Native Teen Guide-in-Training

This CFI program gets Native teens outdoors, provides hiking and river field trips to see nearby natural features and cultural heritage sites, and ties in Navajo and Hopi languages and beliefs. The Guide-in-Training program teaches skills that can lead to employment in natural resources, tourism, and wilderness medicine.

2019 Program Outline

Friday, June 14

Base Camp at Sand Island Campground
Herbalist Talk with Lupita McClanahan
Canyoneering with Wild Rivers
“What it Means to Be a Guide” Discussion
River Trip Preparation

Saturday, June 15

Visit former Bear’s Ears National Monument with Erica Tucker
Speak with BLM Rangers about Leave No Trace Ethics
Launch San Juan River
River House Archaeological Site Visit

Sunday, June 16

Engaging Presentation Strategies
Knot Tying
Wilderness First Aid: Scene Size Up/ABCDE’s
Student Presentations

Monday, June 17

Hydrology 101
“Risk vs. Probability” RM and Decision-Making Model
Wilderness First Aid: Patient Assessment System
Student Presentations

Tuesday, June 18

Hydrology 201
Throw Bag Practice
Wilderness First Aid: Managing Musculoskeletal Injuries
Student Presentations

Wednesday, June 19

Takeout at Mexican Hat
Evaluations, Appreciations, & Closing Circle


2019 Partners and Sponsors

Val A. Browning Foundation has generously provided financial support to help us greatly underwrite the true cost of the program.

Utah Department of Arts and Museums has sponsored Lupita McClanahan, Native Herbalist and founder of Footpath Journeys to share her knowledge with Native Youth.

Guest Educators

Lupita McClanahan

Lupita McClanahan, Director of Footpath Journeys, is a member of the Diné (Navajo) Tribe, the largest in the United States. Lupita lives with her husband, Jon, in the heart of the Diné Reservation. They reside in a sacred place called Tsegi, Canyon de Chelly, where traditional Diné still believe the Holy People live. Lupita has worked for many years as a park ranger for Canyon de Chelly, started the nonprofit “Trees for Mother Earth”, teaches Navajo culture in Tsaile, Arizona, and founded the tour company Footpath Journeys.

Photo Gallery


  • Where: Bluff and the Upper San Juan River
  • When: June 14, 2019 through June 19, 2019
  • Group Size: Minimum 14, Maximum 20
  • Age Group: Entering 8th through 12th grades
  • Deadline for Signup: Priority Registration Deadline: April 15th, 2019 Rolling deadline after this time period
  • Cost per Person: $50 - Val A. Browning Foundation has generously provided financial support to help us greatly underwrite the true cost of the program.
  • Notes:

    Native Teen Guide in Training 2019 Schedule Overview