One of the priorities at every Idaho Youth Ranch residential program is to open doors for the kids we care for by introducing them to new experiences.
As the end of the last school year approached, staff members at the Ranch Campus wanted to do something special for the residents. Their teachers suggested a trip to Yellowstone National Park because the kids had been studying it and it would be a wonderful opportunity to bring the classroom lessons to life. As it was, of the 15 students on the trip, only one remembered having been to Yellowstone before and two had never even left the state of Idaho.
The trip turned out to be a huge hit! The kids met with a park ranger, who taught them about the history of the geysers and the super-volcano upon which they were standing. They enjoyed evening campfires spent toasting smores and sharing stories about what they had seen and learned each day.
They even added in an extra nature tour, exploring the banks of a local stream on the way home—an unplanned but creative way to fill the time while a mechanical issue with their bus got taken care of.
But the kids’ favorite part of the trip was all of the wildlife they got to see. On their first day, they saw a cow moose and her calf drinking in the Snake River. On the second day, they saw buffalo, elk, deer, coyote, and even a grizzly bear! The buffalo were in calving season, so the kids got to see a few calves who were only hours old.
It was a trip they will remember for a lifetime, and something many of them might never have experienced without the support of IYR’s generous donors and dedicated staff.