Girl Scouts Council's Own Awards Wikia

Lewis & Clark

The Lewis & Clark IP is an interest project from the Girl Scouts of Columbia River Council.

Skill Builders[]

      1. The Corp of Discovery recorded over 300 new species of plants and animals. We have become stewards of the land and creatures described in those journals.
            • EITHER:
                  • Find at least 5 each of plants and animals that are native to the Pacific Northwest.
                  • Look at how the ecology of the land has changed or state of the health of a species listed in Lewis’s journals.
                  • Determine whether any of them appear on the EXTINCT, ENDANGERED, THREATENED, RARE or RECOVERED lists.
                  • Learn what is being done to help the species recover.
                  • Consider developing a Silver or Gold award project to assist or improve habitat for one of the endangered or threatened species.
            • OR: Consider what sort of team you would need to put together to explore unknown regions of today’s rainforests.
                  • What type of specialists would you take along?
                  • What equipment would you need?
                  • What would your transportation needs be?
                  • Put together an exploration proposal encompassing all those details.
                  • And how does this all compare to what Lewis and Clark had going for or against them?
      1. The Native American peoples of the region use pictographs in stone and totems on their boats, lodges and villages to tell tales of their family and legends.
            • EITHER:
                  • Learn the “Legend of Multnomah” which can be found on or find other legends in The Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest by Ella E. Clark for example.
            • OR
                  • Learn about Native American tales and oral histories of the ancient peoples of the Pacific Northwest by reading She Who Watches by Willa Homes, Bidford & Mort Publishing, Portland, Oregone. Do you suppose Tsagaglalal is watching over the river and her people today? What do you think she would think of the uses of her river today?
            • AND
                  • Create a display or activity with which you can share what you have learned with others.
                        • Explore why/how keeping these tales alive are important to the health of the identity a people have with their own culture or even their own family lineage.
                        • Explore why it is important for others to understand the cultural history of those who reside around them.
                        • Look at folktales from other parts of the world. What sorts of common themes have you found that run through tales from various cultures?
                        • In what ways do these themes or characters color our lives today? (Advertising, theme parks, architecture, fashion, etc.)
      1. The mysterious Sacajawea. (this is the preferred spelling by Sacajawea’s decendants, the Lemhi Shosoni. Imagine being a 16 year old woman about to participate in the greatest expedition in man’s history. Then read about the contributions Sacajawea made to the expedition, how the Captains empowered her, how she took on responsibilities beyond her original assigned role. What a steadying influence she must of had on the party as she kept her cool in emergencies. I’ve come to think that the Corps would have been in dire straights more than once if Sacajawea had not been there with her skills and personal strengths.
            • My primary suggested reading on Sacajawea is The Truth About Sacajawea by Kenneth Thomasma. After doing some reading of my own, I agree with him, that his approach is the most factful and indeed interesting of the lot for reasons you will discover for yourself if you take a read.
            • Second suggestion would be Searching for Sacagawea by Margaret Talbot. This looks at the world of writers and photographers as they tell you about the best, worst and quirkiest places and adventures they encountered in the field as they researched this elusive woman.
            • Discuss with others what attributes and strengths Sacajawea exhibited that are also personifications of the ideals you are learning in Girl Scouting.
            • Resources and related links:
                  • Check out the National Geographic Magazine website for more information. Or Google Sacagawea at National Geographic Magazine.
                  • Check out
      1. YOU ARE THERE! Was a television program with Walter Cronkite. The premise was to reenact a moment in history and ‘insert’ a television news reporter at the scene. Pretty inventive! It was very entertaining. Try out your leadership, acting, researching, arts and stage craft skills and produce either a stage play or video using this technique to make a “live report” on a few of the adventures recorded (events noted) in the Lewis and Clark journals. (Perhaps Sacajawea’s heroic saving of the journals and other light items which escaped the keelboat when it nearly flipped over...I can see the reporter now...running to her as she drags the bundles to shore....”Sacajawea, tell our viewers, how on Earth did you manage......” or any of the other many exciting events that are recorded in the journals).
      2. Think about casting the expedition your self either in the same era or out in the future say the 23rd century exploring an Earth like planet.
            • Explain why you selected the persons (real or characters from your favorite programs or movies) to play the participants. At the very least cast Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea, and any two of the other members of the expedition.
          • Create a movie poster to advertise your movie using pictures from magazines, off the Internet, or your own drawings.
          • Do you think movies are an effective way to communicate facts or are they just for story telling? Can a story be factual and still be entertaining?
      1. Read portions of the journals from the expedition. Think about the members of the Corp of Discovery in a different era participating in a similar expedition. Say as astronauts exploring a new world, or aquanauts exploring the ocean floor, getting into similar tight spots. Use your communication skills to write a story, play or your own version of their journals to record their discoveries, trials and successes, keeping in mind the directives given them by President Jefferson.
      2. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition to explore and map the uncharted western areas of North America as far as the Pacific Ocean. This expedition embodied a spirit of adventure, curiosity and exploration that is as exciting today as it was 200 years ago. The journey that Lewis and Clark made in the early 1800’s would be similar to an “extreme adventure” by today’s standards. To capture that spirit use your leadership and planning skills and design your own expedition or “extreme adventure” to an unknown place. Choose a place that you have never visited, but would love to explore. Check out the National Geographic Adventure magazine web site: . After exploring this site, try to think of an extreme adventure of your own.
            • Find a map of your destination that shows the area where you want to go.
            • Make a list of what you know about the area.
            • Make a list of what you will need to know about the area to prepare for your adventure.
            • How will you get there? (What modes of transportation will you need? How much fuel or feed will be required?)
            • What will you take? (what equipment will be required? Personal, housekeeping, scientific, etc?)
            • Whom will go with you? (what sort of folks will you recruit to go with you, what will their assigned tasks be?)
            • What arrangements will you make to ensure your safety? (Don’t forget to refer to “Safety Wise”) Will you be crossing international borders? What documents might you need to take with you?
            • Write a proposal to explain your proposed adventure as though to recruit other Girl Scouts or submit a Wider Ops proposal.
            • Compare all this with the planning and procuring of materials Lewis and Clark had to make. How does your list compare to theirs? What do they have in common?


      1. Consider the Leave No Trace Ethic (to learn more about it go to and apply it to the impact left by the Corps of Discovery. What technologies could you use today to gather the same information and have less of an impact on the lands and creatures encountered by the Corps?
      2. Learn about the scientific tools taken on the expedition and what they were used for.
            • What are the modern equivalent tools that would be used on a like journey today?
            • For example Lewis used a feather quill and paper which were stored in a wooded portable lap desk to record his observations (the first laptop?), today you would most likely use a laptop computer with a satellite link.
            • Select one of these tools you have never used before and learn how to use it. Teach another person how to use it.
      1. Did you know that Lewis & Clark have been in space and under the sea?
            • In the 1990’s NASA launched two special Landsat satellites, one named Lewis, the other Clark.
                  • Learn about the missions of these satellites.
                  • If Lewis and Clark had access to these tools do you think they would have still looked for the Northwest Passage? Why or why not?
            • In 2001 NOAA initiated an ocean exploration effort called the Lewis and Clark Legacy expedition. Learn about the mission, what were the scientists looking for? What tools did they use? Do you think Lewis and Clark would have been surprised by what their modern counterparts found? Why?
      1. Lewis used the technique called dead reckoning to create his maps.
            • Learn about the technique and try creating a simple map.
            • Find out how modern maps are made.
            • If you have access to a GPS try using that to map the area you just mapped by dead reckoning technique. Which is the most accurate?
            • If available, find an aerial or satellite photo of the area you just mapped. How does it compare to your map?

Service Projects[]

      1. Make a timeline for the expedition. Illustrate it with pictures from the Internet or magazines. Share it with a younger troop to get them excited about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
      2. Learn about ecology projects going on in your area and assist in a clean up or stream restoration.
            • Get involved with other SOLV projects year around.
            • There is also an opportunity to assist in the Fort To Sea Trail which is being constructed between Fort Clatsop in Astoria and Sunset Beach. This is part of the Rivers Discovery Project. Contact Angela Sanders at let her know you are working on this badge and ask here if she can put you in contact with Fort Clatsop’s superintendent for possible volunteer tasks.
      1. Find out about local Lewis and Clark Bicentennial observances. Volunteer to assist at the event. Check out Lewis & Clark Bicentennial in Oregon website for listings of upcoming events or (Barbara Allen) to see if she can link you up with organizers so you can assist as a volunteer at the event(s).
      2. Create a puppet show or play based on the native legends you learned about or read about Seaman, Lewis’s Newfoundland dog and create a puppet show or play for Brownies expanding on the journey from his point of view (he had many “adventures”. Get some ideas by reading “Seaman-The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark” by Gail Langer Karwosk, PeachTree Publishing, “The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe” by Roland Smith, Gulliver Books or “The Dog who Helped Explore America” by R.W. Gustafson. Here’s an idea, go to and explore. They have some great projects that show how to make puppets, puppet stages and even a moving panorama that you could use with your project.
      3. Share your “You Are There” episode with younger girl scouts or a grade or middle school class studying Lewis and Clark. Contact your local grade or middle school principal and ask permission to present the idea to the appropriate teachers.
      4. Compile a listing of your favorite web sites and books you discovered during your journey into the story of the expedition. Share this collection with Brownie or Junior Girl Scouts as they work on their own Lewis and Clark Try-it or Badge.

Career Exploration[]

      1. Go on line and learn more about modern explorer careers with NOAA and NASA.
      2. Lewis had to draw his maps using “dead reckoning”. Learn what tools are used today to map the earth. Learn more about careers in mapping and surveying, not only on earth but also out in space and distant galaxies.
      3. Lewis not only had to map their journey, but he also made observations about the plants and animals they discovered. Check out careers in botany and biology. Do you think there are still new species to discover?
      4. Learn what careers are available in the realm of ecology.
      5. Explore the web site. Look at the career opportunities described there. Investigate what education or life experiences are required for those positions.
      6. And lets not forget the historians. How has their work clarified or clouded our interpretation of what the journey was like? And who the people were. Explore the roll of historians in the 21st century. How does ‘point of view’ color the way a history is written? Are Historians just reporters of events or are they mystery sleuths? Explain or give examples of your answer.
      7. Visit one of the many Lewis and Clark interpretive centers or reenactment sites. Interview a Ranger or reenactor. Learn what type of education is required. What drew them to do their job? What does their job entail?
            • The traveling tent show sponsored by the National Park Service called ‘The Corps of Discovery II’ will be at Fort Vancouver, Washington on November 28 thru December 11, 2005. Go up on to learn more. See listing at end of this packet for dates, locations and contacts (as of 8/2004).
            • There will also be reenactors coming to Oregon and Washington late in October 2005 by dugout. Go to to learn more.

See also[]

List of Council's Own Interest Projects

External Links[]

Council's Own Awards - Columbia River Council Lewis & Clark IP