2018 – 3 Different Explorer Programs!

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

River Valley History Week

Location Varies, meet at Morton City Park

June 4-7 (Monday-Thursday)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Explorer Fee: *$150

Learn about local Native American history and lifeways. We will also learn about the river and waterways of our area and the MN river valley. Trips will include visits to the New Ulm Rivercenter, Lower Sioux Historic Site and learning center, and a swimming trip to Lake Sleepy Eye.

Explorers: Registrations Closed

Registration Deadline: May 28


Pioneer Week

Morton City Park

June 11 – 14 (Monday-Thursday)

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Explorer Fee: *$150

The Ecology Bus will come to visit and teach about animals of the river valley and prairie. We will have two full days with pioneer reenactors who will teach about the historical way of life and will include hands on activities and crafts.

Explorers: Registrations Closed

Registration Deadline: May 28


Creativity Camp

River Valley Art Center, Morton

June 18 – 21 (Monday-Thursday)

8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Explorer Fee: *$125

Drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography for grades 1-6.

Explorers: Registrations Closed

Registration Deadline: May 28


Registrations are Currently Closed!


The Explorer Fee covers the activities and all associated costs, including transportation. Residents of Morton and members of the Lower Sioux Community are eligible to attend at no personal cost because of generous donations from their respective communities. (For busing from Redwood Falls to our meeting point in Morton, please contact Chris, MVHLC.explorerprogram@gmail.com  to make arrangements.) Attendees will need to bring a sack lunch with them each day of the camp.

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.  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.  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 at least one week prior to the week of activities.

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 Chris Schmitz, MVHLC Program Director for all inquiries.

Email: MVHLC.explorerprogram@gmail.com     For emergencies or time sensitive items call his cell: 218-310-2156



2015 Explorers and Staff

MVHLC 2015 Group