Two dozen teenagers and three teachers go back in time, dressed as the pioneers did, and travel by wagon train on the Oregon Trial from Wyoming to Oregon. Along the way they meet a variety of other people, from topographical engineers mapping the West to gold seekers headed to California, and Indians wanting to trade. The interactions of the students in the film mirror the kinds of interactions experienced by the thousands of people who crossed the country in the mid 1800s on these same trails and helped create the nation as we know it today.
The kind of hardships and problems encountered by the kids are the same as those encountered by the pioneers. Similar feelings were experienced by both groups-appreciation for the beauty of the landscape they were passing through, happiness and laughter as they danced and sang around the campfire, the sense of accomplishment they felt when they worked together to overcome a difficulty or solve a problem, joy and relief when they finally arrived in Oregon.
The teenagers learned about the history of the movement westward across the continent, they learned about the consequences of the decisions they made and the value of the bonds they formed with their fellow travelers, and they learned about the importance of preserving the history of the trails for future generations to learn from.