The mission of the Montana Wilderness School is to provide empowering expeditionary wilderness courses to youth that foster personal growth and cultivate a conservation ethic through connecting with remote landscapes and wild places.
Our belief is that wilderness areas in Montana are extremely important and powerful spaces that offer amazing classrooms of knowledge gained through experiential hands-on learning. Spending extended periods of time in these places offers young people opportunities to be away from our human-built world and become immersed into the rawness of nature. Conservation comes from knowing a place so intimately that it sparks awe, respect, and a responsibility to maintain its wild integrity.
By experiencing challenging situations on a multi-week wilderness course, students will have opportunities to deal with a diverse group and different leadership styles, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with others to solve problems and accomplish objectives. We believe that positive personal growth and greater self-actualization will be achieved as students work towards realizing their full potential through the challenge of problem solving on their own terms while rising to meet the demands of their expedition.
MWS believes education happens at the confluence of challenging experiences and supportive teamwork. We believe in experiential, place-based learning that engages students and provides scaffolding for success.
MWS believes in the power and richness of diversity because each student's background and life experience adds tremendous value to our school and society. MWS is devoted to the local communities in Montana where we live and operate, as well as the communities we create in the wilderness setting. We believe that communities are at their best when they are inclusive, diverse and vibrant. These communities are achieved by fostering teamwork, compassion, individuality and communication, and preparing youth to be successful in our diverse interconnected society.
MWS is committed to safety at all times during our courses. This is achieved and demonstrated by creating and operating in a culture of safety where students are taught to assess and manage risk in a comprehensive way, facilitating thoughtful judgment. Fundamental to MWS' educational goals is to provide students with outdoor technical skills to develop the capacity for proficiency. It is through education and experience, in addition to opportunities for success and failure, that we humbly approach competency in the wilderness environment.