Posted: Jul 8, 2012 2:36 PM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
GREAT FALLS- Ben Zino, a North Carolina native, found himself on the Missouri River in Great Falls for the National Geographic Hands-On Explorer trip.
"It was really fun with the different land forms and there were like sheer cliffs and flat plains and it was just so weird! It goes from really tall, to really flat, to really low," Zino said.
Zino and all the explorers will spend the next eight days going all over Montana and learning what the Treasure state and its history has to offer.
"Well, I kind of feel like I should be learning about his stuff," Zino said, "If it's America's past and it's part of me."
And for those teaching the kids while they're here, they feel it's important to teach them about America's history outside the classroom.
"But then you have this whole hands-on based approach right here at the interpretive center," education coordinator Darian Kath said. "And even going on the float trip, experiencing that first-hand, and what it would be like to be Lewis and Clark."
And for these explorers the experience to come out West is a great way to spend their summer, especially for 12-year-old Mariah Adams: "I love being with friends and I love learning more about wildlife and what's around me."
Zino finds himself struggling to express exactly how it feels. "It's really cool," said Zino. "I can't even put it into words. It's just awesome."
Sunday the explorers head to the Pine Butte guest ranch in Choteau and by the end of next week, the explorers will end their expedition at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Keep up with their adventures at the NatGeo Hands-On Explorer blog, where the kids posted their first reactions to Montana.