By Katie Coleman, Camp Big Sky Director

A division of the Big Sky Community Corporation, Camp Big Sky provides summer programming for kids, with activities and experiences focused on making summer a time of learning and growth. Camp Big Sky’s successes over the past seven years have been due, in large part, to the financial and in-kind support of many individuals, organizations and businesses.

Women In Action provides camp scholarships for kids who couldn’t otherwise attend, and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation’s generous underwriting allows us to keep prices low, helping some campers attend longer sessions.

Equally important are the local volunteer services we receive. This summer, for the first time, we were able to leave the park for off-site adventures without parent transportation, due to the generosity of several individuals and groups.

At no cost to parents, campers visited Big Sky Resort, rode Ramcharger and hiked all over Andesite Mountain. Participants also received free transportation to and swimming at the Whitewater Inn, and learned to golf at the Big Sky Resort golf course with pros Mark Savoy and Josh Martin. Younger campers took part in Big Sky’s Base Camp activities like the zip-line and the high ropes course at a discount.

For the seventh season in a row, Jake’s Horses and Geyser Whitewater offered their services at a lower rate. Individuals like Chet Leach from Rhythm Drums, Chelsea Smith from Artsplot, and ceramist Jill Zeidler brought art and music experiences to our kids.

New providers, such as “Dog Lady” Anne Dixon, Katie Alvin and the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation, and local horse experts Lisa Kass and Ordean Anderson taught children about dog training, archery and horses. Campers’ toured of the historic Crail Ranch with Anne Marie Mistretta and the water-sewer plant with Grant Burroughs.

As the 400-plus members in the audience for Willy Wonka Junior would attest, Big Sky Broadway—now in its second year—anchors our summer programs through a live theater, music and dance performance experience for kids.

This summer, the number of campers increased in every category. We’re grateful for the parents and grandparents, and generous donors, who entrust their children to our care.

Announcements of our summer 2012 programs will begin appearing on our website this January. bsccmt.org—click on Camp Big Sky under projects.