We believe growth comes from being outside and learning about yourself in a special place like southwest Montana. The best learning experience might be linking turns on a snowboard or getting down a whitewater river. Maybe getting up the courage to scale a rock wall and figuring out how to work as a team and encourage others.
This is why we exist…
Big Sky is sick!
Riding the Couch - Winter 2009
Balance Beam - Summer 2009
How It Works
The youth apply to our program on their own initiative. Next, they’re paired up in a group of 6 with youth their own age and 3 volunteer mentors. The group then spends one day on the weekend getting outside. They also spend one night during the week working on what’s going on inside with workshops on communication and life skills.
We provide these opportunities for growth at no charge. Zip. Zilch. And the best part? If the BYEP’er has perfect attendance they can keep the gear. It’s our hope too that they have a few tools to get outside now and have grown a bit in the process too.
Since we started in 2001 we’ve seen kids come through our program with some pretty tough stories. But these same kids have come back to us. They come back and volunteer to be mentors and reach out to kids that are in the same place they were a few years ago.
This is our definition of success…when kids come through our program, grow, and give back.
In Their Own Words
Name, Age/Grade, School?
I’m Josh Ewing and I’m a 16 year old sophomore at Bozeman High.
What are your favorite memories from BYEP so far?
My favorite memories are making a ton of new friends, getting outside with my group, learning to snowboard, and hitting jumps at Big Sky with my mentor, Mike.
Who is someone that you look up to and why?
I really look up to my mentor Mike Chesrown because we hit it off right off the bat. Mike has mad skills on a snowboard and he’s really tolerant and easy to talk to.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in your life that your involvement in BYEP has helped you address/overcome?
Before BYEP, I couldn’t get in front of people and talk that comfortably. Now I can do that easily…like at graduations and in the group “check-ins.” Basically, my self-confidence is WAY better.
Are you currently listening to, watching, or reading anything interesting?
I’m listening to a lot of music with rhythm and bass, especially hip-hop and rap. Lately, I’ve been getting into TuPac & Biggie Smalls.
Favorite Thing to be Doing?
Where are you in 5 Years? What will you be doing?
In 5 years, I hope to be working in the snowboard industry. I also want to travel the world at some point, too. I definitely want to be working for BYEP as a mentor or in their staff. I’m also interested in auto mechanics and am currently enrolled in Advanced Auto Mechanics at BHS.
If you were explaining BYEP to other people (future: donors/kids/parents/mentors) what would you say/how would you explain it?
BYEP is an amazing program that helps kids reach their goals, get over their fears, and get a better understanding of themselves and others. I wouldn’t change a thing about BYEP.
The Nuts & Bolts
* Our program is delieverd on a trimester basis - 3 times a year, based upon season (Fall, Winter, & Summer) - the total length of the program is over 4 years long. If you're lucky you start during your 8th grade year and stick around through high school graduation. If you are in high school or in a later grade, that's OK, you may apply anyway. Lots of times we have openings in an 11th grade or 9th grade group and we'll always fill available slots.
* The programs are 100% scholarship based
* 6 teenagers are paired with 3 trained/volunteer mentors and a program manager for a trimester
* One day during the weekend the group participates in an outdoor activity, one day during the week the group participates in a character education
Interested in Applying?
All you have to do is click on that Red Tab (up there to the left) that says Youth Application. If you have additional questions hit Alyson Spery up on her email at email@example.com