The Kid for the Wild Scholarship is a tribute to the memory and vision of Walkin’ Jim Stoltz and his “kid for the wild” spirit. Jim was a singer songwriter, poet, photographer, painter and long distance hiker from Big Sky and Helena, Montana. Jim hiked over 28,000 miles through the wilderness of North America – a true mountain man who experienced the wonder and wisdom of natural world with the heart of a child. Jim performed at many schools throughout the United States for children of all ages;
The Kid for the Wild Scholarship is a tribute to the memory and vision of Walkin’ Jim Stoltz and his “kid for the wild” spirit. Jim was a singer-songwriter, poet, photographer, painter, and long-distance hiker from Big Sky and Helena, Montana. Jim hiked over 28,000 miles through the wilderness of North America – a true mountain man who experienced the wonder and wisdom of the natural world with the heart of a child. Jim performed at many schools throughout the United States for children of all ages, 2 to 92!
The goal of this scholarship is to provide an opportunity for young people, ages 12-18, to experience the outdoors in ways that could change their lives. The scholarship supports opportunities that open minds, build self-confidence, and develop understanding, appreciation, and further stewardship of the natural world.
Up to $800 is awarded annually to the two applicants who best demonstrate their desire and need to pursue experiences that encourage their connections with the natural world. Scholarships are awarded for experiences that emphasize nature exploration, environmental science, wilderness adventures, and leadership in the outdoors. These experiences can be camps, trips, and travel.
To be considered, Spring scholarship applications must be submitted by April 30, 2023, and fall scholarship applications must be submitted by September 30, 2023.
If you have any questions about the scholarship or application, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Camp Examples and Programs
These are just a few examples. We encourage you to imagine your own “Wilderness Time”
Spring 2023 Scholarship Winners
2023 we have 2 new recipients
Abigail and Elizabeth Summers from Manhattan, Montana have been chosen for one award. They are both volunteers at their community garden and excited about learning and experiencing more of the natural world. As young people growing up on Montana, they know the value of the human connection to nature and want to learn more about this. We are excited for these 2 to have a chance to do this.
“One person can make the world a better place by appreciating it; I won’t take nature for granted”. Those are words from these two “Kids for the Wild”.
The second scholarship will go to Marley Schack of Big Sky, Montana. She has been raised in Montana with a love for the outdoors and shares an experience of being on a mountaintop in Colorado. ” As I was sitting on top of this mountain, and looking at all of the surrounding lakes, forests, and mountain ranges as the sun rose I realized how lucky I was to be experiencing something that could make my life feel so rich. I have always cared about the environment and preserving it, but this specific trip inspired me to try and do more to preserve public lands and understand more about what is happening in the world around me. I want my kids, and all future generations to be able to experience the amazing things I have been able to.”
She will be attending a Traveling School semester in Southern Africa and her world will open dramatically.
These recipients are both from Montana, but we invite any youth, from any place, to apply for the Scholarship. This year we will have a second scholarship opportunity offered in the fall, so stay tuned!
As news and stories come in from these experiences, they will be posted in the Kid for the Wild Menu!
Previous Scholarship Winners
Sarah Morse from Medocino, CA
Sarah is curious and adventurous. She feels that one person and a simple action can change the world in a big way. Sarah is a leader in her classroom, but loves the natural world. She shared a story.” I went backpacking a few years ago with my family in the Sierra Mountains. I had dirt all over my face by the last day of the trip. It felt really good not caring about how you look while doing spending time in nature. It made me feel really connected to the outdoors like I was a part of it.”
Sasha Yada from Sequim, WA
Sasha feels that Alpengirl summer camp can deepen her connection with nature and help her gain lots of knowledge. I am really looking forward to activities that are new to me, like sea kayaking, rock climbing, and wilderness camping. “I will surely appreciate the great outdoors ability to naturally calm me down. Earth, our home and our planet, is an amazing place built up by humankind and our creativity. Every day somebody can do an act that makes a difference. Not only can one person make a difference but everybody can.”
Camp Habitat, located at Creamer’s Field Migratory Bird Refuge in Fairbanks, AK.
Received the 3rd Scholarship this year to support 3 campers, ages 8-11 The 2,200–acre Refuge has forests, fields and wetland habitat and provides ample chances to spot wildlife. The 300 acres of fields have a primary role in providing thousands of migratory birds a place to feed and rest each spring and fall. At Camp Habitat, campers learn about the natural history of Interior Alaska through engaging activities, games, hikes, projects, and guest speakers. They will explore the natural world through themes such as plants, animals, birds, fish, habitats, and people & the environment.
This year, the scholarship fund also helps from Tanzania with their school fees:
Hafsah Kindu in her first year at a medical school she is in the College of health science Bugando
As she was an environmental leader in high school. Hafsa has achieved so much by keeping the school environment clean and green and teaching others in the important of “keeping our continent green by doing an the right things.” The scholarship will help her to carry on doing good things at her college planting more trees and working together with colleagues to educate others on environmental protection, trash management and tree planting around lake Victoria .
Abigail Kindu in grade seven at Bahari school in Dar esalaam
Abigail is a member of Tanzania youth scout which is known as centre of excellence for nature , environment and sustainability. The main goal is to educate the youth to protect the environment. The scholarship will help Abigail to travel to the areas of concern about huge environmental destruction especially a big hydro power project at Selous game reserve, where thousands of acres of natural forest was cleared to allow the project to take over, such a huge destruction. This tour will help to get a first hand experience and later on share with the Tanzanian youth the important of conserving and protecting nature. There will be other ongoing scouts activities like cleaning the beach and help educate others not to litter the beach.
Chloe Lopez Hawkins is excited to learn more plant names and about her Grama’s connection with the outdoors.
Maddy Waters has had some profound influences in her life around the natural world. Her comment expresses her passion about life and the outdoors fuels this passion:
Malala Yousafzai stood up for what she believed in, and fought to change gender inequality in her home country. She started alone, but by speaking out and refusing to stay silent (even when she was shot by the Taliban). She opened people’s eyes, inciting determination in them. She gathered support from all over the world, this one girl made a difference. She couldn’t have done it alone of course, but she was the driving force behind this movement, it all started and came back to her. Because as Nobel Peace Prize winner Mahatma Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Hafsah Kindu on her way to school
As a naturalist leader, Hafsa Kundu has taken this on to work with fellow students in addressing major environmental issues such as ensuring safe, resilient, and sustainable communities, monitoring consumption and farming, combating climate change and preventing impacts from misusing resources. In seeing these as values to be promoted into the future, a naturalist leader helps stimulate conversations about ideas such as finding ways to balance economy, ecological integrity and society. Hafsa’s goal is to go on to Medical school when she finished secondary school. These will be significant values she will take with her into this much needed profession. Congratulations Hafsa. We wish you great success from all of us and our donors at Kid for the Wild.
We are proud to announce the Kid for the Wild Scholarship awards this year go to the Four Winds Program in Vermont and to Carisa Cesarone of Montana.
For as long as Carisa Cesarone can remember she has dreamed of exploring a rainforest. She imagines exploring the Olympic Rainforest will be an awe inspiring experience. Having the opportunity to see these animals and experience an ecosystem so different than Montana’s will fuel her enthusiasm for nature and encourage me to pursue my passion in studying wildlife. Her experience which will take her to that rainforest is Alpengirl’s Olympic Sea To Summit Adventure Camp.
Carisa believes that a single person can make the world a better place for all its inhabitants, human and animal. Jane Goodall is a prime example of this. Carisa admires this woman, who, with only a secretary’s training, has helped thousands of animals and hundreds of children. Along with Daphne Sheldrick, she has been an inspiration to Carisa and she strives to follow in her footprints.
You may not think you’re changing the world if you just help one person or animal but simply helping a stray dog or cat, volunteering for a cause you believe in, or saying hello to a stranger could impact that could change their lives.
Another award went to a series of schools in SW Vermont to help bring the Four Winds Nature Institute volunteers to their schools. This is a collection of natural science lessons designed to get children and adults outside learning together in every season. Children learn about nature by being in nature: observing the world around them, asking questions, and using all their senses to explore and investigate.
Volunteers play a critical role here by giving children the time and space for these outdoor learning opportunities. In addition, each “grown up” who shares in the excitement of discovery is a wonderful role model, nurturing both a child’s sense of wonder and sense of place.
Like the little boy throwing the starfish back one at time in the ocean, we can each make a small difference, which is a big difference for that one starfish!
1. NaDEET (Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust): Registered in Namibia as a non-profit trust, NaDEET is a vibrant environmental education organization. At the core of NaDEETs programs is our environmental education center located on the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Children and adult participants learn first-hand about sustainable living, biodiversity and the balance between humans and the environment. Our environmental literacy and outreach programs complement the Centres activities and expand its reach nationwide.
The Bush Telegraph Series The Bush Telegraph, one of their many projects, is a youth magazine that covers a variety of environmental topics relevant to the Namibian context: recent issues include forests, water, climate change, recycling, light pollution, energy and deserts. The readership of the Bush Telegraph is primarily youth between 10-18 years of age as well as teachers, youth officers and environmental educators.
2. Alpengirl Camp: offers and exciting opportunity to make lasting friendships, camp in tents or under the stars, cook and eat good camp cuisine, enjoy daily yoga and relaxation, challenge yourself physically and mentally, fuel your enthusiasm for wild and scenic places and to experience a larger world. Alpengirls expected to display acts of human kindness and develop and appreciation of individual differences. There is a huge diversity in the type of people encountered at the camp. Some will have similar lives outside of camp and others will have very different lives. Camp can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, to new cultures and to new ways of being. Alpengirls have open minds and open hearts. Ireland W of New Prague, Minnesota and Ava H of Seattle, Washington are both attending an Alpen Girl camp this summer with the aid of a Kid for the Wild Scholarship.
3. Tserings Fund: Tsering’s Fund was originally established to find deserving children, families and elderly individuals and provide them educational scholarships, medical care and basic living assistance.
Tserings fund found sponsors for Nima Lhamu Sherpa. She had been cast out of her family following her mother’s death and was living with relatives near Mt. Everest, far from her home in the Makalu Region east of there. She is now happy and healthy at Shridewa Boarding School in Kathmandu. Now, one year later, a new phase of the story unfolds. The fund learned about Sange Sherpa who is recovering from horrific frostbite of his hands suffered while working on Mt. Everest last May. They had heard of his ordeal and of all the efforts to bring him to the US for specialized hand surgery. Coincidently , Sange is Nima’s older brother!! These 2 have several younger siblings back in their village. When the call came out for help with education costs, Kid for the Wild decided to dedicate funding, along with other donors, to support their education.
These children are from the very remote and poor region near Mt. Makalu. Education is very limited there and of such a nature as to be very basic…..reading, writing etc. These kids will get an English education in a much more modern education environment that will teach them science, environmental awareness and the importance of the natural beauty of Nepal. One reason the Khumbu Region near Everest is so clean now is that many Sherpas have gotten better educations and learned the value of conservation and ecology….especially as it relates to the tourist industry. There is no better investment in the environment of any place on earth than the education of the youth who live in these remote areas. They learn to love and respect their place on this planet.
1. NaDEET (Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust): Registered in Namibia as a non-profit trust, NaDEET is a vibrant environmental education organization. At the core of NaDEET’s programs is our environmental education center located on the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Children and adult participants learn first-hand about sustainable living, biodiversity and the balance between humans and the environment. Our environmental literacy and outreach programs complement the Centre’s activities and expand its reach nationwide.
2. Giant Junior School: Originally started by Peace Corps in Kyanbura village on the boundary with Queen Elizabeth National Park (Uganda). Historically conflicts between locals and wildlife encouraged generations of poaching. The opportunity to educate and employ locals inspired this school and community involvement. Locals were employed as Park Rangers and kids have an n opportunity for education and involved in conservation and wildlife clubs. Now, through private donations this school continues to educate local youths and encourage community involvement in this education.
3. Alpen Girls: offers and exciting opportunity to make lasting friendships, camp in tents or under the stars, cook and eat good camp cuisine, enjoy daily yoga and relaxation, challenge yourself physically and mentally, fuel your enthusiasm for wild and scenic places and to experience a larger world. Alpengirls are expected to display acts of human kindness and develop and appreciation of individual differences. There is a huge diversity in the type of people encountered at the camp. Some will have similar lives outside of camp and others will have very different lives.
Camp can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, to new cultures and to new ways of being. Alpengirls have open minds and open hearts.
Sarah Baker and Meredith Maxwell are both attending an Alpen Girls camp this summer with the aid of a Kid for the Wild Scholarship.
4. Traveling School: The Traveling School offers teenage girls ages 15-18 the opportunity to explore the world and learn about themselves through academic, physical and cultural challenges. Sixteen motivated young women and four inspiring teachers travel to a unique region of the globe for 15 weeks. Students earn full credit, immerse in new cultures and develop outdoor skills. They build so much confidence during this transformational semester.
Ruby Loffelholz will be with the Traveling School this fall semester with the aid of a Kid for the Wild scholarship
Mary Sellers Shockley is from Bozeman, Montana. She has won awards for her core values, which are kindness, generosity and positivity.
As a peer mediator in her school she has interaction and influence with her fellow students. She came to Montana 3 years ago with her parents and has had the opportunity to realize how important the natural world is for her and feels as though she is an active caretaker of this planet. She is involved in numerous community actions. This summer she will participate in an Alpen Girls program for 2 weeks in the Columbia River, Cascades and Cost of Oregon regions.
Sarah Baker is from Saint Louis MO. She is extraordinarily involved with community organizations that focus on people in need. She plays music and feels a connection with the outside world as it helps bring inner peace in a stressful world. She has been a vegetarian since 2nd grade because of her connection with animals. Her time outside overlaps with her spiritual connections and she wants to share those links with others to make an impact. Her Alpen Girls program will take place in the North Cascades this summer.
Kaisa Liljenwall is from Astoria Oregon. She has been involved with dance, and other sports in school. To Kaisa, nature is the world’s beauty. Nature is not just beautiful visually, but it’s beautiful in the way it penetrates the whole person. It is pure and elegant, but also challenging. It is everywhere. Being outside teaches us so many lessons about beauty and that one individual is significant and can make a difference. Kaisa reminds us that it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small; taking something into our own hands can make this world a better place. Together, many people can make a big difference. Kaisa will do a 5 day backpacking camp in the Three Sisters Wilderness with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
This year, Chloe Loeffelholz, was awarded the Kid for the Wild Scholarship. She is from Bozeman, MT and will participate in the Traveling School. Her high school semester will take place in in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
From the “Traveling School” website:
In our South-West Africa semester, students travel through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. This trip explores southern Africa from the tip of Cape Horn, to the ghostly Skeleton Coast in Namibia, to the massive elephant herds in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. We stay with local families outside of Cape Town, hike Table Mountain, and meet with freedom fighters that helped to bring an end to Apartheid in South Africa. We rock climb, listen to African drums in ancient villages, help with service projects and experience a river trip on the gentle Orange River between Namibia and South Africa.
Not only are her awards and achievements impressive, her outlook on life makes her a perfect “Kid for the Wild”. Chloe is a history nut, Violinist, focusing on women and leadership; she has found healing in her life through many outdoor experiences.
Chloe told us that this choice to study abroad is difficult because not many scholarships are available for her age group that aren’t specifically for college. The Kid for the Wild Scholarship is unique in its emphasis on the environment, music and the lives of teenagers.
Congratulations, Chloe! Thanks for being a “Kid for the Wild.”
Congratulations! Casco Bay High School
Students Neil Kessler, Clare Kenny, and Lizzy Landry. These 3 energetic lovers of the natural world have created an opportunit for fellow student who have not had much time outside to spend time and become much more comfortable with the outdoors.
Lizzy Landry sent this summary of what they are doing:
“Our vision for this project is to motivate young people in our community to spend more time outdoors and help them foster an appreciation for the natural environment. We intend to culminate this project with a week-long, overnight trip to Hurricane Island, off the coast of Rockland, Maine. We would like to give Casco Bay High School students, who may not normally have an outdoor opportunity such as this, the chance to immerse themselves in nature as well as challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zone. We would like to give students a taste of what it is like to set up a campsite, sleep under the stars, cook their own food over a fire, completely separate themselves from technology, and immerse themselves completely in the natural world.
We are selecting roughly 12 students which will be broken down to a 4:1, student to teacher ratio, 5 teachers, 12 students. These will be the mentor groups for the week that will meet in the morning and evening and debrief about anything they are thinking about. This creates an opportunity for a strong, trusting, relationship to form between the student and teacher and if the student has any concerns about something, they can address them with their mentor directly and feel comfortable. “
The Casco High School group has returned from their Hurricane Island experience. What an admirable and successful journey they are undertaking!
Juliana Oliff and Juliana Greene are the 2013 recipients of the Kid for the Wild Scholarship Each of these 2 have significant experiences in wild places and love of the natural world already.
Juliana Greene will participate in the Traveling School in Southwestern Africa. There she will participate in many service projects and encounter how people in very cultures are connected to the natural world for everything they need each day. She will see how their reality and ours depends on nature. She looks forward to see how all of the natural processes tie together with humans and their survival.
Juliana Oliff will participate in a Touch the Sky program that will take place in Germany this summer. The philosophy of Touch the Sky is “to connect kids to geology, ecology, the outdoors and the culturalconnection to nature: Climbing is a focal activity and central to this education”. In Juliana’s connection to nature: Climbing is focaactivity and central to this education”. In Juliana’s words:
This summer, I am traveling with The Bozeman Climbing Team to Frankenjura, Germany to sport climb. Within the first week, we will have visited the densely packed crags of Mittelbergwand and Schlaraffenland in the south, Stadelhofener Wande in the central area and Ziegenfelder Wande to the north. During the second week there, we will be returning to project the routes we have chosen. We will be camping in a spot owned by the family Gastof Eichler, and we will be spending most of our time outside. I am hoping to not only gain a large amount of knowledge about the culture of this area, but to become very familiar with the rocks and the area surrounding the crags. I think this experience outdoors will not only widen my expertise with nature but help me become more in tune with it as well. I am also hoping to come in contact with, from what I have heard, some of most beautiful landscapes in Europe. The opportunity that I have been presented to go on this trip is not something that happens everyday and will be something that stays with me forever.
Tanner White of Billings, Montana who will attend the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Tanner is an avid hiker, fisherman and has a goal to become an Eagle Scout. He donates time to a number of different neighbors who need help as well as projects helping young people learn to fly fish, projects for wildlife advocacy and park restoration. Tanner is an active caretaker of the planet and an avid supporter of conservation and nature outreach. His motivation, energy and love of the natural world are why we are so excited to help Tanner attain his goals. This experience will help Tanner make change in the world.
To quote Tanner “I hope to instill a desire in others to expand their horizons by jumping off the pavement and onto a trail less traveled”