Photo by Jana Bounds

59716 Volunteer-READY for TEAM BUILDING


The Habitat for Humanity effort called Wilson View, which is under construction to help with the Big Sky School District teacher housing shortage is now in full swing after a challenging winter season.

The project is a perfect opportunity for team building – pun intended, Justin Provance, Project Manager for Habitat for Humanity Gallatin Valley said. Wintertime setbacks and uncooperative weather presented challenges, but flexible volunteers and contractors have been huge assets with the effort.

Advice Pay out of Bozeman and Rotary Club of Big Sky have recently worked on the project in addition to school board members, and some high school and middle school classes. A book club and Montana State University students are other examples of volunteer groups.

“Our Volunteer Coordinator has been working hard to recruit individuals as well as local businesses to volunteer for ‘team building’ days,” Provance said.

Phase 1 is all dried in now, so interior walls will soon go up, preparation for ceiling insulation, interior doors will be installed. Contractors will run the wires, plumbing and fire suppression and then volunteers will finish sheetrock, taping, mudding, painting, floors, etc., he explained.

“While skilled labor is always a plus, I'm happy to teach anyone who wants to volunteer, (16 and older) and I have all the tools we need,” he said. Fourteen to sixteen year olds with parents present are welcome. At 16, they can just have permission and come volunteer, he said.

Provance wants to send out a big thank you to community members and businesses who have helped get the project off the ground: Mel Crichton (Lead Volunteer), Laura Seyfang, Jeremy Harder (BBSD teacher), Jeanne Lange (BSSD parent), Woody Burt, Samantha Smith, Big Sky Rotary, Hussey Plumbing, Big Sky Ace Hardware, Alpine Customs Inc., TLC, Kenyon Noble, Diamond M Drilling, Firefly Electric, and Habitat for Humanity's Care-A-Vanners.

“It is difficult when we just have people show up, because then we do not have a plan,” he said. It is far better for volunteers to email the volunteer coordinator at to understand expectations and figure out a time.

We need to do everything we can to support education because it is the answer to all of our societal problems,” Provance, who went through the teacher education program at Montana State University said. “If we are not educating ourselves, we are just remaining in ignorance.” He said this is why qualified teachers who remain steady in a community are so important – they can build rapport with students and make a lasting impact.

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