoor locations
  • Present your art
    Arctic Artist
Worlds Away- *NEW
  • What are the possibilities that we are not alone
  • How is earth livable and others aren’t?
  • Create your own solar system.
TDC Chefs- *NEW
  • Discover how to cook in the outdoors
  • Practice different culinary skills
  • Explore Alaskan ingredients
Fundraising – *NEW
  • Use your skills to aid Trailside
  • Organize the TDC Flapjacks and Families Event
  • Camper led!

High Adventure 

Trail Riders I *Bring your own bike – $300
  • Explore the single tracks of Anchorage
  • Learn to fix your own bike
  • Engage in trail safety & etiquette
  • Ride based on skill level with Trail Riders II
Summit Seekers – NEW! – $300
  • Summit local mountains
  • Orienteering, map reading & GPS skills
  • Learn about local geology
Paddle Mania- $335
  • Water safety instruction
  • Visit a local lake and
  • participate in water activities
  • Try out canoeing, kayaking and/or paddle boarding
Mountain Masters – NEW! – $300
  • Advance your shelter building skills
  • Spend a day climbing off-site
  • Learn about survival tools
Intro to Camping (includes 1 overnight)* – NEW! – $355
  • Explore low-impact camping
  • Learn about safety in the outdoors
  • Spend one night camping out
Adventure Overnight (Biking)- NEW- $355
  • Explore low-impact camping
  • Take bikes with you and test out some new trails
  • Spend one night camping out
Xtreme AK -$335
  • Shoot a compound and recurve bow
  • Hit the trails on a bike ride (bring your own or use our Fat Tire Bikes)
  • Go climbing!

Trips

Our introductory trips are designed for campers who are ready to spend extended time away from the walls and windows of everyday life. After two days of checking gear, reviewing equipment, teaming building, wilderness safety, practicing basic skills, and Leave No Trace camping skills, campers head out for a three-day, two-night campout and discover adventure (Wed-Fri trip). Two staff per 12 campers. Trips are $440

Camping & Hiking
  • Learn about low-impact camping
  • Adventure the local surroundings
  • Eklutna Lake Campground
Camping & Paddling
  • Learn water safety
  • Build paddling skills
  • Lower Ohmer Campground

High Adventure 

Trail Riders II *Bring your own bike -$300
  • Learn advanced mountain biking skills
  • Build new levels of confidence on single tracks
  • Ride based on skill level with Trail Riders I
Reach High -$335
  • Learn basic climbing safety techniques
  • Explore indoor & outdoor rock climbing
  • Climb to new heights
Mountain Rangers- $300
  • Hike Alaska’s favorite ranges
  • Complete a navigational challenge
  • Learn about survival in the wilderness
Fat Tire Bike *fat tire bikes provided -$300
  • Explore trails on a 9:zero:7 fat tire bike
  • Build up confidence
  • Learn uses for fat tire bikes
Explorers: Water -$335
  • Stand-up paddle board, kayak, and canoe!
  • Learn paddling skills for various different boats
  • Practice water safety & outdoor adventure spirit
Explorers: Earth -$315
  • Fat Tire Bike (we provide), hike, and explore!
  • Learn navigational skills
  • Practice safety skills & outdoor adventure spirit
Explorers: Air -$315
  • Go climbing indoors & outdoors
  • Build some rocket launchers
  • Learn elements of safety while climbing
Explorers: Fire-$335
  • Learn archery safety
  • Learn how to build a fire
  • Shoot a recurve and compound bow
Fish On -$335
  • Fish at local fishing areas
  • Learn and master knots used by Alaskan fisherman
  • Gain the knowledge and skills it takes to catch a fish
Adventure Overnight- NEW- $350
  • Want to try out a 1 or 2 night overnight!
  • Learn about camping and survival skills
  • Spend one night camping out at various locations
Fossils and Fishing- Week of June 29th. – $490 
Tuesday & Weds Overnight arriving back late Thursday.
  • Head to homer to go on a Halibut Charter
  • While your not fishing check out the cool coves
  • Go on a fossil hunt

Trips 

These trips are designed for campers to expand their backcountry camping skills. After two days of team building, practicing skills, and preparing gear, campers head out for a three-day, two night wilderness trip. They return for pick up on Friday afternoon (Wed-Fri trip). Two staff per 12 campers. Trips are $440

Marine Encounter
  • Explore tide pools and pebble beaches
  • Become one with the tides
  • Explore the area around Caines Head
Backpacking
  • Trekking in the Chugach National Forest
  • Explore segment of Iditarod
  • National Historic Trail
  • Lost Lake Trail
Swan Lake Canoe
  • Learn water safety
  • Swan Lake excursion
  • Paddling and portaging skills
Kayak Trip
  • Refine paddling skills
  • Navigating on lakes
  • Explore Hidden Lake

High Adventure

Trail Riders III *Bring your own bike – $300
  • Learn advanced mountain biking skills
  • Build new levels of confidence on single tracks
  • Ride based on skill level with Trail Riders II
Climbing High -$335
  • Next level climbing safety techniques
  • Explore indoor & outdoor rock climbing
  • Climb to new heights
Peak Baggers -$300
  • Discuss Alaskan mountain ranges
  • Mountain geography and ecology
  • Explore mountains in the Chugach
Fat Tire Bike *fat tire bikes provided -$300
  • Explore trails on a 9:zero:7 fat tire bike
  • Build up confidence
  • Learn uses for fat tire bikes
Reel Aqua- $335
  • Get out boating and test your skills
  • Fishing techniques and strategies
  • Check out Campbell Creek and their salmon
Venture Bound: Water -$335
  • Stand-up paddle board, kayak, and canoe!
  • Learn paddling skills for various different boats
  • Practice water safety & outdoor adventure spirit
Venture Bound: Earth -$315
  • Fat Tire Bike (we provide), hike, and explore!
  • Learn navigational skills
  • Make your own choice on what to do!
Venture Bound: Air -$315
  • Go climbing indoors & outdoors
  • Build some rocket launchers
  • Group decision on adventures!
Venture Bound: Fire-$335
  • Learn archery safety
  • Learn how to build a fire
  • Shoot a recurve and compound bow
Fossils and Fishing- Week of June 29th. – $490
Tuesday & Weds Overnight arriving back late Thursday.
  • Head to homer to go on a halibut charter
  • While your not fishing check out the cool coves
  • Go on a fossil hunt

Trips

Longer trips for teens combine backcountry skills with natural history as campers further develop their outdoor skills. After one day in camp practicing skills and preparing gear, campers leave on Tuesday morning and do not return until Friday afternoon. Trips are designed for campers with prior experience. Two staff per 10-12 campers. All trips are $490

Canoe Trip
  • Master paddling and portaging skills
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Location TBD
Backpacking
  • Learn the art of packing
  • Trek around the Alaska range
  • Learn outdoor survival skills
Climbing
  • Passionate climbers!
  • Hike Hatchers Pass and explore the climbing adventures
  • Leadership development
Kayak Trip
  • Master paddling skills
  • Birds and marine mammals included
  • Investigate tidal treasures
Fishing Trip
  • Master fishing basics
  • Camping skills
  • Explore Alaska fishing spots
Teacher Naturalist in Training ( Ages 14-16)

This program was designed to be an educational leadership program for mature campers who are interested in working in Environmental Education or related fields.
During the Teen Naturalist in Training (or T.N.T.) program, campers will learn about the roles and responsibilities of an environmental instructor, behavior management, lesson planning and instruction, and developmentally appropriate practices. They will also put these skills into practice by leading games and lessons throughout the week with children ages four through seven. Campers are then given the opportunity to continue to hone skills by returning for subsequent weeks of volunteering to work with campers.

Don't Forget Our Quest Trips

Longer hiking and camping trips to get your young explorer out into the world. Quest trips are available for campers age 8- 14.

Find your trip!

Scholarships are Available!

At Trailside Discovery Camp we believe every camper should have the opportunity to learn and engage with the outdoors no matter their economic status.