Friends of Pool 9’s Mississippi River Adventure Day scheduled for July 14

Adventurous 2011 MRAD kids reach to feel the moist skin of a flat-head catfish held by Jerry Boardman. Submitted photo.

Friends of Pool 9 will be offering another kids’ day on the beach this summer.  This will be the eighth year of the group’s Mississippi River Adventure Day.  The date selected for this year is Tuesday, July 14. The event is open to all children 5-13 years of age. All expenses for the day are paid by Friends of Pool 9. A parent or other adult is required for each child, however where a parent is bringing two or more children, Friends of Pool 9 will assign an adult to each additional child.
Registration must be completed online at by July 1. Spaces are limited to the first 120 children and parents. While keeping proven activities of past years for younger groups (seining for fish, pollywogging for clams, touching the skin of a flathead catfish, dip-netting insects, free swim time, and visiting an eagle nest) a new format will be presented to the older children ages nine through 13 years.
The entire day will also be shortened from six sessions to five, getting kids (and parents) out of the extreme heat of the afternoon sun a little sooner. The older age groups (9-13 year olds) will be divided into two groups (Otters and Eagles) and will rotate between two new hands-on activities. Otters and Eagles will spend half the day on a backwater canoe adventure where they will be introduced to the complexity and balance of nature by a naturalist.  A parent (or other adult) and child will canoe together a few miles in backwater shallows learning about the river ecosystem. The other half of the day will be spent in a GPS Treasure Hunt on the main sand dune island. An Allamakee County naturalist will teach participants the fun and skill of using the GPS unit to locate and uncover buried treasures in the sand.
The registration form is available on the FOP9 website Click under the News/Events tab. The application can be completed online by following the instructions.
Participants will gather at the Lansing baseball diamond at 8:30 a.m., wearing swim suits and water shoes (no flip-flops), a US Coast Guard approved life jacket will be provided by FOP9 to those who don’t bring their own. There is no charge for the event and lunch is provided all participants by Friends of Pool 9.
Applications will be accepted until July 1 on a first come, first served manner.  There is a 120 participant limit for children and parents, so applications should be submitted as soon as possible. The event tends to fill to capacity every year.
Due to the high water and unsafe conditions, last year’s event on the beach was replaced with a day trip to the Dubuque River History Museum.
Over the years hundreds of children and parents have taken part in this informative and educational experience. It’s an opportunity to show kids the fun and adventure of being outdoors on the Mississippi River.  
Friends of Pool 9 needs thirty adult leaders and chaperones to help with the event. Call Cheryl Walsh (563-538-4764) to help with the food, or Bob Henkel (563-538-4836), Larry Quamme (608-734-9077), or John Verdon (563-538-4836) to volunteer for beach duty. US Fish & Wildlife Service staff from the McGregor District will also be involved to transport presenters, make presentations and supervise the safety of all participants taking part in the day.