Trout Creek resident Mindy Ferrell has been recognize for her big impacts in the community.
Ferrell was recently given the Montana Wilderness Association’s Brass Lantern Award for continued volunteer service promoting public lands, wild spaces and outdoor education.
Ferrell combined her love for education and the outdoors by taking kids to the outdoors for more than just a standard education.
The former Noxon Schools teacher of 23 years focused her instruction in the elementary school and retired in 2012.
When funding was available, the school coordinated three-day outdoor education programs based at the Clark Fork Field Campus. She also taught adult education for five years and ran summer programs for adults and kids in the Bull River Valley at the East Fork Historic Ranger Station.
“For years there was summer Saturday programming sponsored by Cabinet Resource Group which covered many, many aspects of the natural world. A week-long Bull River Nature Center Day Camp ran for four summers for kids between fourth – eighth grade, funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenburg Foundation,” said Ferrell.
“The last year, the camp was a five-day, four-night wilderness backpacking experience taking four patrols of six junior high aged kids into various parts of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness,” she continued.
Ferrell has been both a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader. This year, as a board member, she helped organize the 29th Annual Green Mountain Conservation District Watershed Festival, which brings every Sanders County 5th Grader to Thompson Falls State Park for a day of water-based learning.
She also organized a bus trip in 2017 for 50 citizens of Sanders County to take part in the Public Lands Rally at the Capitol in Helena, as well as organizing a float promoting public lands in five parades in Sanders County last summer.
Ferrell’s love of the outdoors and education has continuously been steeped firmly in her life. Both her and husband Doug share the same passions and are continuously active in promoting outdoor activities and education for any person of any age.
“Kids need to be outdoors. Their overall well-being, and the very well-being of the earth, depend on it,” she said.
Ferrell coordinated the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Sanders County Winter Tracks program at North Shore Campground in early January; and is currently working on establishing a Western Sanders County outdoor education continuum in conjunction with local teachers, FSPW, Kaniksu Land Trust, Avista Corporation and the Forest Service.