The Online Alaska
By Jill Boelsma
SPECIAL TO THE PIONEER PRESS
HEALY — Denali National Park is a magical place, yet
there are many children around the state and even in the
Denali Borough that have never hiked or camped in this 6
million acre wilderness.
Denali Education Center decided that fact needed to
change some years back, and began partnering with the
National Park Service and social service agencies to offer
camps to disadvantaged children.
From there, the desire to take children in our own back
yard and teach them about this phenomenal place and
Denali Discovery Camp was the next step in the youth
One of those local kids who thoroughly enjoyed his
Discovery Camp experiences was a boy named Scott
He was entering the eighth grade and would be “too old”
to go to camp any longer, but had this great idea that
camp should be extended to include a backpacking trip for
high school aged kids.
Denali Education Center loved the idea that began the
planning for Denali Backcountry Adventures — a four-day
backpacking experience in the wilderness of Denali
Scott never got the chance to experience the fruits of his
idea. Scott lost his life in a four-wheeler accident and our
community lost a treasured friend with tremendous
From this tragedy, The Healy Tundra Challenge Golf
Tournament to Benefit the Scott Menke Memorial Fund
was begun. For the fourth consecutive year, this event
was again a resounding success and raised more than
$10,000 to help support the youth programs of Denali
On June 28, 72 golfers gave it their all at the Black
Diamond Golf Course in Healy for this day of
remembrance and celebration of life. More than 40 local
businesses and individuals contributed through monitory
sponsorship and by providing a veritable cornucopia of
prizes so every participant would leave with something to
remember the day by.
As the community continues healing, the Healy Tundra
Challenge helps keep the memory of Scott Menke vibrant
in the hearts and minds of local citizens.
With the help of the fund, children and young adults will
continue to explore Denali National Park and gain a
connection with this amazing wild place.
Denali Education Center wishes to thank the Menke
Family and the many individuals and businesses who give
The home base for
Adventure in the
heart of Talkeetna.
E-mail us here
P.O Box 353,
Talkeetna, AK 99676
Tourney Benefits Camp