Youth Trips


Isuma Guideworks has been leading youth groups including Scout Troops, Home School Clubs, and inner city at-risk youth since its founding in 1988. Randy Keller was also co-facilitator for a pioneer wilderness program designed by Isuma Guideworks for working with insulin dependant diabetic teens with a research study approved by the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.

Many of Isuma’s youth group trips originate through an adult who knows of the strong reputation of Isuma Guideworks and who wants their child and his or her friends to participate in one of Randy Keller’s guided adventure experiences. All of our listed trips are suitable for youth groups and young adults.

Our Philosophy Guiding Youth Adventures

In the northern interior of Alaska, the traditional Koyukon people still tell stories of Distant Time, when animals lived as a part of human society. Like the allegorical tales we tell on trips, these narratives point to Ilitqusiat, a proper code of behavior toward the world and its inhabitants. An underlying theme for these trips is the application of Ilitqusiat, this honor code we live by, as it applies to Inuuiatiq, the activities we do in order to live. In a society largely lacking a relevant rite-of-passage experience for young adults, these are rich questions to be examined as they prepare to move forward into the larger world.

River viiewA true wilderness experience, we believe….offers a unique opportunity to safely allow youth to experience this inner and outer journey simultaneously. While experiencing the newness and excitement of the external adventure, old personal viewpoints and paradigms that do not serve the health and balance of the individual are put to the test. Everyone is challenged to reach beyond the limitations imposed by their current beliefs about the nature of their life and to grapple with issues in new ways. The ways in which they may “sell themselves short” are set in contrast to the vast possibilities the life offers them for fulfillment. Self contained with backpacks, rafts, or both, we explore the wilderness surrounding us as we simultaneously explore new ways of viewing ourselves, others, and the challenges that face us daily. Pitching our tents, moving into the wilderness rather than through it, we can leave civilization behind and learn to be responsible for ourselves in the wilds.

Learning to kayakWe know all journeys are multifaceted. What we learn—about others and ourselves—has implications and applications, outside the immediate environment of the trip itself. We’ll examine the parallels of our experience during the trip and its reflection of our physical journey through daily life. With the sharing of our stories we can open ourselves to new insights and a fresh perspective—and have fun in the process!

Through observation of nature, hiking, wilderness survival instruction, and group celebration we’ll help fulfill our basic yearning as conscious beings for connectedness—to nature—to life.

In addition to being immersed in nature, a large part of the enjoyment that springs from these trips are the interaction and connection we—as individuals, as a group—develop amongst ourselves.

Tents in campAll of our listed trips are suitable for youth groups and young adults.

Join us for an exhilarating trip into the wild, where the unique mix of nature, community, and integrative intention allows magical things to happen.

“Sated with dinner, rested from our layover day in camp, hearts opened wide tonight in council. The experiences shared were real and relevant and meaningful—some provoking laughter that reduced us all to tears, while others, acknowledging their sense of isolation and alienation, wring tears from my heart as the storyteller freely sobbed. Marc’s eyes caught mine across the fire and I know we were both touched—no, much more than that—honored, the moment all the more poignant in the knowledge that we are deep witness to a side of these young adults that their parents rarely see through the fog of adolescence.” – Journal entry from a Youth Group Trip, Randy Keller