Nick Nelson

Montana Blackfeet Director

Matthew Dayton from Visions Service Adventures

Nick discovered his love for volunteer work at the age of 19, when he joined AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). During this ten-month team-based service program, Nick did Hurricane Katrina disaster recovery work, shared a Thanksgiving dinner in a FEMA trailer, ran a chainsaw on an emergency ice-storm response deployment in Missouri, and played countless games of basketball at a Sacramento Boys and Girls Club.  In the process, he developed a passion for blending meaningful work with exciting adventures, and forged friendships that are now more than a decade old. Working for VISIONS is his way of helping to create those same kinds of life-changing experiences for the next generation.

Having served as lead carpenter on the (recently retired) VISIONS program in Mississippi, Nick went on to work on the Montana Blackfeet program in 2017. He has also led youth trail crews for several seasons in Oregon, guided an outdoor education high school summer program in California, and directed a college-level alternative spring break program that involves volunteering with the homeless.

Though he earned his B.S. in wildlife management from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, Nick has found that he much prefers the freedom that comes with holding a wide variety of jobs, including carpenter, welder, metal artist, farmer, raft guide and truck driver. Talk about job variety—this winter Nick is building and maintaining an ice castle in Dillon, Colorado, when he’s not in the mountains telemark skiing. (You’ll have to ask him more about that on site!)

More than anything, Nick enjoys learning new things, reading, being creative, telling long jokes with minimal punchlines, recreating in the great outdoors and travelling. He is excited to get to work on the Blackfeet Reservation this summer—alongside his team of leaders and participants—helping the community and making some memories!

Matthew Dayton from Visions Service Adventures