“Glacier in Focus” Program Continues for Third Year

By Beacon Staff

Twelve middle school-aged youth with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Missoula County and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County will experience a photographic exploration of Glacier National Park from July 22-26.

The group will undergo “Glacier in Focus,” an educational partnership program. Currently in its third year, the program is made possible by a federal Youth Partnership Program grant and programming assistance from the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, Glacier Institute, and Glacier National Park Conservancy.

Over the course of a week, participants learn about nature, photography, and the National Park Service while camping and hiking in Glacier National Park. They meet and work alongside park rangers and outdoor leaders from the Udall Foundation and the Glacier Institute, sharpening their photography skills with stunning views of Avalanche Lake, Logan Pass and Lake McDonald. While camping in the park, participants learn basic outdoor skills, “Leave No Trace” practices and have the opportunity to be sworn in as Junior Rangers.

This is the second week-long “Glacier in Focus” program to occur at the park this year. A separate group of 12 youth with the Boys & Girls Club of Missoula County participated in the program during the Fourth of July week.

The $16,415 Youth Partnership Program federal grant provides digital cameras to 24 youth participants and covers administration and transportation costs. Funding allows participants to keep digital cameras, fostering continued photography practice, creative expression, and a deeper connection and awareness to their environment.

Janis Fontaine, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Missoula County said, “This program has been a wonderful experience for our middle school kids. Camping, hiking, and learning in Glacier National Park is truly a once in a lifetime trip that has the potential to change a child’s whole outlook on our world and his or her unique place in it.”

“Glacier in Focus” is part of “Parks in Focus,” a program of the Udall Foundation that connects youth from underserved communities to nature through photography. Program support for “Glacier in Focus” is provided by the National Park Service, Glacier Institute, Glacier National Park Conservancy, Boys & Girls Clubs of Missoula County, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County, Udall Foundation, and Lowepro. For more information on the “Parks in Focus” program visit here.

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