Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) is an organization dedicated to connecting people with the outdoors! We offer outdoor education programs for all seasons and all ages, with an emphasis on youth. Our programs serve the general public, Missoula County Public Schools, the University of Montana, and private groups. Our areas of expertise include:
- Outdoor Recreation
- Nature Study
- Adventure Travel
- Youth Programs
- Group Development
- Leadership Training
- Teaching Methods
- Local History/Culture
MOLA has been in existence since April 2000 under the guidance of founder J. Porter Hammitt, who serves as director and lead instructor. Porter’s qualifications include 12 years of experience with numerous field-based organizations, an M.S. in Outdoor Recreation,Doctorate-level studies in Education and Ecology, and myriad safety training certifications. Numerous staff assist throughout the year and are chosen for their exceptional skills, experience, training, and ability.
Our Summer Camp operates all summer long and includes separate sections for youth of all ages. Campers attend one week sessions, and daily activities include hiking, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, camping, and more. Middle-School/High-School youth can participate in our regular summer camp or attend one of our Adventure Travel trips to destinations throughout the West. All participants learn outdoor skills, leadership, outdoor ethics, self-confidence, teamwork, judgment, and appreciation for the natural world. Most importantly, we all have fun!
MOLA also offers Adult Programs in the summer, and throughout the year. Individuals, groups, or families can choose to participate in a week-long multi-sport camp, or join us for one of our daily adventures. Our guides are also available for private outings.
During the school year, MOLA offers coordinating and instructional services for School Field Trips. Our trained staff can present lessons on anything from nature study to outdoor skills to group games to recreational activities. Our premiere offering is the Pattee Canyon Program, which serves nearly 500 sixth graders each year from local middle schools. All lessons and activities for this program are outside and include group games, wildlife ecology, and a forest discovery hike (fall); XC skiing, winter ecology, and outdoor survival (winter); and a simulated public land-use hearing, 1000ft. peak climb, and bat biology (spring).
Fall and spring semesters, MOLA offers the UM Outdoor Education Workshop. This 3-credit course is designed to provide skills and experience necessary to work as a leader &/or educator in the field. The course focuses on educational theory and practice, group dynamics and leadership, and outdoor concerns such as logistics, risk management, and Leave-No-Trace ethics. The class meets outdoors and includes numerous field trips to practice outdoor skills such as backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, skiing, mountain biking, and winter camping. Along the way, the course provides many opportunities for personal growth. Enrollment is limited.
During the school year, MOLA offers an Outing Club for youth of all ages, providing opportunities to participate in outdoor recreation in every season. Annual offerings include backpacking, canoeing, biking, skiing, sledding, rafting, orienteering, climbing, and a spring break trip to Moab, Utah.
Throughout the year, MOLA’s services as Outfitter, Guide, and Consultant are available to individuals, schools, and private groups to help facilitate outdoor programs. MOLA also provides specialized Skills Workshops and Teacher/Leader Training, for the general public and for other organizations. In addition, MOLA offers Team Building workshops and Challenge Outings for business and special groups. No matter what the program, MOLA’s goal is to take advantage of the many lessons that activities in the outdoors have to offer. Contact us to see what we can do for you!