Okpik or ukpik (the Inupiaq word for snowy owl, pronounced ook pick) is the Great Alaska Council’s winter weather training program. Participants, who should include adult leaders with limited winter camping experience and senior scouts in leadership positions will learn principles of staying warm in a cold environment through proper hydration, nutrition, clothing, shelter and gear. Training will also cover the prevention and treatment of cold weather injuries. Lessons will take place on cooking and sanitation in a winter setting as well as the recognition of winter risks in planning unit activities. Leave No Trace in a winter setting will also be discussed.


  • Participants will arrive Friday at 6:00pm to check-in. 
  • Instruction will include both lecture and hands-on work, will continue throughout the day with lunch and dinner provided.
  • Testing for certification will take place at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday after a dutch oven dinner! 
  • Saturday evening there will be a guest lecture or film. 
  • On Sunday morning, a quick breakfast and optional activities will be provided. The closing ceremony and awards will follow.

Registration Information

  • Limited slots available for this course, don't wait to sign up!
  • Recommended limit of 2 participants per troop, 1 older Scout/youth leader and 1 adult leader. Because of limited space we want as many units as possible to be able to utilize Okpik trianing. 
  • Cost is $35 if registered before Tuesday, November 7th. Cost is $45 if registered between November 7th and Tuesday, November 14th. Registration closes Wednesday, November 15th. 
  • If you have prior military training in winter survival and camping skills from a formal, survival training course, you do not need Okpik training. 

Questions or applications to serve as staff (see back) should be directed to:

Dorn Van Dommelen



File Name Description
Flyer Download
Syllabus Download