The Montana Wilderness School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit outdoor education organization based in Bozeman, Montana, providing multi-week transformative and empowering wilderness expeditions for youth ages 14-18.
The MWS Youth Wilderness Program provides multi-week empowering wilderness courses to students 14-18 years old that foster personal growth, teamwork, and leadership skills, while cultivating a conservation ethic connecting youth with public lands and wilderness areas through outdoor education.
MWS is an experiential education school and we have our own "Wild Ecology" curricula that is place-based and focused on the specific conservation challenges in the Western United States. The impact our Youth Wilderness Program makes in the community both locally and nationally is instilling a sense of pride, understanding and involvement with conservation, access to public lands, and preservation of wild spaces while at the same time fostering teamwork, compassion, individuality, communication, and preparing youth to be successful in our diverse interconnected society.
MWS Specific Learning Goals:
- A goal-oriented multi-week backcountry expedition in beautiful MONTANA!
- Building and supporting a rich and diverse community
- Personal Growth and Character Development
- Team Building and Leadership Experience
- Technical skill competency in backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, packrafting, fly fishing and canoeing (specific to each course)
- Wilderness First Aid Certification (for specific courses)
- Public land stewardship
- Greater Montana-specific conservation issues identification and analysis
For the summer of 2018, we are offering 7 unique and adventurous expeditions:
14-16 year old students:
- Missouri River Adventure - 15 Days. June 15-29
- Alpine Rock Adventure - 11 Days. July 14-24
- Alpine Backpacking Adventure - 10 Days. August 4-13
16-18 year old students:
- Mountaineering Expedition- 21 Days. June 18-July 8
- Wilderness Packrafting + Fly fishing - 15 Days. July 7-21
- Wilderness Mountaineering - 15 Days. July 29-August 12
- Yellowstone Expedition - 21 Days. July 28-August 17
The MWS team is very comforable accomodating students that fly in from other locales. In the past few years we have had students from Nepal, Mexico, Spain, England, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and many other states in the lower 48. Please contact our enrollment team for any questions. We are here to help!
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“Coming out here and having 21 days in the backcountry is an experience that a lot of people will never have. I have so many stories…it was a life changing experience, as cliché as that is, it’s cliché for a reason…when you put yourself for 3 weeks in a totally foreign environment, even if you’re comfortable with it, it’s still a shock. You are going to change and you are going to learn a lot.” –MWS Wilderness Packrafting + Flyfishing Expedition student
“So, to sum it up, I gave you the boy, and you gave me back the man. Twice. They really are different, and not just on a mountain or on a river. What you do with those kids is truly amazing. I think by giving them such an immersive experience, and by trusting that they can handle big things, they deepen and mature in amazing ways. You change lives.” -Father of MWS Yellowstone Expedition and Mountaineering students
”This trip has been a life changing experience for me. I have learned some basic life skills like cooking, taking good care of your health, and making the right decisions. It has also taught me to be the best possible person I can be, and be really appreciative of all the people and things in my life.” -Bob Marshall Expedition student
"This trip was, without a doubt, one of the most transformative experiences for my son! For him to participate and receive positive acknowledgment for activities he is passionate about is the difference between a confident, proud young man, and one that feels like a failure. I will be forever grateful that my son had the opportunity to engage with the team at MWS and receive much needed validations of his interest and skills. He needed this positivity and acceptance!" -Mother of MWS student
“She spoke about leadership opportunities she was offered and spoke of herself as a strong leader…for the first time in her life! (I’m getting choked up here). She is finally starting to glimpse the “stuff” inside her we have seen and tried to help her see for years. She began the school year with more hope and optimism and definitely confidence than I expected. Thank you just does not seem enough. I hope we can stay in touch and support what you do in the years to come!” –Mother of MWS Student