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Vlog Features Blaine County Establishments

 

April 14, 2021

With her vlog, Mandy's Adventures, Mandy Hansen hopes to attract area tourism

Amanda Hansen and her family moved to the Hi-Line in 2000 when they began to operate Hansen Family Campground and Storage between Chinook and Havre. In February of this year, Hansen started a YouTube channel called Mandy's Adventures. On this video log (vlog), she takes people on tours of area attractions. In Blaine County so far, she has featured the Blaine County Museum, Bear Paw Battlefield, and PAWS Animal Shelter in Chinook.

The term vlog is used by those who post scheduled updates via video websites like YouTube. These vlog posts consist of creating a video where the author/narrator talks on a particular subject. In interactive video posts, the vlogger often shares details about upcoming events, reviews products, documents daily life, or discloses any other activity a vlogger thinks is worth mentioning through a video instead of writing.

On her YouTube channel, Hansen tells her viewers: "I live in Montana, so I will mostly video the places around the state. Occasionally, I travel out of state and will be known to video about those adventures too!"

She claims to be passionate about creating her vlog, which is designed to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas with an audience. Every Thursday night, she posts her vlogs, most of which run 25-45 minutes in length and typically get anywhere from 50-280 views.

In early April, Hansen ventured out to PAWS Animal Shelter. She describes that vlog as one of her favorites. "I learned so much about this beautiful animal shelter. I love how Alissa Hewitt shares stories about her fur babies on Facebook. She does a wonderful job, and her animals truly love her there."

In March, Hansen's vlog featured Blaine County Museum and Bear Paw Battlefield. Hansen was impressed by Museum Director Samantha French's knowledge, "She seriously taught me so much about the history of Chinook," Hansen remarked.

For the coverage, French expressed her gratitude: "A big thanks to Mandy Hansen for featuring Blaine County Museum in her vlog, Mandy's Adventures. Watch her video for a walk-through of our museum and for more information about some of our displays. Thanks for promoting local history, Mandy!"

Another March adventure took viewers to Rudyard. In Hansen's words, "This town is like stepping back in time" with its Depot Museum, Dinosaur Museum, and Vintage Car Museum. Hansen vows to return during their open season. Also in her sights when it reopens is the Blaine County Wildlife Museum.

Although locals can visit these places in-person,

Hansen hopes to share Montana's attractions with a wider audience, as well as with those who are unable to travel, for whatever reason.

In fact, that is exactly what inspired her to start vlogging in the first place. As the Hansen Family Campground began receiving cancellations because of Covid restrictions, with campers expressing disappointment about wanting to travel, Hansen's husband suggested: "If people can't come to us, how about we go to them?" Hence, Mandy's Adventures was born.

"We love where we live, and we wanted to share what we have in our local area and along the Hi-Line," Hansen said.

Originally from London, England, Mandy and her family immigrated to the United States in 1980. While living in California, she eventually met and married Paul Hansen in 1989. When their first son, Eric was born, Mandy resigned from her position as office manager and human resources with Viacom Cablevision to be "a stay at home mum." Then, along came Jonathon.

When Eric started kindergarten, his teacher asked whether Mandy would help in the classroom. That experience eventually led to a job as a teacher's assistant working with kindergarteners.

As the boys grew, the couple wanted a better life with opportunities for them. During a vacation one year, they travelled to Missoula and around the state of Montana. "It was like stepping back in time for us. It was a lot slower pace, and the people were so friendly," Hansen exclaimed.

So, the family left California in 2000 and moved to Havre after purchasing Milk River RV Park. "I must admit it did take a lot of adjusting. There were no trees, no big malls, and NO BEACH! I was in culture shock! It seriously took us a few years to get used to the Hi-Line, although Eric and Jon-who were three and seven at the time-settled in right away," Hansen said.

Last year, after six years of teaching first grade at Highland Park Elementary School, Hansen resigned from her teaching job with Havre Public Schools to concentrate more on the campground. She is also an author of children's books and is in the middle of writing her fourth book, Dudley Gets a New Friend. Her books often feature the farm animals that populate the campgrounds, where they maintain a petting zoo attraction for campers.

When asked about her next adventure, Hansen responded: "I am currently in negotiations with a book publisher in Cambridge, England, Sheraton House/Pegasus Publishers. That would be a dream come true."

In the meantime, Hansen continues vlogging. "I am so blessed with my family and friends that support me and have been my cheerleaders. You can ask anyone; I seriously am Chatty Kathy. But when it comes to my personal life, I am a bit reserved. Paul convinced me to start telling everyone on social media about the vlog. So, I guess you can say that I have switched from education to the tourism world. I have learned so much from doing my vlogs about the small towns that I'm excited to share with our campers and hopefully pull in more revenue for area tourist attractions. Having a vlog on YouTube, I get to share with the world. Even my family in England gets to see it! I hear comments from people who have subscribed to my channel that they love looking at the small towns and are happy to know they still exist."

Hansen reports that some of her subscribers comment that her vlog has inspired them to visit our area and that they are planning their trip based on her vlog's suggestions for things to do and visit while they are on vacation.

 
 

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