Winter Tracks – 2016/2017

Suzie Kretzschmar shows students her basket of feet!
Suzie Kretzschmar shows students her basket of feet!

The 2016-2017 season of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness’ (FSPW) Winter Tracks program was the most successful season yet!  The program experienced significant growth from the previous season, almost doubling the number of students attending!

Over the nine program days, FSPW served 353 students from nine schools in three states and four separate counties.  This, of course, could not have been possible without the help of 49 unique volunteers who contributed 438 volunteer hours teaching, cooking hot dogs, directing small groups, and keeping everyone warm and safe (which is no easy task in the winter).

Although learning modules may vary due to instructor expertise or school preference, the following modules were taught this season:

  • Tree Identification
  • Winter Birding
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Leave No Trace
  • Skulls & Pelts
  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Animal Tracking.

A teacher from one of the 2017 programs remarked that the most meaningful part of the Winter Tracks experience for their students was the experiential aspect, “being outdoors and seeing, touching, [and] smelling the subjects being taught.”

Hands on learning with Gene Reckin in Libby.
Hands on learning with Gene Reckin in Libby.

The experience as a whole could be looked at as a lesson in itself, a lesson of how to stay warm and dry even in the most adverse winter conditions!

The following schools joined FSPW for a day in the snow: Thompson Falls Jr. High School, Libby Elementary School, Troy High School, Kootenai Valley Christian School, Forrest M. Bird Charter School, Noxon Middle School, Sagle Elementary, Clark Fork Junior Senior High School, and East Farms STEAM Magnet School.

To learn more about the Winter Tracks program, visit our main Winter Tracks page. To get involved, email