NEW in 2016 – 3 Explorer Programs in 3 locations!

Students in the Explorer Program learned kayaking and paddling skills at Sleepy Eye Lake in June 2015. Photo by Jamie Berner

Redwood Falls

Ramsey Park

May 23-June 3 (Mondays-Fridays)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

No program on Memorial Day

Explorer Fee: *$175

*Redwood Area Schools are offering a scholarship that is not income based.  Scholarship money will be divided evenly between all applicants.  Scholarship applications are still available!  Contact Kelly Lutgen, Redwood Area Community Education Coordinator, with questions.

Explorers: Register Here

Printable Registration: 2016 Paper Registration Form

Registration Deadline:

Extended through Friday, May 6



Morton City Park

June 13 – 30 (Mondays – Thursdays)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Explorer Fee: *$225

*Price reduction available, click here for the list of eligible towns/schools.

Transportation provided from the following locations: Granite Falls, Renville, Franklin and Morgan.

Explorers: Register Here

Printable Registration: 2016 Paper Registration Form

Registration Deadline:

Friday, April 22



Winthrop City Park

July 11 – 28 (Mondays – Thursdays)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Explorer Fee: *$225

*GFW students’ fee is $200 thanks to fundraising dollars that GFW Community Ed raised. GFW Community Ed has also created a Papa Murphy’s Fundraiser to help lower this fee even more for families.  Contact Sandy Pierson for more information at 507-207-2204.

Explorers: Register Here

Printable Registration: 2016 Paper Registration Form

Registration Deadline:

Extended through Friday, May 6

Program Overview

This program offers students a chance to become knowledgeable about their home on the Minnesota River Valley and allows them to learn through hands-on experiences. Each day new presentations are brought in for the explorers to learn about one of our three themes.  Explorers are also taken all over Southern Minnesota to experience what the river valley has to offer!

Organization and Supervision of the Explorers

Explorers are divided into two groups: Grades 1-3 and 4-6.  Explorers are then matched with a counselor who oversees a group of 10 explorers.  Counselors are responsible for keeping the group safe, on schedule, organized, and energized.  There is time built in to the schedule for counselors and explorers to connect and have fun together.  Our counselors are all First Aid certified and go through training to learn the supervision, safety and leadership skills needed to work for the MVHLC.  Each age group also has an Assistant Director who is responsible for group safety, counselor support, and program logistics.

Program Materials and Lunch

Explorers are given a program t-shirt, water bottle, backpack and name tag.  These items are used to keep your child safe while at our program.  Explorer t-shirts must be worn daily.  We use this to identify our explorers while on field trips or at the parks.  Explorers must bring a lunch each day.

Hands-On Learning

Studies show that hands-on learning increases knowledge retention.  We want our explorers to personally interact with our learning objectives.  Each of our high quality presenters come with materials to touch and manipulate so our explorers are constantly engaged. It is our mission to provide learning opportunities that stimulate our explorers’ curiosity and increase their knowledge base.

Presentations include:

  • MinnAqua (Fishing How To’s)
  • Dakota Wicohan (Dakota Language)
  • Dakota Round Dance & Drummer
  • University of Minnesota Extension (Agriculture connections)

Field Experiences

The Minnesota River Valley is rich in its natural and cultural history. We will be traveling by bus to many different sites to let our explorers get an interactive view of the area and see firsthand the uniqueness of the valley.

Sites include:

  • Gneiss Rock Scientific and Natural Area
  • Riverside History and Nature Learning Center
  • Renville and Redwood County Museums
  • Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site
  • Local farm operations (Horses, alpacas, local crops)

Registration Information

Registration is done online – click here.  Registration ends on April 22.  There are a limited number of explorers per program.  Register now to reserve your child’s spot!

Thanks to our generous sponsors we were able to lower the cost of the Explorer Programs in 2016.  Local governments and school districts believe in our programs and want to help even more.  Beneath each program listed above are options to help lower the fee for families.  Some of these opportunities are income related and other opportunities apply to all!

Payment Information

Please send your payment to: MVHLC, PO Box 127, Morton, MN 56270.  Payment must be received by April 29 (one week following the registration deadline).

Immunization Records

The MVHLC must have each child’s immunization records on file.  These can be faxed to our office at 507-697-6118.  Please put “Attn: Ann Vote” on the fax.  They can also be mailed to: MVHLC, PO Box 127, Morton, MN 56270.


Contact Ann Vote, MVHLC Program Director for all inquiries.

Phone: 507-697-6119      Email:     Fax: 507-697-6118



2015 Explorers and Staff

MVHLC 2015 Group