Immersion Service Community

Tech-Free: Disconnect So You Can Really Connect


Arrive & Connect


Okii! Step into your transformative journey as you arrive at Glacier Park International Airport, welcomed by your VISIONS leaders. You’ll have time for a quick call home before we set out for the two-hour drive through Glacier country, taking in extraordinary views of Glacier National Park. 

Our destination is the Yellow Bird Woman Sanctuary conservation ranch, your new home away from home on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Settle in, take part in team-building activities, and gather under Montana’s expansive sky for the opening Circle meeting. Begin with an engaging orientation to connect with fellow participants, set expectations, and dive into the unique experience ahead. 

Let the adventure begin! 

Rise, Shine & Make an Impact


Rise and shine for a hearty breakfast, then dive into community action and service projects. You’ll team up with our carpenter for training in construction and power tools, setting the blueprint for your service initiatives. We also begin hands-on experience in social service and environmental work, preparing to make a real difference during your time on the Blackfeet Reservation. 

Once the work is done for the day, get ready to explore the reservation town of Browning with a fun team scavenger hunt. Discover landmarks like Blackfeet Community College, the Heritage Center and Art Gallery, local parks and more.

After becoming acquainted with our host community, it’s time to gain deeper insight into the complex tapestry of the critical challenges and inspiring resilience woven throughout life on the Reservation. We watch the film, “100 Years,: a documentary featuring a revered Indigenous activist and local Browning legend, Elouise Cobell (Yellow Bird Woman, or ōt”kwaipiiksaakii in Blackfeet), and her fight for justice for all Native American people. 

Bonds Through Action

DAYS 3 – 6 (Projects)

Embrace the power of purpose as each day brings a fresh opportunity for impactful service. Select from a range of projects from assisting elders with home repairs to constructing essential wheelchair ramps, caring for reservation puppies at the local animal shelter, and supporting the Child Nutrition program by delivering meals to kids at the skatepark and other spots around town. 

When your turn comes, step up to perform the behind the scenes work that keeps our village of volunteers running smoothly on your Homebase crew rotation . This work isyour gateway to connecting with community members and fellow volunteers, forging lasting bonds. As the sun sets, come together to share reflections and new insights.

Blackfeet-Style Adventures

DAYS 3 – 6 (Activities)

In the golden afternoons of Montana we switch off between a slew of fun and enriching activities. Ride horses through the forests and vistas around East Glacier and cool off in swimming holes among the misty spray of Two Medicine Falls. Delve into the history and culture of Blackfeet country under the tutelage of historians at the Museum of the Plains Indians. Then, learn from local artisans the crafts practiced by Blackfeet people for centuries, like creating leather pouch necklaces from buckskin, processing buffalo hides and moccasin making.

This is just a small flavor of experiences and daily happenings that transcend the familiar and develop new reference points for a life of greater understanding and perspective. Your days will be filled with novel experiences, as the Blackfeet Nation opens the doors to beautiful new ways of understanding and navigating life.

Read more about daily life on VISIONS programs.

Powwow Celebrations


North American Indian Days enchants us with a hum of activity including a vibrant parade, rodeos, stick games and Indian relays. The culmination of these festivities is the annual pow wow, where tribal members from across the country adorn Native regalia for dancing, drumming and Native Games competitions that are steeped in history and tradition.  Enjoy rides at the carnival and explore a vibrant market that pops up among the sprawling encampment surrounding the central arbor, filled with delicious food and unique goods from local vendors.

Weave through a sonorous temporary village of tents, campers and teepees alike, while encountering joyous tribal families gathered around flickering campfires and dancers preparing for their time in the spotlight, as you make your way to the middle of it all where the main events are held.  Revel in the rythmic thunder beats of drums as you step inside to witness the spectacular dancing. Experience the moving power of Indigenous people of all ages and backgrounds as they  , and from tribes from all over the continent coming together to sing, compete and celebrate culture together.

Under the Stars


After the powwow, we pack up for a camping trip. Upon hiking through alpine terrain and fields of wildflowers, we will set up a cozy camp against the backdrop of the truly majestic Rocky Mountains. Spend the evening cooking dinner and sharing stories as a myriad of brilliant constellations appear above you, the night sky streaked with shooting stars and the glowing band of Makoiyohsokoyi (wolf’s trail), or as you may know it, the Milky Way. 

We pack with a mindset of “Leave No Trace,” wilderness ethics and taking time to connect with our surroundings. New to camping and hiking? No worries! This is a first for many of our students, and leaders will teach you everything you need to know. 

Digging Deeper

DAYS 9 – 13 (Projects)

Dig back into our worksites, making tangible progress on projects that directly benefit the Amskapi Piikani (or Southern Pigean, the southernmost Blackfeet Nation within the broader Blackfoot Confederacy) community while also strengthening your own fibers of grit, accomplishment and selflessness. Get filled with the humbling joy that permeates our souls when we give ourselves in loving service of others.

As we build on the progress we’ve made in the community from the previous week, you’ll choose between several worksites. You may find yourself especially drawn to a particular worksite and wish to return often, or want to try your hand at every one. Either way, you will have the chance to experience many types of service, including the rare and life-changing opportunity to help set up an Okon (or Sundance) lodge, working with Elders and Medicine Bundle keepers who hold the throughline from ancient traditions to modern day Blackfeet life. 


DAYS 9 – 13 (Activities)

Afternoons and evenings continue to be packed with activities and options for everyone. We visit our regular swimming holes, tour the Blackfeet Heritage Center and Art Gallery and jam to the rhythms of a community street dance. Go deeper with workshops by continuing on your moccasins and buffalo rawhide bags, and learning beading in the famous Blackfeet style. Plus, visit favorite souvenir shops in the quaint town of East Glacier, and much more as you become a part of the community. 

“I really enjoyed the ability to interact with the Blackfeet community and listen to their stories. I also tried so many new things that I normally would have never done. The program gave me a sense of what I want to do in life.”

— Nicholas Maguire


DAYS 14 & 15

Participate in a Sundance, one of the most sacred ceremonies of the Plains Indians, offering a profound experience that will remain forever in your memory. It is a deep and humbling honor that we are able to witness this ceremony. After over 30 years in this community, we have been invited for more than a decade. Many of the remarkable individuals involved look forward to seeing the VISIONS kids, who always prove to be a respectful unit of hard workers. We may even be invited to participate in a sacred sweat lodge after the conclusion of the Sundance.  

Other optional activities through the weekend get us outdoors and continue to offer the opportunity to make connections with our community and deepen relationships with people and places that become as much a part of us as we are of them. These moments and connections promise to become a cherished part of your past, and may just become a wonderful part of your future. 


DAY 16

Experience the renowned Glacier National Park through citizen science and service in the form of collaborative surveys and projects, uncovering both popular tourist destinations and hidden treasures. We work with Glacier Volunteers, a nonprofit that works hard to fulfill its mission to bring together people interested in the protection and management of Glacier National Park. 

You will have the opportunity to hike in the Park among astonishing mountain ranges, emerald forests of towering evergreens, glacial meadows bursting with color, and alpine lakes of dazzling purity, all while helping scientists in the National Park Service gather essential data for preserving these inspiring landscapes and incredible species of plants and wildlife. 


DAYS 17 – 19

Wrap up projects, enjoy a job well done and thank our local hosts for sharing their lives with us. The projects you leave behind serve as a reminder that there will always be those who show up when help is needed. Not only this, but they will leave no doubt for you that for the rest of your life, wherever you see a need, you have the strength and heart to make a difference. 

Attend a Native America Speaks event to hear Indigenous wisdom, humor and songs of very old power. While there, swim in scenic waters at the base of soaring mountains. 

Tackle cleanup and cherish your last nights at Yellow Bird Woman Sanctuary, a place honoring the great Elouise Cobell and all who prioritize justice and connection with land, self and others. Write thank you cards to community members who have shared this place with us and made it all possible. Finally, soak up this time with new friends and enjoy one last delicious dinner at our home.


DAY 20

On our last full day we’ll head out for a rock climbing trip with professional guides who show us the ropes–literally! Challenge yourself physically and mentally as you scale the heights, fostering teamwork, confidence and personal growth. Your guides will encourage you to push your boundaries while teaching climbing and life skills alike. 

After the climb, we’ll cool off with a swim at Whitefish Lake, enjoy pizza lakeside and locally-made ice cream for dessert. That night we’ll camp out on the land of a legendary former Blackfeet program director.


DAY 21

They say all good things must come to an end, and on departure day we must all say goodbye. While your leaders see you off to your flights home, take time to experience the already growing nostalgia and the bitter-sweet joy of returning to your own communities. But remember, although our time together must come to an end, all the work you have done to make the world a slightly better place does not! 

From here you can take what you have learned with you and put it to work, making every community you encounter a brighter and more connected place, leaving a trail of positive change wherever you go and accumulating countless deeply enriching experiences along the way. You can take a person out of VISIONS, but you can never take the VISION out of the person.

What kids and parents say about us is more telling than what we say about ourselves.

VISIONS in The New York Times