Incredibly wild winter fun

Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019 by »
Kelly Miller teaches Clark Fork students about how caribou stay warm in the cold winter.

Students from Idaho, Montana, and Washington all got outside this winter thanks to the Winter Tracks program. Students from kindergarten up through high school learned all about the great outdoors during the winter.

Each school heard about three or four topics. Students learned how to:

  • use avalanche beacons,
  • tell different type of trees apart,
  • use a map and compass to find their way,
  • identify animals by their skulls and tracks,
  • how to build a shelter with nothing more than tree bows,
  • and even build a fire.

Each year, volunteers make Winter Tracks a great time for students and teachers alike. Many of these volunteers come back year after year to teach, act as group guides, make sure the hot cocoa is ready on time, and even pick up coffee for the volunteers.

2019ClarkForkWinterTracksGroup

Clark Fork High School students enjoying a day at “Judy’s Place.” Thanks to Kaniksu Land Trust for the awesome location!

“We are so lucky to allow our students such rigorous hands on learning in the field with such a well assembled team of experts to share their knowledge and experience.” – Becky Haag, Clark Fork High School

Some happy students even had a volunteer come to their school to talk with them. “Even my Kindergartners sat through the presentation without any problems.” – Rose Wilson, Yaak School

Libby Winter Tracks 2017_Gene Reckin

Gene Reckin teaching students about animal adaptations, with help from his owl.

And it’s not just fun for the students. “Getting kids outside is not only fun for them, but me as well. This is such an important part of their education. I’m proud to be part of it.” – Gene Reckin, volunteer and retired science teacher.

Do you want your school to participate or would you like to volunteer for Winter Tracks next year? Let us know!

About The Author:

Britta Mireley lives in Sagle with her husband and daughter. She's using her background in marketing and tourism to save the wild Scotchmans so her daughter and someday, her daughter's children, can discover nature in its purest form. Britta also serves on the Bonner Community Housing Agency board and enjoys nerding out over historic downtowns.

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