Summer Outdoor Program

A student kayaking in white water
Three students climbing a rocky surface

Your Summer Outdoor Adventure Starts Here

Sun Valley Community Summer Outdoor Programs offer an ideal opportunity to challenge your limits, learn new skills, and explore the beauty and variety of the Idaho wilderness. All courses are open to the public unless otherwise noted in the detailed description.

2019 Summer Program planning is currently underway. Please check back for updates.

Camps and Courses

Learn to Kayak - Two age groups, 12-14 and 15-18

White Otter Outdoor Adventures invites you to spend four days learning to whitewater kayak safely and competently on Idaho's Salmon River. American Canoe Association certified White Water Instructor and Swift Boat Technician, Elliot Jacobs, and the staff at White Otter Outfitters lead this exciting trip. We'll meet at 8 a.m. on the first day of camp at Community School in Sun Valley and then drive north to White Otter Headquarters in Sunbeam, Idaho, on the Salmon River. We'll spend the next four days and three nights learning the skill and art of whitewater kayaking. The class will camp together at Sunbeam. We will return to the Community School by 6pm on the last day of Camp. No experience necessary. Enrollment limited to 12 in each camp.

  • Dates: Ages 15-18, Wednesday-Saturday, July 18-21
  • Dates: Ages 12-14, Monday-Thursday, July 23-26 (This camp is full, wait list only)
  • $550 (includes all boating equipment, food, transportation, instruction and supervision)
  • $500 (if you provide your own boating equipment)

Rock Craft

Learn rock craft from the pros. Spend four days at the world famous City of Rocks National Reserve learning the skills you need to go "beyond top-roping" to multi-pitch and lead climbing. We will meet at Sun Valley Community School at 7a.m. on Monday, July 9 and return by 7p.m. on Thursday, July 12. Open to kids ages 12-18.

  • Instructor: Rob Landis, Outdoor Leadership Academy, BS Boise State University
  • Dates: July 6-12
  • For additional information, please contact Rob Landis at the Community School (208.622.3960, ext. 121)
  • $550 (food, transportation, group camping gear, all climbing gear)


Wilderness First Aid Certification (WFA) Offered every other summer.

The Community School, in partnership with the NOLS Wilderness Medicine is offering a two-day Wilderness First Aid Course. If you plan to spend time in the back country or leading outdoor trips, you need to be prepared. Fast paced and hands-on, this two-day course covers a wide range of wilderness medicine topics for people who travel and work in the outdoors. (If you plan on leading trips through the Community School Outdoor Program, this course prepares you to do so.) Enrollment is limited to the first 30 paid registrations.
  • Open to ages 16 or older
  • Instructors: NOLS Wilderness Medicine
  • Dates : Offered every other summer. Check back the summer of 2019.

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. approx. (16 hours total)
  • Tuition: $235

Wilderness First Responder Certification (WFR) Offered every other summer.

Sun Valley Community School, in partnership with NOLS Wilderness Medicine, is offering this 10-day WFR course. Essential for anyone who spends significant time in remote places or who has a professional career in the outdoors, this course will prepare you to make difficult medical decisions. Half of our time is outside the classroom doing hands-on skills and realistic scenarios, including full-scale, night mock rescues. You will complete this course with the tools and confidence to manage patients in the back country for multiple days. CPR and FBAO certification is included and the course is pre-approved for 70 hours of EMT CEU's by CECBEMS. Enrollment is limited to the first 30 paid registrations. You must be 16 years of age or older to take this course.

  • Instructors: NOLS Wilderness Medicine
  • Dates: Offered every other summer. Check back in the summer of 2019.
  • Times: Daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. approximately, with two evening sessions 6-10 p.m.
  • Tuition: $730


SwiftWater Rescue, Level IV Certification

Offered in partnership with White Otter Outdoor Adventures, this two-day course will provide river users such as private boaters, guides, and trip leaders with the skills and information that they will need when something goes wrong on the river. With a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on practice, and exciting rescue scenarios, our aim is to make this class useful, informative, and fun! Instruction will take place near White Otter Headquarters north of Stanley. Camping is available at their location for $10 per night. Participants who complete the class will receive American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue, Level 4 certification. Participants must be 16 or older. For more details, prerequisites and required equipment, click here.

  • Lead Instructor: Elliot Jacobs, SWR Level IV, ACA Whitewater Instructor
  • Wednesday/Thursday, August 15/16, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., both days
  • $195

Basic Alpine Climbing

Spend four days in the Pioneer Mountains, east of Sun Valley, practicing the basic movement skills required to travel safely in high alpine mountain terrain. This course will be based out of the Pioneer Yurt, and focus on climbing projects that exist high above the yurt. We will scramble a number of ridges, and practice building technical anchor systems on small crags close the Yurt. Our small course size and small student to instructor ratio allows us to maximize learning and climbing. The course begins and ends in Sun Valley. Staffed by Community School Outdoor Leadership Academy instructors. Open to ages 14-18.

  • Lead Instructor: Patrick Graham, Director, Outdoor Leadership Academy, BA Johnson State College
  • Dates: July 16-19
  • Cost: $900.00 (includes yurt rental, climbing gear, food, and transportation)
  • For additional information, please contact Patrick Graham at Community School (208-622-3960: ext 121)