Posted: Jul 13, 2012 10:46 AM by Dax VanFossen - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 13, 2012 10:48 AM
WEST GLACIER- When you mix good weather with Glacier National Park and then add in kids from all over the country, you get a magical experience. The park played host Thursday to 15 winners of the 2012 National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge.
Folks who live in northwest Montana can sometimes take seeing a place like Glacier National Park for granted, but for one group of kids comprised of students from all over the country, taking in the scenic beauty was the chance of a lifetime."
"Very cold water that I'm going to jump in," Ben Zino from North Carolina predicted.
"I.m really hoping to see a bear, if there's fish, because they have to gain their calories, if there's hibernation, so I'm thinking we might be able to see a bear," Amillia Daugherty of New York added.
They did end up seeing a bear at St. Mary Lake later on Thursday.
"Well I've never actually seen a grizzly bear before.....ever. But I knew it automatically, it was really fascinating to not see him in a picture, but to see him in real life," Katherine Wendein from Ohio observed.
The group also saw the Going to the Sun Road, mountain goats, bears and more, and toured much of Montana. But this trip for 15 young kids didn't come free, they had to earn it by wiring an essay of 300 words or less, about why they like exploring the world.
Emily Marshall of Virginia couldn't pick out a favorite part of the National Geographic trip, but one thing definitely stood out. "It's a lot like other trips I've seen, but the mountains, are definitely much bigger than back in Virginia where I'm from."
A young man from Washington was planning a swim at Avalanche, before learning a new fact about fish. "There's actually a lot of fish up there in Avalanche Lake, OH WOW! Yeah too bad we can't go fishing. Are there fish with teeth? All fish have teeth....OH MAN...I'M NOT getting IN!"
This is the sixth National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge expedition, but the first to take place in the United States. Previous destinations have been the Galápagos Islands, South Africa, Australia, Peru and the Cayman Islands.