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

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