Get to Know Brad Winn

Job Responsibilities

btw: What kind of work do you do?

Brad Winn: I believe it is important to not just teach about history, but to help everyone develop a personal connection to the subject. History is one of those topics that can appeal to a wide audience because it is the story of all of us: where we came from, who was there before us and what they accomplished. If you share a connection to that story you are more likely to remember it and appreciate it.

Taken on the porch of General George Armstrong Custer's home with two historical reenactors. The house is located at Fort Abraham Lincoln in Mandan, North Dakota. Custer and the 7th Cavalry departed from here on their way to the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Someone once told me what we do at the museum is “Edutainment.” We both Educate and Entertain.

btw: How has social studies assisted you in your job?

Brad Winn: We now teach using all of the senses and experiences to bring about a more complete picture of the past. Social studies research skills taught me how to evaluate an audio or video clip of an historic event.  It has helped me discover how to become a better teacher here at the museum by challenging me to look for new and better ways to bring that history to life.

btw: What do you like the most about your job?

Brad Winn: I like the fact that every day is different.  We may have 10 school buses visiting one day and the next I am out mowing the grass or speaking before a Rotary Club.  I love that each day brings a new experience as we welcome new visitors from all over the world through our doors.

btw: What is fun about your job?

Brad Winn: Sadly my job does not allow me as much time as it once did being a Historic Interpreter.  When the opportunity arises to do an outreach program at a local school or for one of our financial partners I jump at the chance to slip on those funny old clothes and play the part of a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

For the last 6 years the center has hosted the Junior Explorers Summer Day Camp and I always clear my calendar for that week to serve as a camp counselor and instructor.  A love for history starts at a young age, and I think that experiencing history in a lively way makes it more meaningful for them and really rewarding for me.

btw: Do you have any surprising or fun stories you can share about your job?

Brad Winn: Just this past year I took the summer off from teaching to follow a dream that I have had since I started working at Lewis and Clark State Historic Site. I spent two weeks driving the Lewis and Clark Trail from Hartford, IL to Astoria, OR.

The Great Falls of the Missouri River, near Great Falls, Montana. Lewis and Clark's view of the Missouri River was much different.

I stood atop Lemhi Pass where Meriwether Lewis crossed the Continental Divide; I shared the same excitement when I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The best part of all it was my ability to instantly connect with folks at historic centers along the trail who, like me, shared their own stories about Lewis and Clark and their love of the expedition’s history.

In keeping with the spirit of Lewis and Clark and their journals, I wrote a travel blog each day chronicling my experiences along the trail. I know I got so much meaning from my travels because of the time I have spent working and talking with the thousands of guests who have visited our interpretive center in Hartford.

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