Course Descriptions


Outdoor Leadership

(for students ages 14 to 18*)

This 8-day course seeks to jumpstart students’ lifelong engagement with nature, stewardship, and the outdoors. Students will be canoe camping and/or backpacking on these service expeditions in the North Cascades. Students gain strong foundations in outdoor skills, leadership, and natural history, along with completing hands-on stewardship activities including caring for public lands and field science projects.

*Students must be 14-18 years old as of June 1, 2016

    • Offered June 28-July 5, and August 9-16, 2016 (six courses offered; 9-10 students per trip)
    • Backpacking and/or canoe camping
    • Leadership and public speaking skills
    • Hands-on service projects
    • Explore and learn about the North Cascades wilderness
    • Community building and communication skills
    • Culminating presentations to youth and adults
    • Students earn 15+ community service hours



Science and Sustainability

(for students ages 16 to 18*)

This 8-day long backpacking and/or canoe camping field expedition connects students to the natural world while giving them the knowledge and skills to understand and explore ecosystem processes and how they relate to our changing climate. Outdoor leadership, public speaking skills, hands-on field science, and stewardship work provide students the confidence and knowledge to share their stories during a culminating presentation at the end of their course.

 *Students must be 16-18 years old as of June 1, 2016

    • Offered July 19-26 and August 9-16, 2016 (three courses offered; 8-10 students per trip)
    • Backpacking and/or canoe camping and hiking
    • Ecology, geology, and climate science
    • Hands-on field science and stewardship
    • Leadership and public speaking skills
    • Sustainability practices that translate to home communities
    • Culminating presentations to youth and adults
    • Students may receive community service hours, depending on course itinerary


Questions? Please see our FAQ page or contact North Cascades Institute at (360) 854-2579 or .

Youth Leadership Ambassadors

New program for high school students in Skagit & Whatcom counties interested in adventuring outside & earning service hours! Learn more »

Apply here! Deadline to apply is November 15. For more information, contact Taylor Ulrich at or (360) 854-2581.

North Cascades on Instagram



Youth Leadership Adventures is a program that opens up a whole new perspective on the way we view nature, a program that Flor-Hernandeztests your limits while still creating a strong community for support and trust."

-- Flor Hernandez, 2014 Participant

Field Guide to North Cascades Institute