Outdoor Explorers Summer Camp 2020

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Outdoor Explorers is Discovery Southeast’s summer day camp. Camp is outside every day at Juneau’s many parks and trails, with much of our time spent in the Tongass National Forest.  We use our open format to allow for inquiry-based learning and plenty of unstructured time, with activities emphasizing local natural sciences. 

This year, in light of Covid-19, we have made a few adjustments and will be beginning our summer at a much slower pace, as explained in a blog post here. We will be opening registration for just 2 weeks for now, with shorter days, smaller groups, and no shared transportation. The first two weeks are open to only 4th-6th graders, as we figure out how to adapt to new requirements for social distancing. 

Please review the details, participant agreement, cancellation policy, and specific changes required for the pandemic in the “Description” tab below.  Some highlights:

  • No more than 1 week per child at this time.
  • We plan to split groups into smaller sub-groups of generally 4-6 kids.
  • Grades listed are the grades the child is going into this fall, for now just 4th-6th. 
  • For the first week or two, camp will be from 9 AM-1 PM, and we may extend the days later. We believe that the transition to being with others will be challenging for both staff and kids, and would like to ease into it. 
  • Regular tuition is $240, but if that isn’t appropriate for your family, you can name your own price. If you’re enrolling multiple children list the price per child, the internet will do that math.
    *This year we’ll ask anyone paying $150 or less to apply for the city-wide scholarship funds, linked below.
  • After registering you’ll need to complete both our Participant Agreement and a special acknowledgment pertaining to the pandemic, which are linked below.
  • If a week is full (”out of stock”) sign up for our waitlist ASAP. If a child cancels or we are able to open additional slots, we will pull from the waitlist. 



June 1st-5th 9 am- 1 pm (grades 4th-6th) In the spirit of starting small and slow, we will only have 10 spots available and camp will be held in rotating Valley locations such as Dredge lakes and the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation area. We will let registered families know the exact details of where to be dropped off each day.  Instead of focusing on a theme, camp will have more open exploration than normal as we learn how to balance our traditional activities with precautions for the pandemic. Activities may include: short hikes, games, art, and exploration based on curiosity. We will support campers with an emphasis on social-emotional learning and will remain flexible based on the needs of the group.

June 8th-12th 9 am- 1 pm (grades 4th-6th)This week will again emphasize open exploration with similar activities as the prior week. We’ll have two camps, one using rotating Valley locations and the other using Downtown/Douglas locations such as outer point trail, sandy beach, and basin road. 



Category: SKU: N/A


Discovery Southeast’s Outdoor Explorers summer camp focuses on outdoor exploration and hands-on learning in the many incredible forests and beaches of Juneau. Small groups of 4 to 12 children will spend the day discovering, playing, and reconnecting with each other and our natural surroundings. Groups will meet directly at the trailhead of the day and will carry all they need in their backpacks. Instead of a weekly theme, each week will be catered to the curiosities of the small groups. 

Our camp is making adjustments to the structure of our camp in response to the current pandemic. We expect to continue to adjust as the summer progresses and will update this page as we go. 

What should my child bring? 

  • In a daypack: Please pack a sack lunch, water, and a snack.
  • Please come to camp wearing a well-fitting, comfortable face mask.
  • Clothes for the weather… usually rain gear, boots, warm layers, and a change of clothes. *If these are hard to come by, just let us know; we may have clothing to loan or give.

How does tuition work?

Full tuition is $240 per week.  However, we proudly offer sliding-scale tuition.  If full tuition is not appropriate for your family right now, simply enter the amount you’d like to pay, per child. 

While tuition is lower than last summer, the price is higher per hour since current camps are half-day. We apologize. It reflects higher staffing costs associated with the pandemic.  We want your family’s participation and encourage you to list a lower price if the full price isn’t appropriate for you.

We ask that anyone paying less than $150 per week apply for the city-wide summer scholarships form here.  If the city-wide scholarship is awarded, we’ll expect some of it to be used for Outdoor Explorers camp.  If a family does not qualify for a city-wide scholarship, we’ll ask that families pay at least $100 per week for camp, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Please fill out the CBJ scholarship form within a week of registering.

Is there transportation? 

This year families are responsible for dropping off and picking up their child at the day’s trailhead.  If getting to or from the daily drop off location is a challenge for your family, please reach out to us by phone 463-1500 or email info@discoverysoutheast.org.

What’s the paperwork?

After registering we have some important paperwork that includes Medical Information, Risk Acknowledgement, and Legal Waivers:

(If you’d like to preview either form, you’re welcome to download a review pdf of the Participant Agreement, and a review pdf of the Pandemic Addendum.)

Registration is voluntary, so if you don’t agree with the terms there, please don’t register, and instead let us know at info@discoverysoutheast.org.

Can I cancel?

  • If you cancel more than 10 days in advance, there’s a $25 cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel 10 or fewer days in advance, a refund is only possible if we can fill your spot, and if so there’s still the $25 cancellation fee.
  • If you don’t submit a completed Participant Agreement within 10 days of the camp, or if a child is not allowed to participate due to behavior reasons, that is considered a cancellation 10 or fewer days in advance.
  • If your cancellation is due to a participant or household member experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, you can opt to be rescheduled for a later week of camp in lieu of a refund. 

What is Discovery doing for the coronavirus pandemic?

For details on our pandemic precautions, you are welcome to read our blog post summarizing some considerations here. You can also review our protocols here

As described above, we expect to have smaller groups this summer than in the past.  We also will be minimizing supplies to avoid touching similar items, minimizing or totally avoiding group transportation, and supporting social distancing and mask-wearing. Campers will regularly be expected to wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth. Campers are expected to stay 6 ft apart from others outside their household during the whole day, and we will help them learn what 6 feet looks like. 

Those with symptoms of COVID-19, or living with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, will not be able to take part in camp. Upon arrival to camp each day, we will conduct a health screening of each participant. We will take or ask you for the participant’s temperature (we hope to have access to accurate, no-touch thermometers) as well as ask about any COVID-19 symptoms. We expect parents and children to answer these questions on a daily basis and let us know if anyone in their household that develops symptoms of COVID-19. 

If the participant or anyone in their household has traveled, we expect the participant to have completed Alaska’s 14-day quarantine before camp begins.  We will be reliant on you and your family for your open communication about these things to keep our camps running.  

 For the safety of our staff and other participants, we ask that you cover your face at drop off and pick up and maintain at least 6 ft from anyone outside of your household. 

What’s expected of my child in camp?

Campers are expected to follow directions from the adult leaders in order to keep them and the group safe. Any camper unable to follow safety directions, especially with regard to our pandemic protocols may be asked to be picked up, stay home the next day, or to not return to camp. 

Outdoor Explorers summer camp is possible thanks to a community of support.