Alaska Bound

Yarmouth, Maine, June 21, 2021: This summer, North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) students are returning to the wilds of Glacier Bay, Alaska. As the culmination of the Literature of Glacier Bay course, members of the class venture into Glacier Bay National Park on sea kayaks to experience the vast wilderness they spent a semester reading about, studying, and preparing to visit. They will spend a week of their ten-day journey immersed in the unspoiled landscape fifty-five miles from the nearest road, paddling, hiking, camping and, of course, writing.

NYA Alaska trip, 2017

For this trip, four members of the class of 2021 welcome back alumni as traveling companions. Six students from the class of 2020 who had to cancel their trip last year due to COVID-19 restrictions accepted the invitation to join this year. NYA Kauffmann Program Director, Ian Ramsey, leads the expedition for the fourth time in the Kauffmann Program’s history.

From Left: Melanie Heacox, Ian Ramsey, Kim Heacox, and author, Hank Lentfer, at the Heacox home 2017.

The group leaves on June 23 destined for Gustavus, Alaska, on the doorstep of Glacier Bay National Park. They will stay at the home of friends to NYA, Kim and Melanie Heacox, before heading into the park. Kim is an environmental author whose works are core to NYA’s writing class. He and wife, Melanie, are currently founding the John Muir Alaska Leadership School. They will teach the travelers first-hand knowledge about the park, what to expect, share stories, music, and good food.

NYA Alaska trip, 2019

The group has an enhanced excitement about this trip than in previous years. Reports from Alaska show the pandemic has been good for the ecology of the park, enriching wildlife and rarely seen behavior the adventurers hope to witness. For example, large cruise ships absent from the waterways have opened up humpback whale traffic. Biologists have observed the whales communicating differently without constant mechanical interference.

All travelers are fully vaccinated and will follow mask and distancing protocols in airports and towns.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to post graduate students with an enrollment of 375 students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or