Ravenwood returns for 17th year

by Whitefish Pilot
March 10, 2020 2:27 PM

F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company and Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center partner each year to connect local kids and families with working forests on Stoltze land between Columbia Falls and Whitefish. Ravenwood offers a Spring Break Day Camp, Homeschool Programs, and a slate of summer camps for youth and teens at the site.

There are many distractions and challenges for kids in our fast-paced society, and an increasing number of negative trends — obesity and health issues, screen addiction, attention disorders, stress, depression, violence, disrespect, substance abuse, you name it — all of which need our attention and action as a community, according to the nonprofit. Ravenwood works to help parents and teachers get kids outdoors learning and growing, naturally.

In its 17th year, Ravenwood is a community-based nonprofit organization that also provides outdoor programs for area schools through funding from the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Community Challenge, contributions from local donors, and a fee structure designed to make the programs accessible to families and schools from all income levels. The center serves more than 800 kids each year.

Campers learn tracking and wilderness skills, edible and medicinal plant identification and processing, fire skills, handcraft, and immerse in a healthy working forest.

F.H. Stoltze’s Lands and Resource Manager, Paul McKenzie, says the company has enjoyed working with Ravenwood to “get the woods into our kids” and helping to reinforce the connections between healthy forests and healthy communities.

“Stoltze has learned that getting people, especially children, out in the woods is the first vital step toward gaining a better appreciation for their dependence on these natural resources,” he said.

Call (406) 260-8620 for information and visit the website at www.ravenwoodolc.org for details on registration, income based fees, and other Ravenwood programs.