Adventure Month in Genius Words: Meet River Guide Colleen Cooley and Make Your Own Egg Carton Raft

December 6, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month, we’re exploring the faces, places, and special gear behind some of the greatest adventures.

We’ve compiled limited-time game updates, real-life genius stories, and educator-approved activities into interactive printables, designed to enhance your little kids’ learning. Access this week’s printable by clicking the button below:

Game Update

In Osmo Words, find your way through an epic dance party at the Adventure Museum, learning about gear and tools as you go. Only available this month!

Genius Spotlight: Colleen Cooley

When it comes to outdoor adventures, river rafting is one of the most exhilarating. Big inflatable rafts carry passengers along curling rivers, through rapids, and sometimes down small waterfalls. 

Colleen Cooley, who was born in Arizona on Navajo Nation, went on her first river ride in 2007 and loved it. The next year, her sister created a training program to help more Native people become river guides. A river guide’s job is to navigate the raft while ensuring a safe and fun ride for passengers. Always the nature lover, Colleen signed up and has been leading outdoor adventures on the San Juan River ever since.

Many of these adventures take place on land and rivers that used to, or still do, belong to Native Americans. Native guides, like Colleen, help visitors understand an area and its full history. Most of all, they demonstrate the importance of land and river protection. After all, without taking care of the outdoors we have, there would be no place to have adventures at all!

Real-World Activity: Egg Carton Raft

Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable (button above) has instructions with photos!

Repurpose an empty container from home into a mini raft inspired by Colleen’s river adventures! You’ll need:

  • Empty egg carton
  • Scissors
  • A bathtub or sink
  • Small figurines and “cargo” (coins, paperclips, etc.)
  • Optional: tin foil


  1. Carefully cut the lid off the egg carton. You only need the bottom.
  2. Wrap the bottom half of your raft in tin foil, to make it water-proof.
  3. Fill your raft with “passengers” and “cargo.”
  4. Ask a grownup to add a few inches of water to a bathtub or sink so you can test your raft.
  5. Float away!