Ageya Wilderness Center


As part of AWE Camp, some of the exciting activities include:

  • Staying at the Kasitsna Bay Biology Lab operated by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) while participating in two days of tide pool and marine life studies using high powered microscopes in the wet lab. Kasitsna Bay is across Kachemak Bay from Homer.
  • Visiting a local set net site and a mussel and oyster farm.
  • Touring the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and participating in one of their Discovery lab classes and talking with local scientists about their current ongoing research.
  • Checking out the Pratt Museum with its interactive natural history.
  • Working with marine biologists and naturalists studying tide pools and marine life with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
  • Enjoying the Homer High School pool or gym along with the sports fields at the camp for daily recreational opportunities.
  • Learning traditional boat building methods from a Master boat builder, to build a 30-foot Umiak, a Bidarka, and paddles.
  • Camping for a week exploring Kachemak Bay in kayaks and paddling the Umiak.
  • Working with Alaska State Park enhancing trails and adding to the park’s visitor facilities.

Team Building

Students will start the camp with a two-day Team Building workshop. Emphasis will be on getting to know each other through fun, team building exercises. Activities are designed to increase each participant’s knowledge of their learning style and how they tend to interact with others while encouraging the development of trust and friendship amongst camp participants. Students will learn techniques for developing more effective Team Building and communication skills including how to establish agreements, set clear boundaries, and deal with situations to resolve conflicts. Throughout the rest of the camp, students will continue to develop leadership skills, identify future life experiences they would like to have and set goals. Students will work with a coach throughout their ninth grade year. The coaches will provide individual monthly phone coaching sessions to each student to support them in continuing to pursue their personal goals.

Traditional Boat Building

Participants will be working with a Master boat builder to build an Umiak, paddles, and kayaks utilizing traditional boat building methods.

Natural History Study

Participants will develop the skills to utilize the field guides and natural history resources in seven different natural history subject areas. Students will participate in activities that will teach them more about marine biology, plants, animals/tracking, fish, birds, weather and tides. Emphasis will be on developing good observation skills and becoming familiar with each of the natural history areas through fun, hands-on, interactive activities.

Recreational Activities- Pool/Sports Field

Students will have the opportunity to swim in the Homer High School Pool. The camp has three sports fields for playing whole group games such as volleyball, soccer and Capture the Flag.

Kayak Trip

The sea kayak provides a special means of entering and exploring coastal environments. With its silent maneuverability, the kayak provides the opportunity to closely observe sea otters, seals, sea lions, many types of sea birds, and sometimes porpoises and whales. Kachemak Bay provides the ideal setting for a kayak adventure. Bordered by the small fishing towns of Homer and Seldovia, it serves as one of South-central Alaska’s main recreational areas. Marine and wildlife abound and make it a rich and unique environment to explore. Swiss Alp-like mountains, glaciers, lush hemlock and spruce forests and a 4 ½ mile long spit of land that stretches into the bay combine to provide for a special and scenic setting in which to kayak. Students will be paddling some of the kayaks that they have built as well as other Ageya commercial sea kayaks on a seven-day camping trip. Participants will travel in groups of eight students with two instructors to minimize impact and provide for higher safety standards. Kayakers will receive pre-trip safety training in a pool environment, learning and practicing kayak safety skills before their paddle trip in Kachemak Bay. Emphasis will be on learning paddle skills and techniques for handling varying paddle conditions while using tide books, nautical and topographic maps for determining trip routes to safely explore the Kachemak Bay area.

Traveling in the Umiak and Community Service

Students will be using the Umiak during this portion of their 7-day camping experience paddling to the different trail areas. Students will have an opportunity to perform community service work completing some service project in the area.