Our annual Montana Natural Resources Youth Camp provides a safe and fun opportunity in a controlled setting for high school age students to gain a hands-on experience studying the scientific principles, economic realities, historical heritage, and social perspectives of natural resources and their management in Montana.
Campers spend one week in the rustic setting of the Lubrecht Experimental Forest (east of Missoula, Montana) participating in 3-hr sessions on Forests, Water, Soils, Geology, Rangeland, Wildlife, recreation, and Multiple Land Use, and the challenges of applying these disciplines across diverse ownerships and landscapes. In between the field sessions, taught largely by natural resource agency and industry professionals, campers will spend a half-day each rafting the Alberton Gorge with the company that teaches whitewater safety and swimming at a lake.
Evening or afternoon 1-2 hour additional programs include River Safety, Woodsmen Games, a nature Scavenger Hunt, a Quizbowl competition, and a working ranch visit with picnic lunch served by the local Cattlewomen Association. Hands on Learning-Through-Discovery, 1-hour programs between longer class sessions, may include individual choices to experience archery, muzzleloaders, Teepee building, pine needle basket weaving, sapphire panning, orienteering, backcountry First-Aid, wilderness camping/Leave-no-Trace, horsepacking, and paper making among others – depending on availability of instructors. All are taught by experienced instructors in well supervised and safe environments.
This camp will require walking for up to half a mile through a natural forested environment, thus appropriate shoes and clothes are important. Evening recreation time is available and many campers enjoy volleyball, frisbee, pingpong or just relaxing with friends. Off-limits gender segregated cabins provide the housing, thus warm sleeping bags are needed. Typically the weather is warm, though in the mountains evening temperatures can be cold. Shower, wash and toilet facilities are in a separate bathhouse. A behavioral code that requires respect for others, their property and privacy is enforced. Our instructors always work in teams and the adult to camper ratio is typically 1:4.
The camp is open to all youth ages 14-18 and qualified campers are accepted on a first-come basis.
The fee for camp is $300 per camper which includes meals, supplies, lodging and all applicable program fees. This fee covers only approximately 40% of the actual cost per student for a week-long camp experience. The balance is covered by larger grants from a variety of agencies and non-government organizations and industries that are obtained by the MNRYC Board of Directors on an annual basis.
The fee for the Conservation Leadership School, the optional advanced level program for returning campers, is $350, as it includes additional field trips and an overnight camping experience.