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Students experience Yellowstone National Park through educational DiscoveryPath program

Delaware North earlier this month hosted its annual DiscoveryPath program at Yellowstone National Park for a group of middle schoolers from nearby Belgrade, Mont.

DiscoveryPath is a three-day, two-night educational program that brings students beyond their classrooms and into nature to discover the great outdoors. The course curriculum is based on the core themes of ecology, environmental sustainability, healthy living and teamwork. Twenty-six students participated in this year’s program.

The agenda included a trip to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, a guided tour of Yellowstone National Park with Yellowstone Vacation Tours, and a Chopped-style cooking challenge. On the first night, the students stayed at the Delaware North-operated Holiday Inn West Yellowstone, and on the second — for the first time – students stayed in Delaware North’s employee dormitories at Old Faithful Basin General Store. The students even got to see Old Faithful erupt in the dark, and the following morning, woke up to the area’s first snow dusting of the year.

As part of the sustainability theme, the students learned about how much water an average American uses per day and tips to decrease water waste, as well as alternative ways to dispose of items like cardboard, aluminum and glass.

“DiscoveryPath teaches people how to better themselves and to better the rest of their community,” said Haven, a participant in this year’s program. “To me it’s very important to live as sustainably as we can to leave our world and our lives in the best conditions we can.”

As part of the DiscoveryPath program, Delaware North partners with Yellowstone Forever, which donates an instructor, and the National Park Service, which provides Ranger Talks.