Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ms. Joyce Baltz, Executive Director
The Glacier Institute
Kalispell, MT. 59903

Dear Joyce:
I am writing to thank you and your staff for the marvelous week my Girl Scout troop had at the Glacier Institute’s outdoor education center at Big Creek on June 7- 11 this year. The Big Creek staff, the facilities, the programming, and of course your great outdoors made the trip a tremendous success for each of our girls, and for me and the other troop leaders who joined them.

Beau Servo’s firm, good-natured leadership set the tone for our group for the entire week. He expected teamwork, attention, participation, and just plain work from the girls, and he got it. My scouts happily did all that was asked of them, and learned a tremendous amount about cooperation, as well as freshwater streams, wildlife, fire ecology, orienteering and wilderness skills. They also got to explore Glacier Park, hike up to the panorama of Avalanche Lake, and even learned to fly fish!

Beau’s attention to detail provided a safe environment, and his well-balanced staff (five young, well-prepared men and women) offered great role models for our 13 and 14-year-olds.

Big Creek’s operation offered its own lessons. It gave our suburban children an understanding of what it means to live life “off the grid.” Conserving, composting, and having electricity only a handful of hours each day was a useful experience for the girls. They were so happy to be outdoors all the time at the base of Huckleberry Mountainthat not one missed their iPod or cell phone!

Joyce, when I first contacted your office about this trip, I wasn’t sure what sort of experience we’d have in Montana. What we received from the Glacier Institute was instruction, accommodation, and life skills of the highest quality. Every family in my troop thanks you for providing this wonderful experience for their child.

I’d also like to thank Rachel Zeigler in your office for ably fielding my telephone calls, and being in charge of the arrangements for this trip. She gave us confidence to board the Amtrak train and travel 1,700 miles to Big Creek, and we’re glad that we did.

Thank you again for all that you and the Glacier Institute do.

Girl Scout Troop 274

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials announce plans to extend vehicle access on the west side of Going-to-the Sun Road (Sun Road) from Avalanche to Big Bend by mid morning Friday, June 19, conditions permitting. Crews continue to clear snow and ready the alpine section of the Sun Road near Logan Pass, and the entire 50 miles of the historic Sun Road will soon open to vehicle traffic across Logan Pass as soon as road conditions and weather permit. Contractors will also pave the storm damaged section of road near the east tunnel concurrent with final road preparations.

As of Friday, June 19 the west side Sun Road will be open 29 miles between West Glacier and Big Bend. Vehicle access is open to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side of Sun Road, a distance of 14 miles. The Inside North Fork Road is currently closed at Logging Creek Ranger Station and Fish Creek Campground due to road repairs. Hiker/biker access is not allowed during the construction on this section of road. All other roads in Glacier National Park are open.

In addition to plowing and widening of snow banks for two-way vehicle access, preparation work on the alpine portion of the Sun Road also includes the assembly and installation of removable guardrail, installation of signs, clearing debris from culverts and along the road as well as road sweeping. Photos of spring snow removal are available at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

River Otter Family Camp

Enjoy a weekend with your family and spend time exploring Big Creek!

This camp features hiking, wilderness skills, outdoor activities, and fun evening programs. Together families will have the opportunity to learn about the natural diversity of the area, look for wildlife and make exciting discoveries along the trail. The camp is a great introduction for families to connect with the outdoors in a safe, fun and educational environment.

Come to the North Fork Valley and experience summer camp as an entire family!

June 27-29, 2009 - Saturday-Monday

For parents (grandparents, aunts, and uncles too!) and kids. Ages 8-12 are welcome with an adult.

$200 for parent and child, $85 for each additional family member

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National parks to offer fee-free weekends

On three weekends this summer, the National Park Service will offer fee-free weekends to encourage cash-strapped families to visit the parks.

All 147
National Park Service sites that charge entry fees will waive them for June 20 and 21, July 18 and 19, and August 15 and 16. Those fees range from $3 to $25.

This is the perfect opportunity to join the Glacier Institute for one of our exciting outdoor adventures including:

June 20
Orchids: Glacier's Precious Beauties

June 20-21
Wolves of the North Fork Valley

July 18
Glacier's and Glacial Geology

July 18
Glacier Close Up: Focused Photographs

July 19
Nature Journaling

August 15
Glacier's Grizzlies and Black Bears

Site Meter