Come get in touch... with your wild side!

The OWLS Philosophy

At OWLS it is our mission to expose children and young adults to the beauty and value of the natural world, while teaching them the ancient skills, not just to survive, but to thrive in nature. We agree with Richard Louv in his seminal work Last Child in the Woods that the children today are suffering from what he coined as Nature Deficit Disorder. Not only are kids suffering from the physical and social ramifications of this separation from the natural world, but the planet we live on is suffering as well. This is evident by the fact that many kids are overweight, suffering from loneliness and ADHD, and the environmental condition of the Earth is in a very tenuous state of balance.  It is our belief that by restoring the lost connection between kids and nature that many of these afflictions can be healed.

Kids in today’s society exist in an almost entirely mental world, where very little of their education comes in the form of “body learning.” This is evident from the amount of time they spend in front of a screen. The impact that computers, video games, televisions, smart phones and the rest of the technological boom are having on our kids is really incalculable because it has occurred so quickly and changed their lifestyles so fast.

There is something innate and essential about interacting with nature — climbing trees, building forts, and playing in mud. These activities physically connect us with the process of learning and are crucial to the overall development of the child.

Through our Classroom in the Woods and Summer Camp programs we are dedicated to bringing kids out into the natural world where they can develop and renew their bond with our environment. It is our goal to give students healthy lifelong choices for outdoor recreation, to foster self-confidence in their abilities, to

educate them about the natural world, and to encourage them to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens. We do this by practicing ancient earth skills developed by traditional cultures from around the world and by playing fun and educational games in the woods. We hope to transform our students’ relationships with nature into one of connectedness, confidence, and collaboration while giving the kids an experience in nature that they will never forget.

We hope you or your children will join us!


Thomas J. Elpel,

Outdoor Wilderness Living School

OWLS Is frequently in the local newspapers...

   Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC

OWLSchool • PO Box 697 • Pony, MT 59747 • 406-533-5476 • OWLS Email