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MARY’S E.D. UPDATE 7/31/12

Dear Board Members,

Summer session is rockin’ and rollin’!  In fact, it is now week 7 of our 8-week session.  Following up on last week’s update, we have more “Golden Eagle Moments” to share.  So here, along with the programs update, are a few more of our “Staff Picks” for Eagle Mount summer stories.


one more week of summer classes

Pat has been reaching out to people suffering with MS.  You’ll recall that Pat and I made a presentation to the MS support group at Bozeman Deaconess.  Pat has also been studying online, and recently received a certificate of recognition from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, for assisting people with MS as a health and fitness professional.

Last week, one of the new MS participants – a woman who uses a wheelchair – came to swim for the first time with two friends to help her.  Somehow, they got her power wheelchair high-centered on the ramp from her van into the parking lot.  It took the two friends plus several staff members to help her transfer (special thanks to Maggee for demonstrating the proper technique) into another chair and get her chair unstuck.  Pat reports that the woman is very grateful for all the help and loves the pool.  MS is different for each person – many can’t take the heat of the pool, but some really love it.

Jamie is in training for the Ironman Triathlon – yes, the real Ironman.  Holy cow!  So Jamie finishes her work at Eagle Mount, and then takes off for, oh I don’t know … a 50 mile bike ride!  This past weekend, Jamie competed in a half-Ironman locally, and the real competition is just four weeks away.  Jamie is a little hyperphagic right now (that means she eats like a grizzly right before hibernation), so if you see her, DO NOT get between Jamie and food.

Jamie’s favorite summer story took place when I happened to walked into the pool.  Her whole class stopped to say, “Hi Mary!”  One of the participants, Becky, shouted out, “Hey Mary, I beat Jamie!”  We are still trying to figure out what she beat Jamie at, but clearly Becky is proud of having done so.  Jamie also reports with glee that many parents are shocked to see their children actually swimming!


look for us at the Farmer’s Market

So far, the Eagle Mount growers have earned $407.75 at the Farmer’s Market.  Congratulations!!

Ironically, Horticulture, with only 16 people, has 3 Kims and 2 Cynthias.  This causes some confusion as you might guess, along with many giggles, since one of the Kims  happens to be a man.


it’s not all fun and games…or…well, maybe it is

Yesterday afternoon, I watched part of a riding lesson.  It just so happened that the two riders in Dana’s class were Ondrej and John, the “two peas in a pod” who were featured on the front page of the spring newsletter.  It is always interesting to observe the learning activities our skilled instructors come up with, and this class was no exception.  They exercised their “superhero skills,” herded “cows” (Cathy Oster and Dana got to be the cows), and practiced verbal commands to the horses.  That is one lucky batch of volunteers who get to be part of the fun!  Besides Cathy, it was great to see Susan Bolgiano, Lee Sammons, and Todd Mason working so smoothly as a team to give the boys and their horses a great experience.

The Barn Team continues to repair everything in sight!  There is nothing these guys can’t do or won’t tackle.

Work on the barn winterization continues, with Constructive Solutions working around the riding schedule.  Session ends on August 10, so they will have a clear shot at finishing the project between sessions.  The Facilities Committee meets this Thursday, and will be making decisions about the second phase of the project – the barn roof and ceiling.


Paddling and Camping Weekend a Hit

Adventure Days continues to be a summer WOW for Eagle Mount!  It’s amazing all the different activities that Diana, Alix, Chad, and interns Madi, Jessie, Kaylee have come up with – not to mention how much the groups enjoy them!


Over the weekend, the cycling group went out for what was originally planned as a “pedal/paddle weekend.”  While pedaling went by the wayside, the kayaking, boating and camping were awesome.   Besides the staff and interns, Liz Ann, Dave, Keith, Helen, and Jay took part.  These are Dave’s pictures from facebook.


As the summer winds down (I can’t believe I’m writing that!), the second three-week rock climbing series is going strong.  Skylehr and Amy continue to climb like spiders, and are surprising even themselves with how brave they’re getting.

Meanwhile, the Tiny Trekker’s loved fishing last week over at John Baden’s place.  John kindly let us come to fish twice last week.  Much appreciated!

Among our volunteers last week were several representatives of MSU’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).  These wonderful young leaders helped out with a whole variety of activities, from swimming (ever seen a swimming burka?) to fishing and general cleaning up around the place.




Young Adult Retreat in Yellowstone

They are an amazing group of young adults.  They are not what you might expect for people between the ages of 16 and 23, but then cancer changes the way you see things.  Now in remission, the 12 young adults who camped together for ten days, along with Lisa, Danielle and Lauren, shared their experiences, their feelings, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They support each other and goad each other toward life.

This year, the group camped its way through Yellowstone and down into Jackson before returning to Big Sky.  They cleaned up to meet Rosemary and Bob Beaupre for dinner at Buck’s (thanks, Bob and Rosemary!), and enjoyed dinner and a talent show at Cathy Oster’s their last night.

Meanwhile, sad news has come in from two fronts.  Tom, a camper whom everyone loved, passed away a few weeks ago.  During YAR, Lisa got word that 16 year old Kenan, whom we will always remember for his Detroit rappin’ style, had also passed away.  It falls to Lisa to make the calls to counselors, volunteer staff and families, so as tired as she may be after the late nights of YAR, Lisa soldiers through the heartfelt conversations of loss and hope.  One of the nicest aspect of having Bob and Rosemary Beaupre, whose own daughter Casey passed away just a couple of years ago, join YAR is for our young adults to see these loving parents who go on living after the loss of a child.

And finally, a touching gift from long ago

A couple of weeks ago, this note arrived in the mail, along with a check for $1,000.  It just goes to show that you never know where an act of kindness may lead, or how important it may be in someone’s life.

That’s it from me.  May you have an extraordinary week!

With love and gratitude from Eagle Mount,


Mary Peterson

Executive Director