We help build resilience in children who have experienced unstable housing and domestic violence. With age-appropriate programming for infants through teenagers, our comprehensive youth services reduce the impact of trauma, provide opportunities for healing and growth, and enrich the lives of children and families that we serve. Just one of our programs, GUTS! leadership programming for girls and gender-diverse youth is focused on positive mentorships, community projects and summer outdoor adventures.


Children’s Programs at The Meadowlark

For children residing at The Meadowlark, the Youth Services Program provides a safe place for them to go every day after school. Here they will receive social-emotional support, academic support, and therapeutic services to promote healing from trauma and building a path to a successful future; in addition they can take advantage of the program’s opportunities to develop leadership skills.

  • Daily group activities create a safe environment to nurture self-expression and resilience building, identification and naming of emotions, self-regulation, and a stronger sense of self-worth.
  • Weekly groups designed for children of all ages who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. Groups include therapeutic play and other age-appropriate activities, all offered in a safe and supportive environment.
  • After-school programming for elementary and middle school youth includes academics, physical activity and healthy nutrition.


Children’s Support Groups

Weekly support groups are offered for children in the community, birth to age 18, and coordinated in time schedule with support groups for adult survivors of domestic violence. The children’s curriculum includes therapeutic art activities and play, education about domestic violence, safety planning, and healthy conflict management. Support groups can increase self-esteem, teach safe and healthy ways to express feelings, and give children the tools to form healthy relationships. YWCA support groups for children and youth are based at the YWCA Program Center, one wing of The Meadowlark.

To learn more or register for children’s support groups, please call (406) 543-6691.

GUTS! Leadership

GUTS! is a community-based leadership and empowerment program for girls and gender-diverse 4th to 8th graders. GUTS! encourages young people to explore personal values and discover their strengths through summer adventures, as well as through after-school groups and service projects during the academic year.

Summer Outdoor Adventures

GUTS! Summer Outdoor Adventures 2022 offers girls and gender-diverse youth grades 5th-8th, four week-long day camps in Missoula, and run Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm. Each day the group will travel to different destinations around town via bike experiencing a variety of outdoor and community activities. Our community partners this year are Freecycles, Garden City Harvest, Freestone Climbing, Love Boat Paddling Co., Home Resource, and the Natural History Center. Along the way, our staff will lead GUTS! activities designed to help participants develop healthy relationships with themselves, their bodies, and their peers. Drop off and pick up will take place at The Meadowlark, 1800 S. 3rd St. W.

Dates are:

  • 6/20- 6/24 incoming 5th-6th graders
  • 7/11-7/15 incoming 7th-8th graders
  • 7/25-7/29 incoming 5th-6th graders
  • 8/8-8/12 incoming 7th-8th graders


To Register, please complete BOTH forms linked below. ( Tuition is on a sliding scale basis and a bike/gear can be borrowed from the program.)
Step 1: Caregiver Application
Step 2: Participant Application

Email Jess, GUTS! Program Coordinator, at jmonis@ywcaofmissoula.org with questions.

Action Groups

Offered during the school year, weekly action groups give participants the chance to learn and practice leadership skills in their homes, schools and communities. These groups discuss topics ranging from healthy relationships and body image to long-term goals and values. Groups develop and complete an action project each school year, providing them with the opportunity to utilize their individual skills to produce real results in their lives.

Spring 2022 groups are being held in-person and online. Groups are open to 4th-8th grade girls and gender-diverse youth.

Email Jess, GUTS! Program Coordinator, at jmonis@ywcaofmissoula.org with questions.