Explorer Corps program offers summer fun and challengesJul 07, 2022 01:21PM ● By Tom Haraldsen
Once again this year, the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) invites Utahns and visitors to test their Utah knowledge and get off the beaten path. Explorer Corps employs a digital smartphone app and a physical passport to direct users to a distinct physical marker placed in each of Utah’s 29 counties. All summer long, participants are invited to seek out these markers and follow their own path to see what makes each county – and all of Utah – so special.
“On top of everyone’s to-do list this summer is getting outside to enjoy Utah – the best state for outdoor recreation. I can think of no better way to do that than by searching for all 29 county markers,” said NHMU’s executive director Jason Cryan. “The museum’s Explorer Corps has been designed to blur the line between an educational experience and outdoor adventure and we are grateful for all our partners – and explorers – who continue to bring it to life.”
Designed to celebrate Utah’s diverse natural history throughout the state, Explorer Corps offers drive-by sightseeing, easy park-and-walk overlooks, a bit of off-roading and hiking, and some idyllic summer recreation spots to enjoy. Most markers will likely take explorers to places they’ve never been before, creating lasting memories and many chances to learn something new along the way. Anne Shaw, one of nearly two dozen of last summer’s participants who made it to all 29 county markers, certainly thought so.
“My husband and I are both lifelong Utahns, and thought we’d seen pretty much all there is to see,” Anne said. “Boy we were wrong! After the first couple of weekend trips to find markers, we were hooked. The drives were beautiful, the markers were just hard enough to find, and we learned something and made a fun memory in each new place. It was a great bonding experience for us.”
If that’s not enough incentive to hit the road, follow @NHMU on Instagram for weekly prize giveaways that include Cotopaxi shoulder bags, NHMU hats, Kuhl water bottles, and more. And don’t forget the Race to 29! Sweepstakes, which offers participants from anywhere the chance to win one of two week-long adventures in a luxury Winnebago from Kellville Vans.
“Our business is all about the joy of road trips, so we are thrilled to take part in Explorer Corps again this summer, and support its effort to spark everyone’s inner explorer,” said Teisa Linscott of Kellville Vans. “We’ve learned a lot about Utah’s fascinating natural history, and we’re proud to provide another incentive for folks to make memories on the road this summer.”
Here's how to get involved with Explorer Corps:
• Download the Natural History Explorer Corps app on iOS and Android on your mobile device
• Enter the Explorer Corps sweepstakes for two chances to win a weeklong Winnebago rental
• Download the Explorer Corps Passport, or pick one up at participating libraries
• Share photos of your Explorer Corps adventures using #ExplorerCorps and get featured on @NHMU's social channels
• Check out Junior Explorers and all of the extra content on nhmu.utah.edu/explore!
Explorer Corps runs until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5.
For more updates and information on the Natural History Museum of Utah’s Explorer Corps program, please visit https://nhmu.utah.edu/explore.
— Tom Haraldsen