Building Bridges Students On Their Way to the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Two groups of Building Bridges students will spend 16 days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness doing volunteer work and experiencing world-class fishing.
The groups will be doing trail work in the Great Bear Wilderness, which is the northern section of the Bob Marshall wilderness and shares a border with Glacier National Park. The area is just across Highway 2 from Glacier National Park and just west of Marias Pass. They will be working around the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, primarily focusing on clearing blow down and brush and will clear trails branching off from several different major trailheads.
Each group will make a loop, spending time on the Middle Fork where they can swim and flyfish for cutthroat trout during their downtime. The two groups will meet in the middle of the trip and Kurt Fairbank, owner and clinical director, will ride in on horseback with a pack train for resupply and therapy.
Considered by many to be the “crown jewel” of the Wilderness system, the Bob Marshall Wilderness (“the Bob”), a majestic wilderness complex in Northwestern Montana that sits on both sides of the Continental Divide, was named after early forester, wilderness preservation pioneer, and Wilderness Society cofounder Bob Marshall. The Bob is designated as a non-motorized wilderness area, which has kept the area pristine and has drawn outdoorsmen from across the world. The Bob consists of the Great Bear, Bob Marshall, and Scapegoat Wildernesses and forms the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, an area of more than 1.5 million acres. The foundation relies on volunteers to help maintain trails throughout this vast area.
This is a favorite trip among students and many plan their own trips into the Bob, years after they have graduated the Building Bridges program. Immersing themselves in this beautiful area and experiencing the satisfaction of completing the service work while getting to swim and fish in some of the most sought-after places in the lower 48 states is life changing for many.
Building Bridges is a Therapeutic Boarding School in Thompson Falls, MT for boys 14-18 with substance and behavioral issues. The passion is creating a structure that mirrors real life with the goal to have the boys attend public school. Building Bridges seeks to bring real life to treatment through redirection and empowerment. They strive to teach the young men to see how substance has created behaviors that have gotten in their way of pursing their passions. By teaching them how to have self-confidence and create a more positive manner they are able to see their growth through using what they learn in a normalized safe environment that will transfer to wherever their next step is.