West Michigan man wants to launch school with outdoor focus, ‘get kids off their butts’

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The Outdoor Journal

By Howard Meyerson

GRAND RAPIDS — When you ask David Buth if his “Summer Journey” program is just another summer camp, the tall, lanky, mountain-climbing adventurer is likely to answer: “No. It’s way more than that.”

For Buth, an East Grand Rapids High School graduate who has a master’s degree in environmental science, the program is about community.

His high school and middle school students travel west to study field ecology, wildlife biology, volcanoes, mountain climbing and yoga.

Those are just some of their remarkable endeavors.

“These kids learn firsthand from people who know first-hand,” Buth said. “They study wolves at sunrise in Yellowstone, climb in the Grand Tetons, tour caves and get involved with international bird-banding projects.

“They develop rich connections with each other — the kind of connection that comes when you climb a mountain with 10 people who have your back.”

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