Roundup grant shines a light on safety

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On behalf of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, Ian Bartling, camp wilderness program coordinator, emailed the Inter Lake to thank Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Roundup for Safety program for providing funds for safety initiatives in the local communities.

“Because of this awesome program, FLBC was able to acquire six new Spot X beacons for use in our high adventure programming,” Bartling wrote. “Thanks again Roundup for Safety, and thanks to everyone who rounds up their electric bill to make this program happen!”

Bartling sends a special thanks to Roundup for Safety board members Kim Souther and Elma Giavasis, and Sportsman & Ski Haus for providing the Spot X beacons. Bartling oversees and run all of the Bible Camp’s high school adventure programming, including backpacking, rafting, kayaking, sailing and climbing.

“We will send these Spot X beacons on our backcountry trips that take youth out of phone service,” he said. “They have the capability to send and receive text messages, so if there is any situation in which our guides or campers need assistance, be it a broken-down vehicle, medical emergency, or an evacuation, we will be able to know the exact situation and send the appropriate help to our staff and campers. It’s a safety measure that we hope we never have to use, but are grateful to have available.”

Bartling has been working at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp for the past six and a half years as the wilderness program coordinator. Beside leading backcountry trips throughout the Flathead Valley and beyond, he oversees the camp’s high ropes course, helps with hosting groups at the camp year round, assists with environmental education programming and local school groups, and coordinates volunteer groups at the camp.

He’s a very busy guy.

“My favorite parts of my job include any time I’m able to share the out of doors with youth and adults, teaching new skills or exposing people to new experiences,” Bartling said. “Taking people sailing on Flathead Lake and teaching them how to operate a sailboat, and letting them run the sailboat, is definitely one of the top parts of my job.”

He said he also loves facilitating groups in the high ropes course and rock climbing, and giving them the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn from those challenges.

More recently, Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp has been growing its Environmental Education program where local school groups come to camp to do environmental education activities on the 250-acre property founded in 1943 that borders Flathead Lake, the “perfect classroom for experiential education.”

Bartling said this is the fourth time the camp has received a Roundup for Safety grant. The camp has also been able to acquire new life jackets for its whitewater rafting programs, new high ropes equipment for its high ropes course, and climbing equipment for its rock climbing programs at Lake Koocanusa.

For more information about Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, visit https://flbc.net/ or call 752-6602.

For more information about Flathead Electric’s Roundup for Safety Program or to apply online for a grant, visit https://www.flatheadelectric.com/community/roundup-for-safety/

Community Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or community@dailyinterlake.com.

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