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VISIONS Service Adventures

About

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 service, full cultural immersion and open-minded exploration. This is not a teen tour. This is a time to step outside of yourself, to do more and be more.

Our student volunteers work among Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne people on Montana Indian reservations and with indigenous Athabascans in Alaska, as well as abroad in South and Central America, the Caribbean and Cambodia.

Programs are 12 days to four weeks long, and some sites include Spanish language immersion. In addition to VISIONS programs for high school students, we offer one middle school program in Montana.

Founded
1989
Headquarters

203 North Church Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
United States

Accepting Applications for 2019!

Programs are filled on a first-come, first served basis so we encourage you to apply early!

Reviews

Carla
10/10

My youngest son participated in this program the summer before starting 9th grade. I was already quite familiar with VISIONS as my oldest son spent part of his summer with the Tortola, BVI program before his high school senior year. I had absolutely no reservations sending my son to Montana, eventhough he struggles with anxiety, depression & inattentive ADD. After many long discussions with VISIONS Executive Director, Katherine Dayton, she accepted our son into the program wholeheartedly & reassured us that her capable staff would look after him if he encountered any issues. I never worried for one minute that he would not be well taken care of or not have fun. My expectations for this trip were high, but my son’s positive experience was even more than I had hoped for. He loved everything about it! He raved about the experienced, enthusiastic staff, the close friendships that he quickly made, the spectacular scenery & encountering a completely different culture. The service work was well-balanced with plenty of fun excursions & down time. He returned from Montana a more confident, independent & happier child. Today he is a high school sophomore who is thriving academically & although he still struggles with anxiety, depression & inattentive ADD, he has maintained the confidence & independence that he gained after participating in the Montana Northern Cheyenne Program. He is looking forward to participating in another VISIONS program the summer of 2020. It is my pleasure to recommend this program without reservation to any parent or student considering it.

What would you improve about this program?
This is a stellar program just as it is with an outstanding staff.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Gillian
10/10

Visions was an absolutely amazing experience for me! I met the most wonderful people. The immersion into the Peruvian culture was incredible, my world has been opened in so many ways because of it. I think about my 2 week trip every day. I got to travel to various places in Peru, and also help out the small town of Urubamba. The connections Visions has with the community are so deep. I finally felt like my true authentic self. I got the chance to meet people I never would have otherwise. We became quite close and still keep in touch. I always felt safe and the leaders made a great effort to check in with how everyone was feeling. If you are considering doing a program with Visions I highly recommend. I have memories that will last a lifetime

What would you improve about this program?
My experience with Visions was perfect. I am sure others might not feel the same way. But for me I wouldn't change a thing. I wish I could have stayed longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jasmine
10/10

What was also amazing about VISIONS was the way the program is conducted. After spending 3 weeks in Cambodia I felt like I really made a mark and left a piece of myself there. We formed a community with many of the residents in Battambang- Mom (our cook), our tuk tuk drivers (piccun and vonny), the principal, the teachers, the schoolchildren, some of the shopkeepers (shake place), and the SALT girls. We had formed and become part of a real community. And everyone was so appreciative. They enjoyed taking us around and welcomed our curiosity and willingness to help. It was a new way of traveling that I would like to continue to pursue. To live at the local level, immerse yourself in the culture, and really get to know the people. I didn’t just visit and vacation in Cambodia. I lived there. I was a part of it. And it felt amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish it was longer! I was there for 3 weeks and wish it had been a month!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jasmine
10/10

This summer I lived and volunteered on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation with VISIONS Service Adventures. VISIONS combined my favorite things- travel, learning, and community service. What I love about VISIONS is that the main focus of the trip is volunteering. Although there is still plenty of time to relax and explore, serving the community is the top priority. The weekday was structured around different worksites and projects. Every day we would choose between the different volunteering opportunities: soup kitchens, restocking food pantries, building handicap ramps for elders, repainting buildings… The schedule was very flexible and there were even more opportunities to find new work and take initiative in the community.

Besides the work, we also attended many cultural and religious ceremonies. VISIONS has worked with the Blackfeet people for almost thirty years, allowing the VISIONS program access to community celebrations as honored old friends. Knowing so many people in the community really allowed us to fully integrate into the community and got us invited to many sacred rituals. We attended sweat lodges, the sacred Sun Dance ceremony, and multiple powwows. Many of these rituals are not accessible to outsiders, and we were only able to attend these ceremonies because the locals know and trust VISIONS. They trusted us so much that they even let us help build the Sun Dance lodge and set up the tipis needed for the ceremony. Learning and experiencing this vibrant culture was only made possible because of VISIONS. I am so grateful to be one of the few outsiders who was able to experience it.

What would you improve about this program?
The housing could be slightly improved. Living on a ranch definitely pushed my limits but there were only port-a-potties. Also the ranch was a few miles outside of town, so we were not in the center of all the action.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Nick
10/10

I got to spend four weeks on the Montana Blackfeet reservation learning about their culture and their customs Whilst living on a ranch Among cattle I got to make great friends and have amazing experiences the leaders were very helpful and very friendly we did amazing trips like backpack into a frozen lake and traveling The elders and the tribe and our very nice and very open with going to the sun road where we saw grizzly bears the service project you do you are very rewarding and you feel great about yourself after completing them Getting to see a rodeo and a powwow well going to see Sundance a very spiritual rewarding experience which really opens your eyes to cultures around The elders really welcome you into their community and ally to see a side of people that you wouldn’t see anywhere else

Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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