Missouri River Explorer Program

Say hello to the Big Muddy!

Missouri River Relief is partnering with Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland to introduce more people to the Missouri River. Participants will have the opportunity to earn their Missouri River Explorer badge by participating in hands-on activities such as a free motorboat ride, creating a watercolor of the river, going on a guided hike, meeting some of the animals that call the Missouri River home, and much more!

Missouri River Explorer Details

  • Date: Check back for 2024 program date
  • Time: 10:00am-3:30pm
  • Location: Cooper's Landing/ 11505 Smith Hatchery Rd, Columbia, MO
  • This event is FREE but registration is required
  • Earn a Missouri River Explorer Badge by participating in activities and crafts (Girl Scouts may earn this as a fun patch)
  • Click here to learn more about Missouri River Explorer Badge


Registration will open Fall 2024. In the meantime, check out photos from our 2023 Missouri River Explorer Program or read our 2023 Reflection to get excited for the next one!

Photo by Maddie Est, Missouri Department of Conservation

Activity Options

This program will take place at Cooper's Landing Campgrounds & Marina. Families are asked to drop in at any time between 10:00am and 3:30pm. Earning the badge is optional and can be done outside of the program or not at all. Each activity will guide participants in ways to  explore, learn, and protect the amazing resource that is the Missouri River. Completion of the badge program will take approximately 1.5 hours.


Are you curious about what birds call the Missouri River home? MU Raptor Rehab will be able to answer all of your questions from 1:00-3:30pm. You will be able to meet a few of their feathered friends too!

Use your observation skills to make your very own watercolor of the Missouri River to bring home. 

Dance along to WildHeart as you sing songs about the great outdoors. This activity will be from 12:30pm-1:15pm.


Just by joining us at the Missouri River Explorer Program, you will be well on you way to earning your badge.

Journey out onto the Katy Trail on a guided hike. There, you will be able to experience a cottonwood forest and the plants and animals that call it home. 

Take a voyage on the Missouri river on a FREE boat rides with one of our experienced captains. Rides will go out every 30 minutes with a 45 minute break from 12:30-1:15pm. 



Create your very own safe haven for wildlife with a nature craft. 

Discover the many uses of Missouri's native plants with cordage making.

Learn how your actions at home affect the waterways around you with Clean Rivers Start at Home.

Take home your very own Clean Up Kit. Each kit will include instructions on how to safely conduct your own clean up, a trash bag, and gloves. 

Program Location 

This program will be hosted at Cooper's Landing Campgrounds & Marina.

Our program will be set up a safe distance from the banks of the river under the cottonwood trees near the Katy Trail in the North Campgrounds.

Important Information

To ensure the health and safety of our families and staff. We ask for a manageable parent-to-child ratio to help us ensure safe social distancing. 

We have also reviewed all guidance from the CDC, in developing our safety policies and procedures. As this is an ever-changing situation, we will keep you updated on any changes in protocols and procedures.

Missouri River Explorer Registration

Registration is now CLOSED because we have reached our program capacity. If you are already signed up and have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lara Cox, Education Coordinator, at lara@riverrelief.org or call (573) 443-0292

Sponsors & Partners

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

Ready for Action?

This website is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
© 2024 Missouri River Relief | Website development and design by Pixel Jam Digital
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