The Tahoe Rim Trail Association offers something for everyone, including exciting educational adventures for youth and teens. Whether it's during the height of the Tahoe wildflower season or the crisp, calm of winter, the TRTA provides hands- on, experiential learning opportunities designed to connect youth to the beauty and natural history of the Tahoe Basin. From summer Youth Backcountry Camps to year-round Trailside Education programs for schools, scouts and other youth groups, the TRTA has something for all kids to enjoy.
Trailside Education Programs give you the opportunity to immerse your students in the beauty and natural history of the Tahoe Basin. Join us for an educational day hike along the Tahoe Rim Trail or invite our knowledgeable educators to your school for a classroom presentation.
All programs are aligned with California and Nevada State Academic Standards. Hikes can take place anywhere around the lake on the Tahoe Rim Trail with lengths ranging anywhere from a morning to an afternoon. Depending on the age group, programs are a mix of experiential and nature-based activities. Please review our Teacher Packet for more information on coordinating a Trailside Education program with the TRTA.
Wilderness Skills and Survival (September-May, school yard option) (For grades 4-8)
The Northern Sierra can be a harsh landscape with temperature extremes, dynamic weather and rugged terrain that test the survival skills of its inhabitants. This class introduces students to the fundamentals of outdoor survival, including: navigation, staying warm, getting found and outdoor leadership. Through activities and discussions, students will be more prepared to tackle their outdoor adventures safely and competently. In the winter, this program is completed on snowshoes.
Plants and Animals of the Tahoe Basin (September-May, classroom option) (Grades 2-6)
This program is designed to allow young people to use their senses to develop an awareness of the animals and plants that make their home in the Tahoe Basin. Participants will explore an alpine ecosystem and develop a better understanding of what plants and animals need to survive. As we explore Tahoe's web of life, we see how wildfires, human activity and biodiversity impact the health of Tahoe's various ecosystems.In the winter, this program is completed on snowshoes.
Tahoe Rim Trail Time Machine (May – October, on-trail only) (Grades 4-8)
The Tahoe Rim Trail serves as the time machine for this program. As we travel the trail, TRTA staff take participants back in time and into the future. Lessons are learned from the landscape, and the group will follow in the footsteps of the Washoe, explorers and settlers. Young people will reflect upon how the Tahoe Basin’s natural, human and cultural history have influenced the activities in the region over time, as well as consider what the future holds for the Tahoe Basin. Travel back in time and back to the future on the TRT!
Leave No Trace - No Trace in My Space (September-May, Classroom Option) (Grades 4-8)
It’s easy for young people to find reasons to take care of the Lake Tahoe Basin once they’ve experienced the pleasure of hiking through its beautiful forests. Harnessing the power of that feeling and further educating them on how to reduce their environmental impacts develops more dedicated and skilled environmental stewards in the area. In this class, participants will be introduced to the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, learn ways of reducing their environmental impact while recreating outdoors, and think about why it’s important to make responsible decisions when participating in outdoor activities.
Winter Snowshoe Programs: The TRTA has youth-sized snowshoes available for use by youth and school groups. However, we do ask that adults bring their own. For more information on rentals contact the TRTA.
Youth Backcountry Camps
Each summer the Tahoe Rim Trail Association partners with Tahoe Institute for Natural Science(TINS) and The American Red Cross to offer Youth Backcountry Camps to junior high and high school students. In the same spirit of our guided hikes for adults, Youth Backcountry Camps provide an opportunity for youth to get outdoors with their peers to discover and experience firsthand the beauty of the Lake Tahoe region. These camps are designed for youth with little or no experience living, working and traveling in the backcountry, or for those who want a fun service-learning trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Have questions about Youth Backcountry Camps? Check our FAQ's page!
Topics taught in Youth Backcountry Camps include:
• Navigation with map and compass
• Backcountry living skills
• Wilderness survival skills
• Local ecology and geology
• Outdoor leadership and team building
• Personal reflection and development
• Trail construction and maintenance
• Leave No Trace wilderness ethics
Participants can expect tohike between 2 and 9 miles per day. Camps are limited to 10 - 12 participants per session. The programs are fully supported by well-trained TRTA and TINS staff, and all food, camping gear, permits and transportation to and from the trailheads are provided.Participants only need to provide shoes, clothes, and a passion for the outdoors!
2013 Youth Backcountry Camp Sessions:
Session 1: YBCC - June 29 - July 1 -$225
Session 2: YBCC - Wilderness First Aid (WFA) July 6 - 10 -$335
Session 3: YBCC -July 20-22 -$335 Learn More
Session 4: YBCC - Wilderness First Aid (WFA)July 27-31 -$395 Learn More
Scholarships (in full or partial) are available on a need basis.Please read, fill out and return the scholarship application to receive funding for one of our YBCCs.
Youth Backcountry Camps present the perfect opportunity for a group backpacking experience in the Tahoe backcountry.If you have a group of teens and are interested in reserving a YBCC Private Session for the summer of 2014, please contact the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for more information.The TRTA can tailor a program to your group's interests and provide prepatory information (like gear lists, when to make travel plans, what to expect from your experience, YBCC Coordinator Packet) to help plan the logistics for your YBCC Private Session. Youth Backcountry Camps can accomodate up to 12 participants (including chaperones) and contracted programs are limited to the month of June. If you are interested in coordiating a YBCC trip for your teen group, please contact Mikenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775)298-4493.