Montana Roots Gap Program

8 Weeks

Ages 17 to 22
Sustainability, Fall Harvests & Wilderness Medicine

MONTANA ROOTS GAP PROGRAM
SEPTEMBER 18 to NOVEMBER 13
57 DAYS | TUITION $14,350
Suggested for ages 17-22

MONTANA ROOTS GAP SEMESTER
SEPTEMBER 18 to NOVEMBER 13
57 DAYS | TUITION $14,350
Suggested for ages 17-22

Program Overview

Immerse yourself in the Western way of life while discovering broad perspectives and new opportunities. Connect to the land in profound ways by learning about sustainable development practices, farming and ranching, permaculture, and wilderness skills. Develop newfound interests and build a kit of skills and certifications outside of the norm. Learn about the history of the West and how the global issues and challenges of today interconnect with rural values and realities. VISIONS Gap provides a “Big Sky” view of this modern era and some natural, creative solutions for living in harmony with each other and the natural world. 

* Program itinerary and service hours are subject to change.

Weeks 1 & 2: Montana Harvest with Local Growers, Permaculture Design, Social Capital Theory. Assist with harvest season at local farms, take a permaculture workshop and design course, learn about the growing movement of social capital.

Weeks 3 & 4: Wilderness Medicine, Backcountry Survival Skills, Leave No Trace. Become a certified Wilderness First Responder through a 72-hour course, practice cooking on open fires and making backcountry shelters, master the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

Week 5: Backpacking Trip, Ecology of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Put your new knowledge to practice on an extended backpacking trip in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, and discover more about this important and diverse ecosystem along the way.

Weeks 6 & 7: Lessons in Conservation & Land Stewardship, Basics of Hunting Ethics, Leadership & Mindfulness. Hear from experts, professionals, and locals about the challenges and opportunities facing the region, discuss solutions to complex issues, acquire knowledge in hunting ethics, and engage in a mindful leadership course.

Week 8: Capstone. Culminate all that we have learned and experienced, volunteer again with local farms, ranches and conservationists, and complete the draft to your capstone project or paper.

WE ARE MINDFUL

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.”

John Steinbeck

Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Embracing Projects That Matter

Projects for the Montana Roots Gap program focus on sustainable agriculture as well as the preservation and understanding of natural resources. Participants volunteer with farmers, ranchers, environmental organizations, outfitters and Land and Wildlife Management professionals. In the middle ground, between the wild and the urban, worksites are where you dig in on the frontlines of local food production and help protect ecosystems and livelihoods that are under threat. 

In the process of volunteering, a place-based curriculum is underscored. Participants experience the culture of the Rocky Mountain West firsthand and intimately connect with some of the most diverse ecosystems in the contiguous United States.

WE ARE FAMILy

Learning & Collaboration

On the Montana Roots Gap program, we learn from and collaborate with land owners, growers and conservationists. In addition to experiential learning through our hands-on work with farmers, ranchers, nonprofits, outfitters and environmentalists, expert speakers will educate and inspire students, and also certify participants in outdoor skills.  

Topics Include:

  • Food Security 
  • Land Stewardship
  • Landowner Concerns & Solutions
  • Urban & Rural Divide
  • Permaculture Design
  • Backcountry Survival Skills 
  • Wilderness First Responder Certification
  • Cultural Norms & Biases of the West
  • Natural Resource Management 
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Sustainability in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
  • Hunter Safety & Ethics 
  • History of Western Expansion
  • Mindfulness & Leadership Coursework
  • Filmmaking & Storytelling

We are Home

Discover a new connection to nature and learn about life in the Mountain West.

Making Meaningful Connections

This fall, the great outdoors, worksites, and farms and ranches of the Greater Yellow Ecosystem will serve as our classroom. VISIONS Gap will base out of our backyard in Bozeman, Montana.

WE ARE EXPLORERS

Prepare to immerse yourself in an unforgettable Western landscape, including mountain peaks, high alpine lakes, wild rivers and open prairies.

EXCURSIONS AND SKILLS

  • BACKPACK, HIKE & CAMP IN THE MONTANA WILDERNESS
  • LEARN RANCHING & FARMING SKILLS
  • EARN CERTIFICATION IN WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER
  • LEARN OUTDOOR SKILLS
  • ETHICAL HUNTING SKILLS
  • LEARN BASIC CARPENTRY
  • TRAIN IN PERMACULTURE
  • LEARN MINDFULNESS & LEADERSHIP SKILLS
  • PRACTICE LEAVE NO TRACE
  • PRACTICE VIDEOGRAPHY & STORYTELLING

INFORMATION WEBINARS

Please join VISIONS Director, Katherine Dayton, for a 15-minute overview of our Montana Roots gap semester followed by a question and answer session. These sessions are open to everyone, including interested and enrolled families, and we welcome any questions you may have. Please note that advance registration is required via the link below.

Thursday, August 6 at 6:30 pm MDT | 8:30 pm EDT. >> Register <<

COVID-19 Notes

In light of COVID-19, VISIONS will be amending some program protocols and is following updates and guidelines set by the CDC, American Camp Association, and State of Montana. Regulations are ever-changing, but we will be using health practices that mitigate risks for participants, leaders and the community. For those who enroll, we will be providing an additional waiver that addresses the risks inherent to the pandemic. Important: Information and details regarding the Montana Root Gap Semester program will supersede VISIONS other promotional materials and website descriptions. For example, our FAQ page provides details about our living situation, which may be altered in order to follow safety guidelines.

Gap Program 2020 Refund Policy

Provided that VISIONS is making a tremendous investment in order to create the Montana Roots Gap program and because spaces are limited, the tuition refund policy is somewhat different than our other programs. Highlights include:

  • A $7000 deposit is due at the time of registration to hold your space in the program. The remaining balance is due 15 days prior to the program start.
  • If you decide to cancel for any reason, 50% of the program fees will be refundable up until 3 weeks before the scheduled departure. Within 3 weeks of departure, all program fees are non-refundable. We recommend that families purchase trip cancellation insurance if they have concerns about canceling.
  • If VISIONS must cancel for any reason, we will refund all program fees, though less an $800 nonrefundable operational fee, which we must keep in order to help cover the expenses of planning the program.

Celebrating 30 Years