By Barbara Rowley

BIG SKY – Dave Mueller, known to friends as “Big Bald Dave,” loved to ski, fly fish and enjoy the Montana outdoors. This year, local students can again apply for the annual scholarship in Mueller’s name, awarded to a youth pursuing outdoor-based adventure.

For the third year, the memorial fund administered by the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation will honor Mueller’s memory by offering local Big Sky students, ages 12-18, a scholarship of up to $5,000 to enjoy the same outdoor pursuits.

In the fund’s inaugural year, sophomore Griffin House attended a NOLS course in Yellowstone National Park. Last year, seventh grader Jackson Wade journeyed to a remote fishing camp in Canada where he learned to fly fish in the open sea.

“Originally we planned to have him gone for two weeks, but he loved it so much that he stayed for a total of five and a half,” said Jackson’s mother Denise Wade. “During that time away from home he developed a self-reliance and confidence wiser than his 12 years. He also realized how wonderful Big Sky and Montana are.”

Applicants must be current students in the Big Sky School District, with clear plans for using the grant money during summer 2013. The scholarship is not based on need.

“We look for candidates who have both a demonstrated passion for the outdoors and a plan for how to expand their experiences,” said YCCF Executive Director Casey Schwartz. “Dave [Mueller] took every opportunity to be engaged and exploring outdoors. That’s the kind of interest we want to help along.”

The deadline for applications is March 11. Final decisions will be rendered by March 22. Applications are available online at yellowstoneclubcommunityfoundation.org.