VISIONS Montana Blackfeet Service Adventure Program

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About

Live on a ranch amid the rolling grasslands of the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. Work on conservation and building projects that serve the Blackfeet Indian tribe. Attend sacred ceremonies and a powwow, try your hand at beading, unlock the secrets of medicinal plants and explore the gorgeous Glacier National Park next door.

Highlights
  • Conservation
  • Community Service
  • Backpacking
  • American Indian Culture and History

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 8 reviews
  • Growth 9.6
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Lori
10/10

a transformative experience for my daughter

My daughter went to Montana the Summer of 2011 (summer of her freshman year in HS) -- and though she was pretty well traveled by that point -- she was not ever a solo traveler (or someone who liked 'camp' for that matter ) -- So i have to say i was wondering how this experience would go..... There were some minor blips getting TO Montana (flights got cancelled/weather delays/ the kids were split up -- )but the Visions staff handled it admirably (in spite of the airlines ) -- keeping me (and the other parents) in the loop at all times -- and even going so far as to say they would drive to Salt Lake City and pick up the kids if they didn't make it to Montana-- Once they got to Montana...and they did... I am not entirely sure what precisely happened on a day to day basis -- i know there was a lot of work in the local community, a lot of work with in the group, some fabulous hiking and camping, rodeos and a sweat lodge -- but the Girl who came home.... well lets just say that she was sobbing at the airport as she wasn't ready for it all to end (this is a girl who is a real home body )-- the bonds forged, the lessons learned, the growth experienced-- it was a life changing experience for her and those friendships have endured-- and she honestly felt she had made a difference and learned something on the way -- We chose Visions because of their commitment to a true community service program--truly it is what they do (not a travel program with a small community service component), their reputation as a stellar program and their deep roots in many of the communities they work in. Our daughter went back the next year (to Cambodia-- will review that later- but FABULOUS) and i do not hesitate to recommend Visions to anyone who is looking for a summer service adventure that is so much more...

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sameer
9/10

VISIONS gave me a new outlook on my life

This program is one that has impacted me in a number of ways. First, I had the chance to develop my carpentry skills, which have already begun to bear fruit back home. Second, and more reflectively, I was shown that work is often its own reward. I have, for much of my life, focused simply on the goal-- working until it is done, getting a score on it, and moving on to the next task; at VISIONS, I was made to understand the difference between work, the process, and the goal, the destination. This mentality is one that I will have for the rest of my life, and one that will serve me well. But lastly, and most importantly, I saw an America that looked nothing like the America I know. To see what has happened to Native Americans on reservations is an experience I will never forget. They are some of the most amazing people I have ever met and they welcomed us to Browning despite the numerous struggles that they encounter everyday. Browning is a town that changed my life. I had some serious moments of self-reflection and I walked away a better person. This program is fantastic in more ways than one, and I urge rhe reader of this to consider applying.

How can this program be improved?
Housing was okay, with all things considered, but I think that having slightly better showers would go a long way. It is a small concern, but the open top of it as well as its general dirtiness made showering an undesirable experience. Simply covering the sides so nothing can be thrown inside the shower while someone is showering. A mat wouldn't hurt either.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
BO
9/10

VISIONS will always in my mind.

27 days, this long trip without my family really makes me grow so much. Also, it's the first time I do this kind of volunteer work such as building, painting, and so on. The whole experience was refreshing me and making me think of my life and my future. This trip also makes me not too shy like I was. To be honest, the feeling of using your own hands to help others satisfy me the most. Although there might be difficulties and problems, you will enjoy the whole process of helping others and team work. All I want to say is: I really miss everyone who was in that program with me and this will be the most memorable experience in my life. If you choose it, you will never regret.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Damani
10/10

Treasured Memories

Looking back about 5 years ago now, Visions Montana was undoubtedly the most thrilling and best experience of my life. I often reflect back on the captivating moments I had on the reservation and keep in touch with many of the others I shared the experience with during the adventurous 3 week program. I hope to visit Browning in the near future and contact some of the natives I made strong connections with. I will never forget the fun musical bus rides, hiking in Glacier National Park, horseback riding, and meeting the most genuine people I've ever met. I'd do anything to relive my summer in Montana.

How can this program be improved?
I can't recall. Everything was great.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sam
10/10

As Awesome as Can Be

I highly recommend doing this program if you are looking for a great time, a way to meet awesome people, and a way to help. That's what I was looking for when I went on this trip, and I absolutely got it. The staff is awesome, all participants are interested and excited, and you can feel yourself grow as a person as the trip goes on. For me, it is one of the things I'll remember for my whole life.

How can this program be improved?
It's honestly very hard to say how to improve this program. Although it did not affect my trip directly, but if there was more of an application process for students, or at least an interview to round off kids who aren't as excited or interested I think it could be a good thing.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Murathan
9/10

Go For It

There are many different ways you can spent your summer this year but I'm just saying, you want to do this Service Adventure. How many people get to say they met, helped and hang with the Native Blackfeet people? Only the ones who do this camp that's who. Also don't think you'll be working unstop all day. You get to join tribal ceremonies which can not be placed in words but only experienced. And that's not all the staff, the most unique and awesome people ever, plan fun activities every day which everyone will enjoy. Including sports, card/board games, and ice breakers. I'm not trying to bore you so I'll end it, but all I can say it go for it. Remember to ask me questions!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing that needs to improve is the building in which we sleep, I personally did not have any problems but if it was a bit nicer/welcoming it would be awesome!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anon
9/10

LOTS OF FUN!

VISIONS Montana is a fantastic program! You get so many opportunities to meet new people from all across the country, all of whom are sweet and very fun. A typical work day starts off with breakfast. Then at around 9:45 we left to go to the worksite, where we were constructing a playground. We also were able to do odd jobs like mowing lawns. We dug a lot of holes, and we also painted and stained wood. We usually got an hour break for lunch, in which we were allowed to walk about the town and buy food or souveniors. After the work day was over, we would go back to the ranch. We ate dinner, and then afterwards we would have various activities (movies, games...). We had 5 groups of "home base" people, who would stay back and cook, clean, do laundry and pick up mail. On the weekends, we did things like scavanger hunts and we went on hikes. We went on one backpacking trip as well.

How can this program be improved?
Although VISIONS was a lot of fun, I would probably have prefered if we did not do Circle. We had to talk about our feelings.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
ariel
10/10

Blown away (sometimes literally) :)

I spent this past summer in Montana, on the Blackfeet Native American Reservation right by Glacier National Park. To say it was beautiful, both physically and spiritually, would be misleading - there are no words for how absolutely stunning every moment was. It was eye-opening. It's an experience I'll always look back on with fondness. It definitely changed me inside and out.

I woke up every morning ready to go go go! Breakfast, always. Nothing like home-cooking. And perpetual oatmeal. And then we were gone - wind or rain, hot or cold, we were out doing our stuff.

I loved working on the construction site (clambering on roof rafters!) and getting involved in the culture (playing with all the little kids! I forget how many piggyback rides I gave) all around me. I've never before felt such a strong, deep, outstanding connection to anyone or anything. Taking 11 mile hikes, swimming in icy cold lakes, rock climbing, and camping only added to the fun.

It was almost surreal - for one month, I was free to be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to do (within reason...). I was free to just explore. It was a safe place where you could be unsafe, if that makes sense. I can't thank everyone I was in Montana with me for that opportunity. And I still keep in touch with the kids I met!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing... I'd change the duration of our stay. Could we just stay there forever? :)

But, in actuality - I might ask to change the organization. Sometimes things seemed a little scatterbrained. But I also think that added to the fun of it all, not really knowing what always came next.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About VISIONS Service Adventures

VISIONS programs are grounded in a philosophy that has been changing the lives of teenagers for 30 years. We believe it is best to do one thing and do it well. That’s why across all programs we have one model, built on the pillars of meaningful...