Lewis and Clark Leadership Course


Program Features:

1. Canoeing Expedition through the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River Breaks

2. Outdoor Discovery Training on Canyon Ferry Lake and in the Big Belt Mountains

3.Native American Talking Circle featuring acclaimed MSU professor  Shane Doyle

4. Experience the actual sites and scenes of Lewis and Clark's epic journey of discovery

 Mission and History:
For well over a decade, The Lewis and Clark Experience has been committed to facilitating experiential educational opportunities that immerse students in the dynamic history and natural environment of the Lewis and Clark story. By creating unique learning activities and an interactive curriculum, we hope students will grow as critical thinkers, interdisciplinary scholars, active citizens and team leaders. With a dedicated staff of professionally certified teachers, we seek to foster an ongoing dialogue concerning the Lewis and Clark Expedition and its legacies for the future of the American West.

IDEAL  BASE CAMP:  The Montana Learning Center

The Gil Alexander Memorial Lewis and Clark Leadership Course is an offering of The Montana Learning Center.

The Montana Learning Center (MLC) is an educational nonprofit corporation based on picturesque Canyon Ferry Lake, MT.  

MLC has over 30-years of experience providing elementary and secondary education, summer camps, elderhostels and educational workshops.   The late Mr. Gil Alexander was a Ph.D. geophysicist, Presidential Teacher of The Year and founder of the Montana Learning Center.  Along with his wife, Marilyn, Mr. Alexander trained Mr. Nulf and Mr. Parisi to teach the science and history of Lewis and Clark within the state of Montana.  We intend this leadership course to build upon Mr. Alexander’s legacy of excellence and inspiration.

Award-Winning Program

  • Recipients of The Nutmeg Award for Excellence in History Education, Daughters of the American Revolution.
  • Recognized Presenters, New England Regional Council For the Social Studies 2005
  • Producers of the feature film documentary: Under The Vast Blue Sky: Tales of an Undaunted Courage Expedition
Program Founders: Dave Nulf and Chris Parisi hold graduate credits from the University of Montana for Teach Lewis and Clark, a professional development workshop for educators.  They have run four adventure courses in Montana in conjunction with the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, including an epic 23-day expedition from the Blackfeet reservation, through the  Upper Missouri River Breaks and across the continental divide at Lemhi Pass.  This dynamic duo team-teaches Advanced Placement American Studies at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, CT.

Experienced Staff

Instructor Team in 2018 
Dave Nulf

I completed a three month National Outdoor Leadership School semester in the Rockies as a senior in college, and came into my career as an English teacher with the desire to incorporate a growing passion for wilderness experiences into education.  Since the late 90s, I have been leading students in my Call of the Wild courses on short backpacking excursions, and have always appreciated being witness to the transformative powers of wild places on young adults who have grown up in Fairfield.  Layering on the amazing history of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and having the opportunity to linger for a week in a place like Montana just takes the whole thing to a new level.  Last summer was the fourth time I have guided students from Fairfield through a Lewis and Clark program at these sites, and the opportunity to include our oldest daughter in it brought all of this full circle for me.
Paige Moore

I am currently in my fourth year as a high school social studies teacher - 3 in Fairfield, CT and now in Virginia Beach, VA - and I joined the L&C Leadership Team in 2017.   I jumped on the opportunity to join this program because I wanted to help students realize their full leadership, teamwork, and decision-making skills.   It also has given me the chance to see a new part of the country that my inner History Buff could not pass up!  It has been amazing to see two groups of students experience these sites for the first time, and I am looking forward to getting kids from the city of Virginia Beach out to the Wild West!

Chris Parisi

In 1998, Stephen Ambrose's, Undaunted Courage, really put the hooks in me and I've been running Lewis and Clark programming ever since.  As a U.S. History teacher and varsity lacrosse coach with 25 years of experience, I love opportunities to help students expand their horizons and unlock skills that they didn't even know they had.  With four kids of my own, I have seen the power that Montana has to fill them with a sense of freedom and wonder that they can't get in suburbia.

Lauren Moyer

I joined the Lewis and Clark Leadership Team in 2018. Words cannot describe the beauty and power of the sights throughout the trip, nor the impact this course has on students. Each day provides rich immersion into the culture and history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, leaving a life-long and personal impression on all. I have been teaching social studies for nine years, and look forward to many new adventures with future Lewis and Clark groups! 
Shane Doyle

Dr. Shane Doyle is an educator and cultural consultant, who hails from Crow Agency, MT.  Dr Doyle is a member of the Crow Tribe, and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher for the Centre for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  Dr. Doyle holds a Masters Degree in Native American Studies and a Ph.D. in Education.  He is presently engaged in studying the topic of genetic research within Montana's tribal communities.  He also works as an adjunct instructor for MSU-Bozeman, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Extreme History Project, as well as being an active member of the local Bobcat Singers Drum group.
Contact Us:
Cell: 203-258-1242

Office Phone: (406) 451-2082

Email: montanalearningcenter@gmail.com

Montana Learning Center, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, Helena, MT 59602-8517
2019 Program for students grades 9-12

$1499 Course Fee Includes:
All transportation within the state of Montana
All program tuition
All meals
All housing
All gear rentals
All speaker and museum fees
[Does not include airfare]
Testimonials from our 2017 Class
Dear Dave and Chris,
Thank you immensely for taking Elle on this lifetime trip. I really mean lifetime given the location, history and devotion of you talented, kind teachers. She came home beaming with pride of her new adventures and friends. I am still hearing tales from your trails and hope to for a long time. You went above and beyond to make her feel comfortable and she loved spending every minute with you. 
You both are Amazing in every way! We are so lucky to have you give your time (summer!), knowledge and camaraderie to our teens. If only every student had one dedicated teacher, the world would be a better and easier place. You understand the role of a teacher and it's potentially positive role - you continually invest in your students for their and our future. For this I am eternally grateful. Much love and thanks,  Lowell