In April, 135 students and staff came to the ranch from C.S. Porter Middle School. Teachers divided the groups into homeroom classes and visited once per week over the course of three weeks.
Students received instruction in geology and the history of the Bitterroot Valley. They discovered gneiss, granite, and quartzite stones and then skipped those stones into the river. The field trips included hikes with a nature themed scavenger hunts and culminated in writing assignments.
Students spread out to have time alone with their thoughts and the natural world as they composed poems. They wrote and shared poems inspired by their surroundings. But most importantly, they left the classroom for a day spent learning outside.
Joshua graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula, in 2009 with an M.A. in Intercultural Youth and Family Development. Joshua has designed and implemented wilderness and experiential-based education programs for various agencies since 2001. He has worked in Missoula since 2005 predominately with disadvantaged populations providing challenging and empowering programming for youth and adults alike.At MPG, Joshua works to coordinate with local agencies and school districts as well as the university to connect students and members of the community to MPG’s work. He also recruits and mobilizes volunteers to accomplish various projects for the ranch. In his free time, Joshua enjoys exploring Montana’s wild places. As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoys any pursuit that keeps him connected to the natural world.