For Parents, Educators and Sponsors

Do you know a teen looking for a unique opportunity this summer? Something that can help them develop socially and emotionally? Give them a challenge and allow them to get to know themselves? Something more than a summer camp?  Is your teen interested in the outdoors and outdoor activities?

The Matanuska Outdoor Institute strives to inspire personal growth, a deeper connection with the outdoors, and authentic experiences.  MOI commits to exceptional support and high quality individually focused learning.

Things to know about our program:

Who we are

Our instructors are outdoor professionals as well as educators, so we are able to provide not just experiential opportunities to our participants, but are able to effectively teach the outdoor skills necessary for success

In addition to our team of professional educators, MOI is backed, trained and operated under the guidance of the outdoor professionals of MICA Guides. For over 20 years, MICA Guides has helped thousands of visitors explore and challenge themselves with zero major injuries or incidents.

Where we are

Our off-grid campus and surroundings at the headwaters of the Matanuska River provide us with an ideal setting for Place Based Education.   Our location provides a classroom filled with challenges and opportunities for teens to put aside modern devices and tools, participate in building camp, navigate the backcountry, cross rivers and glaciers, climb rock and ice, cook for a group, prepare meals for their new community, assess outdoor problems on their own and make decisions with their team.  

What we do

We use adventures such as hiking, ice climbing on a glacier, backcountry navigation and river crossings to not only learn skills but to develop confidence, self-reliance, teamwork and communication skills.

How we teach

We believe that nature is the ultimate teacher. It provides the perfect classroom filled with natural challenges and natural rewards. At MOI students will learn from the mountains, rivers, and glaciers that surround our campus to build a deeper connection with the outdoors. 

Our instructors value the power of the group and leverage restorative practices during our classes and meetings to create a strong community where everyone feels valued and can take risks in a supportive environment.

How we live

Our Base Camp overlooking the glacier provides the basics of shelter, food and some comforts to learn and work together.  Each team of students is able to contribute to improving the camp for their own comfort and that of future classes.  

Building and cooking with fire, hauling water, setting up shelters and planning meals together are key elements of the day to day learning opportunities.  

What it costs

Thanks to support from MICA Guides, we are able to keep tuition affordable with most courses averaging $50/day.

While this tuition may simply be paid by students or parents, as part of the overall learning goals of our program, we encourage students to earn their tuition through their efforts. Students may seek sponsors, organize a fund raiser or simply work

MOI is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.  

About Risk

MOI Instructors provide opportunities for risk taking in order for youth to develop resilience, leadership skills, and competence in the outdoors. We put students in these supported yet vulnerable educational situations while participating in our adventures.

Our goal is for a student to leave our program feeling more confident and capable.

More about Risk.

Like what you see so far?

Learn more about our philosophy and who we’re looking for:

Quick Facts

Intro to Adventure Course Dates

Course 1: June 23 – July 2

Course 2: July 7 – July 16

Course 3: July 21 – July 30

Short Course Dates

Courses start weekly. Click here for details.

Location and Transportation

Courses start and end in Anchorage, AK. We provide transportation between the city and our Base Camp in Glacier View.


Tuition for our courses averages $50/day. More details here.

Age Requirements

Intro to Adventure: 16-18 years.

Short Courses ages may vary, typically 13-18 years.

For the Intro to Adventure, Please read our complete Eligibility Requirements.

What you will learn

Our philosophy of being capable revolves around the knowledge and skills that are gained outside.  Learn

Who we are

Professional educators, outdoor leaders and guides with a passion for building community, competence and capabilities. About Us