Missouri River Explorer Program 2023 Reflection

People of all ages become official Missouri River Explorers!

Missouri River Relief partnered with Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland in October to bring families and scout troops to the Missouri River! Participants had the opportunity to earn their Missouri River Explorer badge by partaking in hands-on activities such as a free motorboat ride, creating a watercolor of the river, going on a nature walk, and meeting some of the creatures that call the Missouri River home. 260 people participated in this year's program and 79 new River Explorers went home with a badge!

At the heart of this program is our Missouri River Explorer Badge. This badge has three components: Explore, Learn and Protect. The Missouri River Explorer Program gives the public the opportunity to earn their badges all in one place. Each activity completed during the program falls under one of the three components and counts towards earning a badge. To see more photos from this program click here

Photo by Kevin Tosie

Photo by Steve Schnarr

Photo by Steve Schnarr


Program attendees were encouraged to explore the natural world around them to form a connection with the Missouri River.  Those in attendance at the program had the option to complete a bird scavenger hunt along the Katy Trail while experiencing the fall colors along the river.  They also had the opportunity to take a free boat ride on the Missouri River with our experienced captains and deckhands.


Participants learned about how people along the Missouri River have historically used native plants and got to make cordage with Lincoln University's Native Plants Program. Participants used their observation skills to make their very own watercolor of the Missouri River to bring home. Our special guests, Raptor Rehabilitation Project taught the attendees all about local birds. WildHeart led learning through songs and dances about the natural world and local entomologist, Eze Pojmann-Ezeonyilo introduced participants to some of their creepy crawly bug neighbors.


Attendees were encouraged to protect their watershed for the use and enjoyment of their community. They created their very own haven for wildlife by creating a bug hotel.  They also took home their very own Clean Up Kit with instructions on how to safely conduct their own clean-up, a trash bag, and gloves. 

Photo by Steve Schnarr
Photo by Hannah Williams
Photo by Steve Schnarr

Sponsors & Partners

Missouri River Relief has partnered with Girls Scouts of the Missouri Heartland and AmeriCorps to bring Missouri River Explorers to Columbia. Support for this event has been provided by Veterans United Foundation.

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MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
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