Words from our BEAR youth
"I loved being higher than the clouds today. The mountains and the view are so breath taking. I hope I can remember to take refuge in nature when I am lost in the fast lane. Life goes by in such chaos it is amazing to feel the stability and the strength mountains and trees offer."
"That first trip left a lasting impression on me, and over the next couple years, I did three more backpacking trips, and a couple of day trips (from snowshoeing and skiing to mountain biking). These were the best weeks of my summer and the best weekends of my winters, being able to leave the real world for a little while and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the company of new friends."
A letter to BEAR
"My name is ---------. I am fifteen years old and I have been doing BEAR since I was 12. I have been in the program for 3 years now and have done over 30 activities. Every year I get very excited about the summer activities BEAR puts on. The excitement for the events, like going to Glacier National Park or going on a 6 day backpacking trip far into the Bitterroot mountains, is almost too much to handle. It is also fun to do day trips, such as going on a short hike or snowshoeing.
I got started in BEAR by word of mouth. First my brother was in it and he would come home and tell me all the exciting events that would take place on these trips and it made me itch to go. When I finally turned 12, my friend and I decided to try out one of these trips. My first trip was to Glacier Park.
BEAR trips have taught me a lot. I get to learn about wildlife and the endangerments of it and the way to stop the depletion of our beautiful landscape in out valley. I have learned much self discipline on the tough backpacking trips. You just have to tell yourself to keep going. The reward is the amazing feeling and the astounding views. You also learn how to deal with other people. There is no way you are going to like everyone you meet, but you have to be polite and work as a team or noting will ever get done. You have to learn to be independent, like keeping your stuff in order or filling up your water bottle, but you have to learn to work as a team and to cheer others on, because it is not a good feeling to be left behind.
I have learned so much and I have found a passion in life that I will continue as long as my body and the environment will let me and I hope to keep BEAR up and running for years to come so other kids can experience the outdoors and their own minds.
Girl, Age 15