Most vacations, most folks just sit back and relax. But at Paws Up, we have a different attitude. We think, why not create spectacular music, learn to take magnificent photographs or find out what it takes to survive in the wild? Self-improvement? Yes. Boring? Never. With workshops taught by world-renowned experts, your instructor could be a celebrated artist like George Van Hook, a national champion horsewoman like Barbra Schulte or a tough-as-nails mountain man like Gary Steele. From art to music to equestrian activities, outdoor adventures and everything in between, Wilderness Workshops at Paws Up will inspire, educate and fascinate you and your kids all summer long. Pick your passion and take time to explore it—while surrounded by the scenery and nestled in the comforts of The Resort at Paws Up.
Gettin’ Primitive: June 20-23, July 23-29, August 3-9, 2017
Learn about the old ways from an honest-to-goodness mountain man—Paws Up’s resident outdoorsman Gary Steele. For four days at his self-built camp, you and your kids will get hands-on instruction in primitive skills like edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship.
Designed for families to come together in an environment that fosters confidence, curiosity, enthusiasm, responsibility and self-esteem, the Gettin’ Primitive workshop is sure to ignite your kids’ imagination. And be on the lookout for our resident mountain man at the Kids Corps of Discovery, around the luxury camps and on chuck wagon rides.
Drum Circle Madness: July 2-8, August 15-21, 2017
If a drum circle happens in our forest, you should make sure you’re around to hear it. We’re pleased to welcome Scott Besaw back to Paws Up for his annual event that turns even the most rhythmically challenged into stellar little drummer boys (or girls, or adults). Besaw hails from Chicago’s world-famous Old Town School of Folk Music and brings with him an infectious passion for all things music. It’s a hands-on (literally, no sticks required) course that teaches basic music principles as well as team building. Come learn how to truly march to the beat of your own drum.
Photography with Stuart Thurlkill
Sunset Photography: July 3, July 19 and August 1, 2017
Nature Walk Photography: July 8 and August 18, 2017
Picture this: the sun is making its final breathtaking appearance across the Montana landscape and, this time, you’ll have the skills to capture it with justice. This summer, let Paws Up Resort Photographer Stuart Thurlkill lead you on a wilderness walk as you learn how to capture that perfect photo. It’s a chance for you and your kids to gain a better understanding of light, composition and color, as well as a deeper appreciation for nature. You’ll see the world through a different lens, and head home with a collection of photographs to cherish your time in Big Sky Country.
Brushes With Greatness: July 10-17, 2017
Renowned American painter George Van Hook honed his artistic skill the old-fashioned way. As a young man, he visited the Louvre and traveled through France, Italy and Holland to study and be inspired by the masters. Now, for more than 35 years, this award-winning artist has painted and exhibited on three continents. He has also helped beginner and experienced painters alike improve their techniques and discover new talents. Van Hook will conduct this “plein air” watercolor workshop in a variety of eye-popping settings throughout The Resort. Go ahead, learn from a true pro and take in the unforgettable surroundings at the same time.
Block Printing and Mosaics: July 17-21, 2017
Channel your inner artist at this Paws Up Wilderness Workshop with Artist in Residency Jill Schulman as she teaches adults and children the art of block carving and printing, as well as mosaic making. Schulman is a renowned sculptor and ceramic artist who is passionate about teaching her craft to others. No previous experience is required to take part in the workshop—just a willingness to think outside the “block.”
Paint ‘N’ Pour: July 22, 2017
There’s nothing like a little wine to wake up your inner Picasso, Renoir or Van Gogh. So allow us to pour you a glass while the talented Linds Sanders instructs you on the finer points of painting in a hands-on art session designed for all skill levels. Sanders will join guests at Paws Up throughout the summer as part of the popular Paint ’n’ Pour Wilderness Workshop. With step-by-step guidance in a fun and friendly atmosphere, you’ll be creating your own personal masterpiece in no time. All you have to do is show up with an open mind—the canvases, paint, wine and laughter are all provided.
Starry Night Photography: August 11-14, 2017
Get to know acclaimed ranch-life photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbara Van Cleve while taking part in a unique and captivating photography workshop. Known for her spectacular nighttime imagery, Van Cleve will instruct workshop participants on how to capture vivid, dreamy photographs under a starry, moonlit sky. With more than 50 solo photography exhibits to her name and a lifetime of experience in the West and on ranches, she’ll show you new ways of visualizing, conceptualizing and capturing the images you want to share with the world. You might also run into her on a trail ride or around a campfire.
Champion Horsemanship: August 11-14, 2017
Take your horsemanship skills up a notch with instruction from the real deal, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbara Schulte. With an emphasis on mental toughness, she’s helped elite riders all over the country reach their full potential. Here, with her guidance, you’ll focus on control as you wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails, and you’ll practice your aim on horseback with water-gun mounted shooting. Class sizes are small, and you’ll have ample opportunity to get to know this horse-riding legend. It’s a fun and exciting way to learn just what it takes to be an authentic champion cowboy or cowgirl.