We are currently welcoming school groups to our new location within Darden Towe Park! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make a reservation. Current school group prices are $7 per child for a field trip of an hour and half. Half and full day programs and activities requiring premium supplies or equipment have an additional charge. Homeschool groups are welcome.
When visitors come to Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, they encounter full-size replicas of all the different types of boat that Lewis and Clark travelled on in the Expedition: the 55-ft. long Keelboat, the 42-ft. long Red Pirogue, the 39-ft. White Pirogue, as well as a Native American bull boat (made of buffalo hide and willow branches), and a dug out for children to work on.
Red signs indicate hands-on working stations, for what has been described as an “activity cafeteria.” We have “Art in Action” for mask making that teaches about North American animals, “Science Station” for bird activities and water studies, “Beading” with a Native American focus, and “Carpentry Corner” for projects such as nail art and bird houses. We have a Boatbuilder’s Apprentice Program where children learn to hammer, chisel, saw and drill.
Some activities remain constant, and others change. We have painting and oar smoothing and nature journaling. We lead scavenger hunts that teach the compass and the use of a hand-held GPS unit. For the Fourth of July we do red, white and blue printmaking, and in the fall we make leaf prints.
Boatbuilding has also been a traditional part of our programs, and we invite older children to make their own Keelboat launch pirogues in special workshops. We also have a fleet of kayaks to get children out into nature, appreciating the wildlife and plants of the river. In addition, this year we have begun to explore folk art inspired by the 19th Century with such crafts as making checkerboards and farm animal portraits. This year too we created petroglyphs and we made our own compasses with needles and water.
Our programs are continually evolving, but they always remain an exploration.