Yukon Explorer: Climate Change Education and Outdoor Youth Leadership Course


“Climate Change will define our idea of leadership not leadership will define our idea of climate change” 

-Jeff Willis (founder of Fireside Adventures)

Yukon Explorer youth leadership camp

Climate change will fundamentally reshape everything in our present lives and the lives of future generations in all aspects, no matter how much we believe it won’t.

Many years ago, it was said how leadership would define present and future generations in making the world a more peaceful place. The concept and empowerment of leadership is incredibly important. However, we believe Climate Change is fundamentally forcing the world to rethink the leadership paradigm.

At Fireside, we’ve created an environmental and expedition style leadership course built upon the three key leadership landmarks.

  1. Provide youth with practical knowledge and direction to address Climate Change.

  2. Provide adaptable and relevant outdoor leadership skill training.

  3. Provide immersive outdoor adventures into life shaping experiences within a unique area impacted by Climate Change.

Program Details

Date: August 11-24th, 2019
Rate: $2889.00 CDN plus 5% tax
Ages: 13 to 17 (Co-ed)

Deposit: $650.00 (required to secure registration) per registration.

Includes:  24/7 instruction & support, pre-expedition check-in, food, tent accommodation, t-shirt, group camping gear, and canoes during the trip. Does not include flight and fishing license. Ask us about our special Air North rate!

Yukon Explorer is an excellent opportunity to travel, explore, connect and discover the Yukon through a completely different and unique perspective.

(Printable Packing List - PDF)
** Note: please adjust clothing quantities according to length of trip.

It's a Life Changing Experience

Yukon Explorer is a 14-day training course where youth paddle the Yukon River (408km) as they develop their outdoor leadership skills and Climate Change awareness. Youth will engage in relevant knowledge based training that is action oriented and adaptable for an ever-changing world. Youth are supported supported by inspiring environmental educators and leader

We believe in order to understand Climate Change, people learn best if they have a stronger relationship with nature, oneself and others. We also believe youth truly need to develop a pertinent range of life and leadership skills to understand how much they are interconnected and woven with our shared natural world.

Climate Change leadership and education is a reflection of truths of countless scientific studies, implementation of new laws, shifting political landscape, endless media sound bites and everyday conversations. In many ways, Climate Change can feel extraordinarily overwhelming and a sense of hopelessness. We see it as an opportunity to adapt and to have more intrinsic understanding of our planet.  

Yukon Explorer teaches the skills of adaptation, advocacy, assertiveness and designing thinking as we paddle down the incredible Yukon River (Carmacks to Dawson City). This stretch of the river is pure ecological nirvana from the abundance of wildlife, geological uniqueness, historical significances; the diversity of people and the first hand look in how climate change is already impacting the Yukon.

Core explorer youth leadership elements
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Highlights of Yukon Explorer:

  • Connections with Canadian and international youth, languages and cultures
  • Participating in climate change education and environmental leadership.
  • Wildlife - view eagles and moose, while listening to the wolves’ cry!
  • Connecting with like-minded youth who are interested in learning more about the ever-changing natural world.
  • Introduction and outdoor skills training for Yukon river canoe paddling, backcountry camping and leadership expeditions.
  • Canoeing through the Yukon’s incredible ecosystems and geological wonders.
  • Climate change expressive arts installation.
  • Visiting Yukon’s known and newfound places of significance, including historical old frontier cabins, RCMP outposts and more.
  • A fully supervised canoe trip down the Yukon River, travelling at 8-12km an hour and winding through hundreds of river islands.
  • Opportunities to witness the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)!
  • Visit historic Fort Selkirk and connect with Fort Selkirk First Nations.
  • Amazing fresh air!

"We as Canadians are stewards of about a third of the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps, so this is our responsibility"

-Glaciologist Gwenn Flowers

It's a Life Changing Experience

About Our Position On Climate Change and Leadership Training

BC youth leadership highlights

Canada is a very rich country in terms of flora and fauna diversity, abundance of water, massive landscapes and its importance for the preservation of the environment on a global level is truly enormous. Sadly, Canada has been feeling the consequences of climate change and in particular the Yukon Territory. 

Yukon Explorer is an opportunity for youth to learn, adapt and grow as self propelled leaders. Youth and their leadership skill sets play a huge role as their voice and opinion matter not just in the near future but now.

“Every time we have discussions with our people at ground level at home and in the communities, the elders are always telling us all the time, you have to pass this message on and teach the young people. Make sure that they’re aware of changes that are going to come,”  

-Norma Kassi (Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research )

Fireside Adventures strives to bring valuable and meaningful environmental awareness and outdoor skills training to all of our youth outdoor leadership participants. Our consistent approach, facilitated by our skilled instructors, encourages thoughtful discussion, positive self-reflection and solution focused approaches.  

We will be travelling through the traditional and ancestral lands of Kwanlin Dun, Little Salmon Carmack, Selkirk and Tr’ondëk Hwëch'in First Nations. For us at Fireside, these are some of the most beautiful and sacred places which we are incredibly grateful to travel as visitors.

It's a Life Changing Experience


Regardless of a participant’s level of comfort and outdoor skills, it is safer to travel in a group and it is much safer to have an experienced instructor supporting them. Our team always prioritizes planning, preparing, and, most importantly, teaching participants how to be safe in the wilderness.


A well-nourished body makes a significant impact on a person’s experience in times of physical and/or mental exertion. Participants will learn how to pack and prepare healthy and holistic meals in our camp kitchens, suited for all diets.

Fitness Capacities

If you are concerned about yours or your child’s physical readiness to attend one of our Fireside camps/expeditions, please contact us directly. We modify our experiences based on participants' abilities and capacities. Relax and let us work together to make an informed and shared decision.

Climate Change

We do our best to understand the present and future impacts of climate change. We provide thoughtful discussions and rationale of why we all must do our best to minimize our carbon use including ways to reduce food waste, non-recyclable materials and more. We take public transit or walk as much as possible, and respect nature by reducing our ecological footprints.

Indigenous People

We acknowledge that we are visitors of the traditional lands of Indigenous People. We ask permission to visit and explore their lands while also inviting local First Nations to participate in our camps, share their knowledge and provide a space to collaborate. Fireside Adventures recognizes the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Small Group Focused & Mobile

We purposely place restrictions on group size (minimum 8 and maximum 15) of participants as believe less means more for an enriched and meaningful experience for each participant. We are not defined by one permanent location as we are rooted in the belief that adventure and learning come from exploring the lands and water around us.

Place and Inquiry Based

All of our selected locations for our camps and expeditions are purposely chosen to provide a platform for inquiry and experiential learning, to learn through the natural world and its significance in relation to culture, geography, history, people and environment.

Social and Emotional Learning

We create a safe place so participants can develop and enhance their resiliency, independence and self-efficacy. We weave learning opportunities throughout our programs for participants to improve the skills necessary to manage and understand their emotions and their relationships.


We are inclusive of all genders, races, cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and capacities. Those who arrive on the first day of the camp/expedition are important characters of the shared experienced that is to begin. It is a privilege to be the characters in each others stories and experiences, not our right.

Yukon Facts & What to Wear

The name “Yukon” originated from the Locheux native word "Yuk-un-ah," meaning "Great River," referring to the Yukon River that flows across the territory into Alaska.

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Tentative Trip Plan

Coming Soon!

It's a Life Changing Experience