PLATINUM2023

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Nature makes kids happier and healthier!

aka Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center   |   Whitefish, MT   |  http://www.ravenwoodolc.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

EIN: 81-0537457


Mission

Ravenwood’s mission is to cultivate health, passion for learning, and stewardship of ecological and human communities through nature-based mentoring of youth, families, and adults in the communities we serve. Ravenwood is all about healthy kids, families, and communities. Quality mentoring guides our mission, especially when it connects us deeply to the land and each other, creating relationships filled with meaning, hope, and resilience. There are many obstacles and negative trends in our fast-paced society—obesity and health issues, screen addiction, attention disorders, stress, violence, disrespect, substance abuse, you name it—all of which need our attention and action as a community. Ravenwood is here to help, a place for kids and adults to learn and grow, naturally.

Notes from the nonprofit

Ravenwood has made a focused effort to make our life changing programs more available to more low-income children and families by improving Social Emotional Learning practices, assessing and avoiding cultural appropriation, and honoring and encouraging diversity for our staff and constituents. Thanks to broad community support and involvement, we've more than doubled the impact and service of our organization between 2020 and 2023.

Ruling year info

2002

Executive Director

Brett Holmquist

Main address

PO Box 1314

Whitefish, MT 59937 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0537457

Subject area info

Arts and culture

Adult education

Environmental education

Outdoor education

Youth mentoring

Show more subject areas

Population served info

Children and youth

Adolescents

LGBTQ people

Families

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The cost of modern technological advances is being born out in our children's emotional and mental health. Though people are more connected than ever ever before to information, global issues, advances in health care and food access, people of all ages, especially children, are suffering from high rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and general feelings of apathy and disconnect. Children are spending more and more time in front of screens and losing contact with traditional skills and cooperative community building activities passed down through innumerable generations. Our next generations are losing hope and its time we do something about it.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

School Overnight Camps

This program provides a year-end capstone experience for the school groups we work with in a day program format throughout the school year. Teachers, parents, students, grandparents, and siblings gather to celebrate, connect, and deepen the learning and skill development we've been working on throughout the year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

This weekly summer program gives kids ages 6 to 12 a chance to explore the mysteries of nature with the guidance of our experienced staff of mentors. We start each day by sharing gratitude, hearing inspiring stories, moving our bodies, singing, free play and then setting out for a day of fun and adventure! From exploring a nearby stream bank to building viable shelters and learning a wide range of ancestral skills, Wilderness Kids come home tired, happy, and filled with the inspiration only a good day in the woods can provide!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Teen Camp takes skills and personal development to the next level with a mixture of adventure, challenge, skills, and personal mentoring. This back country experience immerses teens in nature connection mentoring, social-emotional learning opportunities, skill development, and meaningful challenges and reflection processes designed to support their active transition into adulthood while nurturing an expanding awareness of self and service to others.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Families

Personalized training and a new role as “Mentor in Training (MIT) during youth programs gives longtime Ravenwood pre-teens and teens an opportunity to share all that they have learned and move deeper into their own journey of self discovery through this empowering program supported by Ravenwood core staff members.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Families

North Valley Music School and Ravenwood team up each summer to offer this incredible camp! Built on the routines of nature connection Ravenwood is known for, we infuse high level music instruction into our focused skill time each day. Creativity abounds and the birds aren't the only ones making songs out in the woods at Ravenwood each summer!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Ripples engages teens who wants to wholeheartedly apply their love of and appreciation for nature to learning and developing outdoor skills within a welcoming community. Participants are supported to embrace their own sense of self during this time of major transition and growth. We need to be there for each other to create this welcoming and inclusive experience, so it is essential that all participants are willing to develop an open and curious mind.

Participants will:
Learn and share outdoor/wilderness skills at an introductory to intermediate level;
Cultivate a group learning experience that emphasizes listening to each other and curiosity;
Learn about how to be comfortable and confident in nature;
Develop a supportive community that is welcoming and inclusive;
Get the chance to learn about ourselves by learning about nature.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
LGBTQ people

This program provides hands-on experience of the universal arts, crafts and skills shared by all ancient human ancestors. We teach the basics of making art from natural raw materials, the crafts our ancestors used to make beautiful objects for everyday use, the awareness to decode the patterns of nature, and the skills of using the most ancient technology to make that most basic of human tools, fire. Variations on these skills, crafts and tools are commonly represented in many archaeological sites all over the world, so are not tied to any specific ancestral lineage. Every human alive to day has ancestors who, at one time or another, used these skills to survive, so we teach these skills in the context of gratitude for all our ancestors.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

If your school has a nearby nature spot we can come to you. Bring your class out to romp in the woods with Ravenwood!

We offer full-day and half-day programs in nature, with two Ravenwood instructors per 16 students. We require teacher participation and support and encourage other adult volunteers, with a goal of a student-to-adult ratio of 5:1. We will plan an opening circle, active games, focused skill building activities, songs, stories, and a closing circle. Our content and themes can be tailored to your curriculum. Some content options include local natural history, survival skills, ancestral arts and crafts, active games in nature, and awareness activities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Wild Homeschool is a day nature program for homeschoolers. We meet every other Wednesday through the Fall and Spring seasons to connect with our beautiful natural environment, connect with our community of friends and neighbors, and learn about ourselves. We practice naturalist and survival skills to better know know our world, our community, and ourselves.

Our days change with the seasons but we do have some traditions! We always start by giving gratitude to something that makes our lives better, and we often light a campfire to symbolize the warm center of our community. Sometimes we have survival skills challenges, and sometimes we make nature-based crafts. Most days we take some time for storytelling and songs around the campfire. We always take time to explore the little miracles that nature gives us, whether they are a new kind of bug, a beautiful wildflower, delicious wild plants for tea, or tracks in freshly-fallen snow.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Business of the Year 2009

Montana Environmental Education Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of campers enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Preteens, Adolescents, Low-income people, Girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects the total enrollment in all of our youth programs throughout the year.

Number of camps offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, Low-income people, Girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects the total number of programs we offer throughout the year.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, Girls, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects the number of students who receive tuition assistance. Students in our public school programs do not pay tuition, so those programs are not represented in this metric.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Ravenwood seeks to build strong community by empowering youth and adults to generate webs of connection and mentoring across generations and in direct contact with nature, our greatest teacher the source of all we need to not only survive, but thrive.

Our goals:

Strengthen local school communities through multi-generational nature based programs designed to develop curiosity and a natural love for learning and mentoring in partnership with site hosts near to neighborhood schools.

Provide support and mentoring to children in low income and disadvantaged situations.

Create awareness on a community, regional, and national level of the power of nature connection mentoring practices and contribute to efforts to redesign current education models and practices to reflect natural design and healthy human development for all children, and adults too!

Develop a community model site that fosters nature connection mentoring practices, provides a secure long-term location for local programming, and provides sustainable housing opportunities for low income families and elders.

In our 17 years serving the Flathead Valley of Montana we have developed a variety of ways to help participants become more resilient, smarter, healthier, and happier through nature connection. Our school programs include single day events, long-term mentoring programs, and overnight school trips. We also offer individual signup programs; summer camps, homeschool groups, and seasonal family gatherings all help our community learn and grow together.

We are a fee-for-service nonprofit, but public schools either receive services for free or only pay a fraction of the cost of programs calculated based on their percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch. For individual signups, we offer an income-based scholarship program to all participants, so that the families most in need pay very little fees, and donations more strongly benefit those participants who are in the most need.

Whether at a school, overnight, or a family camp, Ravenwood’s results come from creating and strengthening the relationships that serve as the foundation of resilience. We use a set of traditions and routines to spark engagement, learning and connection, including giving thanks, close nature observation, asking good questions, practicing survival skills, and hearing everyone’s voice in circle discussions, just to name a few. Participants have fun and learn bioregionally-relevant skills like shelter making, tree ID, and animal tracking. Long-term, participants improve in many areas of psycho-social health often without realizing it, largely because they build a foundation of connection to themselves, their community, and the natural world that will serve them for a lifetime.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.81

Average of 0.21 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

2.9

Average of 0.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

9%

Average of 2% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $8,164 -$36,784
As % of expenses 3.5% -12.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $7,918 -$38,304
As % of expenses 3.4% -12.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $243,767 $261,904
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 7.4%
Program services revenue 38.4% 47.3%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 62.3% 47.5%
Other revenue -0.6% 5.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $235,603 $298,688
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 26.8%
Personnel 67.1% 76.7%
Professional fees 4.5% 1.8%
Occupancy 7.7% 4.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 20.7% 16.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $235,849 $300,208
One month of savings $19,634 $24,891
Debt principal payment $0 $666
Fixed asset additions $0 $8,600
Total full costs (estimated) $255,483 $334,365

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.9 2.9
Months of cash and investments 5.9 2.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.5 -0.7
Balance sheet composition info 2021 2022
Cash $116,585 $71,422
Investments $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $18,139 $26,739
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 81.0% 60.6%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 73.3% 107.6%
Unrestricted net assets $32,070 -$6,234
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0
Total net assets $32,070 -$6,234

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2021 2022
Material data errors Yes No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Brett Holmquist

Brett Holmquist is Ravenwood’s Co-Founder and Executive Director. His leadership and vision have created treasured learning experiences for thousands of local children, parents, and community members. Brett co-facilitates regional and international trainings and presents to community and professional groups regularly. In 2009 Ravenwood was named Business of the Year by the Montana EE Association. Brett’s at home in the woods and shares his passion for building meaningful relationships in nature through bow making, basketry, fire skills, tracking, hunting, bird language study, and skills of awareness. Brett believes in the power of nature connection and good mentoring to create social-emotional learning for all people, especially children, and deeply respects the guidance of his elders--he leads from the heart to weave beautiful possibilities for today and the generations to come.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

Board of directors
as of 02/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Gary Johnson

Self Employed Engineering and Project Management Consultant

Term: 2016 - 2023

Kelly Coloff

Nurse Practitioner

Laurie Lapan

K-8 Teacher

Andrea Bachman

Self Employed

Melissa Myer

Self Employed

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/9/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.