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I just like to say that the Fort Smith Mountain Men is a great
opportunity to touch a young man's life in many ways. We were
unfamiliar with the group before last summer's trip to Yellowstone.
We had doubts that our son would even want to go. But from the
moment we told him about it he was excited beyond words. The
anticipation that built up in him was overwhelming. He could
not wait for the trip! He learned so much about becoming a
leader, taking on responsibility and working as a team member.
These valuable life lessons are unfortunately not taught in the
classroom and are what a young person needs most in life to become a
well-rounded citizen and a success in life. Our son continues
to talk about his experiences on the Yellowstone trip and relates a
lot of things that are happening in his life back to the trip and
will often say 'we learned how to handle that on the Mountain Men
Trip!' Ron is a class act and work he does for these youth is
amazing. The counselors are the best you can find anywhere and
really relate to the boys on the trip as most of them are former
Mountain Men themselves. This camp is an opportunity that all
young men should have and experience!”
R.R., Texas Parent,
Yellowstone Camper 2012
“To Captain Ron,
The Fort Smith Mountain Men has been a thrill for me, this will be
my favorite memory of all my life. I would never forget it.
It has taught me how to be a leader and become a responsible young
man. All the fun I had on this trip was a great experience.
One of the many things we did was white water rafting, even though I
almost fell off I still had an amazing time. One thing I miss
most of all is the food! They had the best food I have ever
eaten in my life. The peach cobbler will never be beaten.
I would go on this trip again, again, again, and again.”
Outstanding Camper" - P.R., Texas
“The Alaska Expedition this summer was amazing! I had already
been on three Texas Trek trips with the Mountain Men, so when my
parents told me I could go on the Alaska Expedition this past
summer, I knew I was in for a great time! Seeing Alaska up close
was incredible! Taking a jet boat out to see the blue ice of the
LaConte Glacier and watching it calve was a sight I will always
remember. Not only did we see beautiful scenery the entire trip,
but we got to experience it by camping and hiking in it. Captain
Ron and Captain Cowie are true Mountain Men. I always learn a
lot from both of them every trip I take – not only about nature
and survival, but also about leadership and how to walk with
integrity. I had an incredible time on the Alaska Expedition
this past summer. I can't wait for the next trip!”
J. Paslawski, a three year camper
“The Alaska Expedition was incredible! Ridiculous amounts of fun, long, but if you were on the trip, the time flew by. Definitely first on my list of summer vacations this coming year!”
C.P Whitewater, Wisconsin
“The Canyon Land Odyssey – 2007 was an excellent adventure that has integrated itself into many of the things I do.
This was my first trip with the Mountain Men and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The trip, relatively brief compared to
past expeditions such as the Canadian and the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial expeditions, has taught me more about American
culture and history than I gained in the previous nine years of living in America! The Canyon Lands Odyssey [2007 trip]
has been my favorite trip abroad. EVER!”
N.G. Southsea, Hampshire, United Kingdom
The Mountain Men have truly changed my life. My first trip was the Canadian Expedition
in 2005 and since then there has been nothing I've enjoyed more than being on the Mountain
Men trips. In the summer of 2007, I went to the United Kingdom with a student ambassadorship
program and six days after I got back I left for the Canyon Lands Odyssey with the Mountain Men.
The ambassador program invited me back to travel to Greece and France for this summer of 2008.
I turned them down so I can go on the Alaska trip because even traveling to a different country is
not near as good as going on the Mountain Men expeditions.
–, Round Rock, Texas
Ron, I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing today. I
think you completely understand the impact of these trips on the
boys, but I wanted you to hear it from a parent. It’s huge.
My son has grown incredibly on these adventures, gaining confidence
each year with his place in society. When the days get long and
your’re really, really tired, please remember that you are
making a difference for generations to come. Thank you for your
goodwill and vision for the future!”
– Parent of 3 year camper, Austin, Texas
is the best camp in the world! A 10 out of 10! I got a lot out of
it and I recommend it for anyone who loves adventure!”
– Camper / Canadian Expedition, Austin, Texas
loved this trip more than anything I’ve ever done! If you
want a trip that is cool, fun with great staff and food, then you
HAVE to go to Fort Smith Mountain Men for the best experience you’ll
ever have! Thank you Fort Smith for this opportunity to see who
I really am and learn how to become more outgoing. Happy Trails!”
– Camper / Canadian Expedition, Georgetown, Texas
trip was awesome! This was my second trip with the Mountain Men
and was by far the best thing I have ever done in my life! It is
a great leadership program and makes a big impact in anyone’s
– Camper / Canadian Expedition, Austin, Texas
been almost six months since they returned from the Lewis &
Clark summer expedition, and our two boys are still bringing up
anecdotes about things they saw, things they did, and friends they
made. It also provided the material for several school papers! From
the moment they got off the bus, it has a been foregone conclusion
that they will (nay, must!) go again. Ron and his team provide a
robust and well-managed outdoor experience which taught the boys
a lot about life, relationships and teamwork. We look forward to
J.K. ~ Parent, San Antonio TX
"My son Dakota climbed into the Fort Smith Mountain Men
bus as a boy on the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Expedition and
walked off 25 days later as a young man with perspective, respect
and a quiet self-confidence. According to his countless stories,
he also had a total blast ! Dakota has been with
the Fort Smith program for two years running and is headed back
again in 2005 on the Canadian Expedition. This program is by far
the best investment I could have ever made in his future!"
~ Parent, Austin, TX
we are very thankful for the wonderful experience that Christopher,
12, had in participating on the Mountain Men trip to Yellowstone
National Park. Through Ron's nice photo-album and CD, we could see
the places the boys visited and all the activities that were organized
for them. We are very appreciative of the program; it combines awareness
of interests in many different fields and opens the mind to different
experiences. It also teaches boys of different age groups to get
along. This, to us, makes it more rewarding in the long run than
a simple youth camp. Christopher still talks about the trip. We
are certain that he will never forget it. He is hoping for information
soon about the trip for 2004 so we can organize our family vacation
around it. Ron is a very nice person who knows how to surround himself
with competent people which is a real skill, a benefit to the boys
and to the peace of mind of the parents.
~ Parent, Houston, Texas
I am a single
Mom. The experience my son had on the 2003 yellowstone Rendezvous
was vital to his development as a successful young man. He gained
acceptance, confidence, learned independence and an inspired respect
for nature. The Fort Smith program is unique, special and dynamic.
I highly recommend the program for any young man seeking adventure,
learning and fun!
~ Parent, Georgetown, Texas
My son enjoyed
every minute of the adventure on the Yellowstone Rendezvous! He
came back a more motivated young man, walking a little taller, more
confident and certainly more responsible in many ways. the stories
of the adventure just keep coming! Thank you Fort Smith for an incredible
and life changing experience for my son!
~ Parent, Austin, Texas
was the trip of a lifetime! THANKS!
~ Camper, Austin, Texas
I may never
have another chance to experience and learn so much again. The trip
changed my life in many ways, teaching me how to serve others, how
to get along with others and how much my family and country mean
to me. Seeing such beautiful country has made a lasting impression
on me. I am very grateful. THANKS!
~ Camper, Georgetown, Texas
was really fun! Lots of cool places to see that I may never get
to see again! I had a great time and had fun making lots of new
~ Camper, Austin, Texas
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