Thursday, July 05, 2012 4:04:16 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Office of Tourism
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Office of Tourism Partners with National Geographic to Introduce Kids to the Wonders of Montana
(HELENA) – Montana will soon be hosting 15 winners of the 2012 National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge. From July 6-15, 15 children between the ages of 9 and 14 from across the United States will descend upon Montana for a 10-day expedition exploring many of the varied and fascinating facets of the state.
“Montana is thrilled to be chosen as the first U.S. destination for the National Geographic Hands-On Explorer Challenge expedition,” said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. “Partnering with National Geographic to bring these eager and inquisitive children from all corners of the U.S. to Montana is really an honor. I know these kids will experience the sense of true wonderment from Montana’s pristine outdoors. They will come away inspired by our deep history, rich culture and dramatic beauty.”
Their Montana itinerary includes delving into the history of Lewis & Clark; learning about Montana’s Native American culture; exploring the state’s prehistoric past; and experiencing Montana’s crown jewel, Glacier National Park including a visit with well-known wildlife advocate and correspondent (and part-time Montana resident) Jack Hanna. Opportunities to be meaningfully engaged in Montana’s outdoors will be deeply integrated into all of their activities including floating rivers, hiking trails, undertaking dinosaur digs as well as participating in Native American traditional games.
The Montana Office of Tourism has an active interest in marketing to families. This partnership with National Geographic, which included an extensive print and online component to complement the Hands On Explorer Challenge sweepstakes, provided Montana the opportunity to align with an internationally respected brand, renowned for their coverage of some of the world’s most spectacular people and places.
Montana provides the perfect backdrop for an outdoor classroom for these emerging explorers. Montana, like National Geographic, has a vested interest in cultivating the next generation of explorers and scientists. Programs such as the Governor and First Lady’s Math and Science Initiative, encourages youth to discover the many opportunities and fascinating paths that pursuing a career in these fields could provide. The Geo-Signs component is one part of the Initiative that encourages a deeper understanding and appreciation for Montana’s geologic history at specific points across the state. Each interpretive sign describes geologic wonders of the treasure State to help share Montana’s story.
Developing initiatives that integrate with Montana’s spectacular landscapes and partnering with like-minded brands that engage children in the outdoors helps cultivate the next generation of stewards to preserve and protect what makes Montana so unique.
This will be the sixth National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge expedition, and is the first to take place in the United States. Previous destinations have been the Galápagos Islands, South Africa, Australia, Peru and the Cayman Islands.
Accompanying the winners will be renowned journalist and adventurer Boyd Matson, who is the current host of the radio program “National Geographic Weekend.” Throughout the expedition, the National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorers will be documenting their experiences in pictures and words that will be posted regularly on the Hands-On Explorer Challenge blog.
Media outlets are encouraged to join the trip at any point along the way. A detailed itinerary of the trip is available by contacting Donnie Sexton at the Montana Office of Tourism, firstname.lastname@example.org, 841-2897.