• The Bob Marshall Wilderness.

NexGen Wilderness Leaders

Home Our Work Programs NexGen Wilderness Leaders
Photo by Jeff Van Tine

Inspiring the next generation of conservation champions

Building a movement to match the scenery

Are you a young person eager to explore Montana’s incredible wild backcountry? Are you searching for opportunities to get your hands dirty and protect your wilderness heritage?

Look no further.

MWA’s NexGen program is recruiting, training, and inspiring the next generation of wilderness heroes. We’re introducing young people of all ages — from schoolchildren to college students to young parents — to the joys of pitching a tent by a mountain lake, casting a fly in a blue-ribbon trout stream, and feeling the wind fill your lungs at the summit of a skyscraping peak.

But we’re not stopping there: we know tomorrow’s public lands success stories begin with today’s rising conservation champions. That’s why they deserve the skills and knowledge to ensure that their favorite places to explore are protected for their children and grandchildren, as well. Through innovative internship programs and student groups on college campuses across Montana, MWA is building a movement to match the scenery — one that will carry the wilderness torch through the 21st century.

NexGen Wilderness Fellowship Program

Get out of the classroom and put your skills to the test as one of MWA’s NexGen Wilderness Fellows!

Are you a Montana college student who is passionate about wilderness? Do you want to share your love of the outdoors with your peers and underserved youth? Are you ready to raise your voice in support of Montana’s last best places?

If so, MWA wants to put you to work on your college campus to plan backcountry adventures, work to protect Montana’s remaining wild country, and build a wilderness movement.

Paid internships are offered during the academic year and summer break.

The University of Montana and the Montana State University Wilderness Associations

When you join an MWA student group you’re joining a community of wilderness enthusiasts and making lifetime friends. Come along for a hike in the spectacular — and unprotected — Gallatin Range, or into the alpine splendor of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. Stage a rally on campus or step into an elected official’s office and make your case for Montana’s wild places.

Whether you’ve just arrived in town and are eager to meet people who share your love of the outdoors, or you’re a long-time resident looking to explore new country, Wilderness Association student groups at the University of Montana–Missoula, and Montana State University–Bozeman, are the places to be.

Check out the UM Wilderness Association and MSU Wilderness Association Facebook pages and stop by the next meeting on your campus!

Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program

The Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program ensures that today’s youth, no matter their financial or family situation, will have the opportunity to explore the world beyond TV and computer screens, movie theaters and malls, and develop lifelong outdoor skills and connections to wild country.

The Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program is a groundbreaking partnership between the Montana Wilderness Association, the U.S. Forest Service/Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. It is quickly becoming a national model for outreach to underserved youth.

Many of us can think back to childhood memories of fishing with a parent, or roaming the forest with a pack of friends. Outdoor Explorers programs in Missoula, Bozeman, and Helena guarantee that those experiences will be available to children of all means and backgrounds.

Contact us today to find out how to volunteer on the next Outdoor Explorers adventure near you, and discover the rewards of sharing your love of Montana’s wild country!