2019 Winter Recap

Winter 2019 is in the books! Despite mother nature refusing to put away her winter boots, we are excited to announce another successful season of shredding the slopes of Big Sky Resort, and exposing 115 youth to our prosocial curriculum! Winter 2019 programming consisted of 12 weeks of workshops and 10 adventures from mid-January through mid-April for participants in grades 8-11. 115 participants and 45 mentors engaged in small group activities during weeknights and ventured out on Sundays into the community. Winter adventures mainly focused on learning and gaining confidence skiing and snowboarding at Big Sky Resort. We also offered curling as a unique alternative adventure. In addition, all youth participated in a day of nordic skiing at Crosscut Ranch. Adventures through BYEP gave participants the chance to connect with their group on a different level, learn a new skill, and build self-confidence.


8th grader Dominic preps himself to trust his group as they pass him through the Spider Web.

8th Grade

Session 1: This was the first session in the Approach Program designed for participants halfway through their 8th grade school year. The overall goal of this session was to normalize behavior in a group that sets the tone for their potential four year journey in BYEP. This included setting expectations, clearly teaching BYEP policies and rules, and creating an identity that is unique to each group. A key component of this process was to clearly establish roles of participants, mentors, program managers, and the group. A heavy emphasis was placed on teamwork, establishing trust, and building healthy communication skills. Participants completing Session 1 were stoked on BYEP and now have a good understanding of the Approach Program.

Goals of the Session

  1. Group development

  2. Teamwork

  3. Establishing trust

  4. Communication

  5. Fun

9th Grade

Session 4: The fourth session of the Approach Program is designed for participants halfway through their ninth grade year. The focus was primarily on interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. The foundational themes of trust, teamwork, and communication were revisited. Emotional coping skills were introduced during this session. As a continuation of the theme on wellness last Fall, this session focused on emotional well-being. Continuing to normalize the BYEP experience, emphasizing teamwork, and cultivating emotional wellness were integrated into all adventures and workshops.

Goals of the Session

  1. Group norming

  2. Team building

  3. Emotional wellness

  4. Developing interpersonal and intrapersonal skills

Kami, Alex and Katie stoked to be shredding Big Sky Resort

Kami, Alex and Katie stoked to be shredding Big Sky Resort

Bekah getting her curling game face on with the Bozeman Curling Club.

Bekah getting her curling game face on with the Bozeman Curling Club.

10th Grade

Session 7: At the end of Session 6 participants went through a rite of passage ceremony signifying their transition from Approach to Crux. Participants began Session 7 motivated to learn more about themselves and how they can enrich their identity as a group. Our goal for the session was for participants to help one another gain a greater awareness of themselves, improve interpersonal communication and empathy, and assess their personal value. Another major focus of this session was an introduction to employment skills. Workshop topics included trust and communication, empathy, and employment skills such as resume building and interviewing. This session prepared participants to experience success in our SummerWorks program in which participants will have the opportunity to work 20 hours a week for 12 weeks of the upcoming summer.

Goals of the session

  1. Group Development

  2. Health and Wellness

  3. Empathy & Awareness

  4. Introspection

  5. Employment Skills

11th Grade

Session 10: Session 10 is designed for Crux participants to begin their exploration of independent living. Groups gained skills on how to effectively plan and in effect, gain the motivation to make their future independence goals a reality. Workshops included how to effectively and realistically set goals, explore financial literacy, and maintain personal, social, and emotional balance within life transitions. These in-depth skills empowered group members to make their future dreams into tangible goals. Participants used past social and emotional skills gained at BYEP to compliment this season’s focus on independent living skills. After this season, 11th-grade participants should feel empowered to begin their transition from living dependently to becoming independent.

Goals of the Session

  1. Financial Literacy

  2. Goal Setting

  3. Transitions

  4. Balance

Crux participants taking a tour of MSU on their way to dinner with the Hilleman Scholars Program

Crux participants taking a tour of MSU on their way to dinner with the Hilleman Scholars Program