How We Operate
The wilderness environment is the underlying basis for all of our programs. Wilderness living provides a unique environment and opportunities for personal growth; challenge is an integral part of this change. It is the process of working through challenges that builds self-esteem and efficacy, the cornerstones of success. The Wilderness environment provides a respite from the distractions and influences of the outside world. Providing both the time and space needed for personal reflection, it is the ideal environment for recognizing strengths, working through new challenges, building life-skills and cultivating positive behaviors.
The wilderness provides a metaphor for interdependence, adaptability and skills; integral components of developing a community of positive behaviors; and common goals necessary for group and individual success. Participants are able to view themselves as individuals in the context of the larger community. They are given an opportunity to overcome both personal and group challenges. Alaskans have a unique relationship with wilderness. We believe that the wilderness is a valuable resource to be appreciated and utilized as an opportunity for adventure and challenge.
At Alaska Crossings we work with a very diverse population. Our clients come from Anchorage, Juneau, Barrow, Ketchikan, Savoonga, and everywhere in-between. With nearly 50 federally recognized tribes in Alaska making up a significant part of the state's overall population, many of our youth come from communities who are Yupik, Inupiat, Athabaskan, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and many others.
Every year during our annual staff training, we strive to provide our guides with an understanding of how to best support therapeutic change for participants of a different culture. We work with providers from these communities to ensure aftercare is set up in a way that makes sense for our participants and the cultures they come from; in 2014, one of our participants went home to work with an elder sled maker in his village as part of his aftercare, because he found strength in helping to build things during our program.
As a program, we recognize and embrace differences in cultural background. We strive to be an industry leader in providing services that promote mental and physical health in each individual we serve.
Gear & Technology
Throughout the season, we have a team of people in town to ensure each group has all the gear required to travel in the wilderness and manage for risk effectively. Each group will receive six to eight resupplies of food and gear throughout their two-month program. The Field Guide Team will communicate their group's needs regularly during expeditions, and our Expedition Coordinators and Logistics Team ensure the resupply delivery. Clients are encouraged to participate in organization of the gear and food to help them demonstrate organization and responsibility. Often times, clients are able to request their favorite meals from our menu on upcoming resupplies, and it is fun for the entire group to be involved!
We operate on a "planes, boats, and automobiles" theory here at Crossings. Due to the vastness of our tripping area, we look to a variety of ways to ensure our programs are supported to the max capacity. We have our own boats, the Endeavor and the Seanne Marie, that are utilized for resupplies and group transports, as well as for any special or as-needed trips. Such separate trips may include medical transports for individual participants, last minute group needs, or transporting clinicians in and out of the field.
We may utilize original aviation or boat vendors. These small, fixed-wing float planes are able to access our groups in a quick, timely manner. When a group has an immediate need, we are able to access them on the water.
Occasionally, we may utilize one of several emergency helicopter services in the area so that we may access groups in tight landing spots on the mountains we hike.
Canoeing is a very large part of the history in the Inner Passage region of Alaska. It has historically been the primary mode of transportation for tribes originating in Southeast Alaska - one of the main reasons we canoe here at Alaska Crossings, aside from teamwork development and communication skills development.
Here at Alaska Crossings we recently completed the construction of a "skin on frame" canoe, which is reminiscent of traditional large cargo canoes used in the Northwest. The boat was designed by an in-house boat builder with the intention to have a safe construction project for our youth to participate in. The boat is mostly held together by lashings which were tied on by participants in January of 2014, who were then given the honor of naming this canoe: The Patriot. The Patriot is light and quick, an efficient way for a group of 12 to travel together while utilizing teamwork skills developed and practicing positive communication. The 2015 and 2016 seasons have seen the canoe put in practice, and we are in the process of developing a more structured Patriot expedition component to strengthen our programming.
Alaska Crossings Staff Medical Training Requirements
Prescription & Over-the-Counter Medication Policy
When a participant is taking medications we adhere to the following guidelines:
Informed Consent for Medical Treatment
Participants and their families will be informed about the nature of any medical care, procedures and treatment that they receive.
Confidentiality & Clinical Records
By law, information regarding the identity, clinical records, and status of all participants are protected under the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). Protected health information is not and cannot be disclosed by any staff member to any persons other than those who we have, on file, written authorization to disclose or receive this information.
We comply with federal and state law which recognize the following exceptions: