Created By: Westmer Girl Scout Leader Jamie P.
ALL AGE LEVELS
Daisy Girl Scouts do #9 and 4 other activities of their choice. Brownies do 6 activities including
the 4 starred. Juniors do 8 activities including the 4 starred. Cadettes & Seniors do the 10 activities including the
4 starred. (NOTE ~ all age levels may find it interesting to complete ALL activities.)
Most of us live on or near the Mississippi River but how many of us know the River or what wonderful
opportunities it has to offer? This patch was designed to help you get more in touch with your “River Rat” roots
and discover a whole new world around you. It may even help you to look at the Mighty Mississippi in a whole new light.
1. Find out what Shoals, Sandbars, Sloughs and Back Waters are and how the Federal Government removed
them in the early 1800’s.
*2. Find out what the Nine-Foot Channel Navigation Project on the Upper Mississippi River is and what
the dimensions are for the majority of the damns in this project. Discover why and when it started.
*3. Find out What/Who The US Army Corps of Engineers are where they are located and what they do.
4. Find out what “River Traffic” and “Commercial Traffic” are and how we use
and benefit from them. Compare Cargo Capacity of a Barge, Train and Semi Truck.
5. Discover several different uses the river provides for us both commercially and recreationally.
How would these things be different for us if we did not live along the River? How have these uses changed in the past 200
6. Find someone who does “Barge Work” on the river. Invite them to attend a Troop/Group
meeting and explain what it is like to live and work on the river.
*7. Discover the How & Why of the Locks and Dams. What are they used for? How do they work? How
do the locks fill and empty? What does it mean to “Lock Through”. What are Pool Levels? What is a “Water
Elevator”? What is the “Stairway of Water” and where is it located?
8. Discover how many Dams there are along the Upper Mississippi River and where they are located. How
many miles are there between the lock and the last? Find out where the only “Twin” locks of the system are located.
Discover when and where the first Lock and Dam was built and what happened to it.
*9. Locate the Lock and Dams nearest to you and arrange a visit either by land or by water. If taking
a boat try to arrange your visit at a time when it is safe for you to “Lock Through”. Share your experience with
your Troop/Group if completing this activity individually.
10. If possible try to visit as many of the Locks and Dams along the Mississippi River as you can.
Compare the differences and similarities.
11. Research and put together a “River Chronology” from the 1600’s to present time.
Be sure to include the names of explorers and any important facts about “your area” that you find.
12. What Wildlife and Recreational Benefits does the Mississippi River Provide? Discover what treasures
Mother Nature laid throughout the Upper Mississippi Valley. Make a list of as many of the Public Use areas and Wild Life Preserves
and/or Refuges as you can locate. Try to visit at least three of these places that you have never seen before.
13. Spend a day on the river with an adult. Take a boat ride, go fishing, water skiing, the possibilities
are endless! Make sure to practice safety measures! Check in your handbooks/patch books and see what it says about water safety.
14. Take a scenic drive with your troop/group or an adult along the river front. Try this on more than
one occasion. What are some of the different activities that you notice or differences you notice about the River during the
changing of the seasons? What effects does the weather have on the “Barge Traffic”?
Additional information on The Lock & Dams,
The Upper Mississippi River
& other recreation areas are available from:
St. Paul District
Corps of Engineers
Army Corps of Engineers Center
190 Fifth St East
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1638
St. Louis District
Corps of Engineers
1222 Spruce Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63103
Rock Island District
Corps of Engineers
Clock Tower Building
Rock Island, Illinois 61204
Upper Mississippi River
Wildlife & Fish Refuge
122 W. 2nd St.
Winona, Minnesota 55987
Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 225
Quincy, Illinois 62301
More info can be accessed online.
Check it out and have a WONDERFUL time as you are exploring new things and earning this great outdoor
Have FUN and STAY SAFE!