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Partners in the Parks: Sitka National Historical Park
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Partners in the Parks: Sitka National Historical Park

Participants will consider the question “whose home is this?” while encountering the culture of the Tlingit and Haida peoples, investigating the history of Russian settlement in the region beginning in 1799, and exploring the site of transfer of the Alaska territory to the United States in 1867. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with current day residents of the area and become familiar with the wide range of animal, bird, fish and plant life in the region.

 Export to Your Calendar 7/7/2020 to 7/13/2020
When: July 7-13, 2020
Where: Sitka National Historical Park
United States
Contact: NCHC Office
(402) 472-9150

Online registration is available until: 6/7/2020
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*Dates may change by a day or two--please do not book travel until your facilitators have reached out to you regarding your travel to Sitka.


Please read the following before registering:

Affiliating yourself with your institution

If you are not the director of your program, or you do not hold a current NCHC Institutional, Professional, or Student Membership, and/or have not attended an NCHC program in the past year, you may not be in our new software system yet!

You must sign up as a "Contact" prior to registering for any NCHC program. 

Sign up as a Contact!

Be sure to select “Contact” when creating a username for our website. If your institution has an Institutional Membership, signing up as a "Contact" will affiliate you with your institution, and you'll receive the member discount. If you sign up for any membership aside from "Contact," you will be asked to pay for that membership fee.

You'll receive an email notification, and THEN you may start registration for the intended institute.

(If your institution is not a member of NCHC, please proceed as a "Guest.")

*Members receive a 50% discount on NCHC Partners in the Parks registration pricing!

Questions? Contact the NCHC office at (402) 472-9150 or

Institution Limitation for Participants

At the maximum, only two students from any one institution will be allowed to participate on an individual trip. If you are unsure if other students from your institution are signed up for the trip, please check with your school's honors office, or send an e-mail to 


Mandatory Documentation

This year, when you register, you will be required to turn in 3 forms stating your acknowledgement of different NCHC policies while you are a participant on your potential trip. To save you some time while registering, we recommend downloading these files now, digitally or physically signing them, and have them ready to be uploaded with your application.




Sitka is located on Baranof Island, one of the many islands that comprise Alaska’s southeast panhandle.  The island is accessible only by ferry or plane (3 ½ day sail from Bellingham, WA or 2 ½ hour flight from Seattle, WA).    The climate is temperate rain forest; participants can expect temperatures in the 50s and 60s (even in July) and light, drizzly rain most days. 


Logistics: Transportation, Food and Lodging

Students will arrange their own transportation to Sitka, Alaska via ferry or flight.  The timing of the trip will be arranged to begin a day following the once-weekly arrival of the ferry from Bellingham. WA so the ferry option, often called “cruising on the cheap” by Alaskans, will be open to students should they choose it.  Flights arrive in Sitka at approximately 11:00am and 6pm each day.  Project leaders will pick up students at the airport on their arrival and on the first night of the project, students will stay in Sitka International Hostel and start getting to know one another.  The following day the group will set up camp at Starrigavan Campsites at a reserved group site and form cook groups for daily meal preparation.  Group leaders will rent vehicles from Avis Rent-A-Car (the only car rental option on the island) to use for transportation throughout the week.   During the week, lunches will be packed in the morning and eaten on site at the day-trip locations.   Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by students working in cooking groups with the food items provided.   The project leaders will rent or borrow equipment (tents, stoves, sleeping bags, coolers, lamps) from university or college’s outdoor education program stores and ferry it in.   Participants will be sent a packing list in order to be prepared for the camping experience and clothing needs for daily activities.  There is a hospital on the island for medical emergencies.

*Dates may change by a day or two--please do not book travel until your facilitators have reached out to you regarding your travel to Sitka.



Tentative Itinerary


Day 1—participant arrival (all day); airport pick-ups and gathering at Sitka International Hostel; introductions


Day 2—set-up camp; Orientation: Leave No Trace/bear awareness/staying warm and dry/food meeting/planning; initial visit to Sitka National Historic Park/artist-in-residence or ranger-led program; “End of the Road”/hike Mosquito Cove loop (1 mile) w/stop at Artesian well; Reflection


Day 3—Kayaking on Indian River; Lunch on Harbor Mountain; Alaska Raptor Center, NaaKahidi Dancers (arrange private show followed by conversation with Alaska Native Brotherhood/Sisterhood representatives?); Reflection


Day 4—Beaver Lake Hike (2.8 miles) and other “end of the road,” Lunch at Castle Hill; Russian Bishops’ house/St. Michael’s Cathedral; campfire conversation with local artist (making something); Reflection


Day 5—Fish Hatchery and touch tanks at Sitka Sound Science Center; Picnic Lunch at Whale Park; Service Project (in conjunction with the park staff or Sitka Trail Works); Reflection


Day 6—Hike to Indian River Falls (8.4 miles); prepare presentations, Eat out (Pizza Express); back to Sitka International Hostel; Showers 


Day 7—Presentations/Final Reflection; departures after noon


Other options:  Theobroma chocolate factory, Blue Lake, Clam Digging, Battle of Sitka site; Sitka Fine Arts Camp performance; Coast Guard Station; Russian Dancers; program exploring Native Alaskan Land Claims Settlement Act of 1947; whale watching tour; Mt. Verstovia


Participant Packing List:

Waterproof boots, wool socks, waterproof/resistant Rain Jacket with hood, clothing for dressing in layers (insulating layer for warmth, waterproof layer), nylon/synthetic clothing (no cotton), flashlight, sleeping bag, pillow, mess kit, hat, water bottle, towel, toiletries, medication (as necessary), journal, writing instrument


Program Size 14 Students
NCHC Member Price $900 (does not include airfare)
NCHC Nonmember Price $1800 (does not include airfare)
Deadline to Register June 7, 2020









If you have any questions regarding your trip specifically, please contact your trip facilitator listed below. They will be sending you more information regarding what to pack, and any supplies you may need for your trip.


Trip Facilitator

Stephanie Santarosa, Westminster College

Kathleen King, Hillsborough Community College




All requests for refunds MUST be submitted in writing to the national office and RECEIVED no later than thirty days in advance of the trip departure date.

  • Received prior to 30 days before trip departure:          Full refund, less a $50 per person administrative fee
  • Received within 30 days before trip departure:            No refunds granted

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