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DEPLOYMENT 2020
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2021 APPLICATIONS


VETERAN APPLICATION
YOUTH APPLICATION
VOLUNTEER APPLICATION
AFTER YOU’VE COMPLETED YOUR APPLICATION

Please scan and email completed application to fieldeducator@soulriverincrunswild.org or mail to Soul River Inc. – 1926 N. Kilpatrick St. Suite. B, Portland, OR 97217. Applications can also be dropped off in person, Tuesday – Thursday 9am-3pm.

Applications must be received by 11:59pm on January 31st, 2021!

Important Application Tips & Info


BE THOROUGH

It is really important to complete your application questions with thought and clarity. These will be reviewed by the Application Review Committee and are truly the “first impression” of the applicant. They want to know that you are genuinely interested in the program – not just a trip!

BRAG… A LITTLE

We want to know what interests you about the program, what motivates you, and what makes you stand out!

REFERENCES MATTER

The Application Review Committee will be reaching out to some or all of your references. List people who know you in a group setting, have partnered with you, seen your strengths, and can brag some more about you! One immediate family member (i.e., a parent to a youth or a partner to a volunteer or veteran) is ok.

Soul River Inc. 2021

Deployment Prospectus


Soul River’s 2021 goal is to engage disadvantaged youth and US Veterans as champions for some of the most environmentally threatened habitats in the world. We do this by mobilizing youth and Veterans through educational deployments into these landscapes, combined with mission driven build projects, social media, documentary films, art, and direct meetings with public officials. We empower SRI Veterans and youth with platforms to share their experiences in these threatened environments with their communities and on a large scale. In this way Soul River engages inner-city youth in the larger conversation about conservation.

Our objective is to educate and empower two major, underserved demographics within our community through rich investigative learning experiences – disadvantaged youth and recently returned military veterans. We merge these two groups together on epic, outdoor educational “deployments” with a focus of fly fishing on wild rivers and exploring public lands that are accessible to all. Mother Nature provides the raw beauty, we provide the opportunity of a life-time. Youth and Veterans build authentic relationships with the time and place to heal from battle wounds of both the streets and war zones.

Community Impact Initiative

#MissionForward

#MissionForward

#MISSIONFORWARD is the overarching title of a series of community projects which will be implemented into each of the 2021 Deployments. These are joint-effort humanitarian projects which involve partnerships with our host communities and partners. The “mission-forward projects” are identified in conversation with the community we are connecting with in advance of our arrival. When we are on a deployment we as SRI (youth and Veterans) step in as an additional workforce to help the community achieve their desired outcomes, whether they be infra-structure development or otherwise. This is done in the style of the Peace Corps and is modeled from the Navy SeaBees aka the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions. The goal is to deeply engage Soul River in a community and to ensure the formation of reciprocal relationships. For these mission-forward projects, SRI teams of Veterans, youth and community members work side by side toward one goal: to repair what is broken so that it can be functional again.

Soul River Inc. In The Media
WHAT TO EXPECT

In The Field


STEAM EDUCATION ON DEPLOYMENTS

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

COMPONENTS OF STEAM ON SRI DEPLOYMENTS

Learning and exploring entomology; Utilizing river navigation tools; Studying river habitats and learning about restoration; Transferring insect knowledge to the art of tying river-specific flies; Identifying various species; Integrating conservation-focused dialogue and education; Storytelling and Presentation development; Public Speaking and Personal Story development; Professional advocacy development; Art making and Journal Writing.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Soul River creates opportunities for individuals to be leaders by learning new skills and work-ing together to address the task at hand. Participants become strong team members and better collaborators, as well as better teachers and students. Youth are required to research our deployment areas and communities and to be familiar with the threats faced in each location before departure to the location.

ON DEPLOYMENT CURRICULUM FOCUS

Incorporating land navigation tools and education; Teaching survival skills and wilderness preparation; Building opportunities for small group leadership; Integrating professional career development with an emphasis on STEAM and outdoor careers ; Mentoring, peer-to-peer and veteran-to-youth.

FLY FISHING + OUTDOOR SKILL BUILDING

What is learned on the river and on the trails translates into daily life, by developing patience, attention to detail, place-specific knowledge and personal growth through physical challenges. Specific Skills: River reading and navigation; Casting instruction; Tying river-specific flies; Teaching rod and reel basics (anatomy of the rod and reel, line, leader, tippet, and knot tying); Instructing on river ambassadorship and angler etiquette; Backpacking and outdoor experience.

COMMUNITY

Soul River focuses on bringing together youth and Veterans with the intention of mentorship, mutual growth, and community engagement. Opportunities for Creating Strong Communities: Small groups for learning, maintaining a strong youth to veteran ratio (3:1); Providing a safe space for conversation and authenticity amongst all participants; Training and focus on Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion education; Inviting prior participants on future outings for relationship sustainability and mentorship.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Soul River matches action and a process to the idea that “your voice matters” by engaging youth and Veterans in opportunities to speak to elected officials about their experiences in the field. Specific Civic Engagement: Advocacy through letter-writing to congressional members; Social media campaigns in collaboration with partner conservation organizations; Public Speaking opportunities at Soul River Events; Visits to elected officials in Oregon and in Washington DC; Opportunities to engage in lobbying for public lands in Nation’s Capital.

SOUL MOUNTAIN

Advanced Youth Leadership Opportunities Special operations of advance leadership mentored and fostered by veteran leaders. Soul Mountain is a small group that focus specifically on youth leaders whom are seeking advanced leadership and pursuing conservation as a career. Soul Mountain uses unconventional education in the field working closely with conservation groups to help achieve the highest of caliber of youth leaders SRI can foster. This program offers deeper learning and hands-on experiences with leaders working in conservation, further underlining the growing expertise of youth leaders as voices for conservation. Soul Mountain focuses on supporting and providing pathways to further mentorship, higher education and workforce opportunities related to conservation.

Deployments 2021

Advanced Youth Leadership Opportunities

Soul Mountain


Special operations of advance leadership mentored and fostered by veteran leaders.

Soul Mountain is a small group that focus specifically on youth leaders whom are seeking advanced leadership and pursuing conservation as a career. Soul Mountain uses unconventional education in the field working closely with conservation groups to help achieve the highest caliber of youth leaders SRI can foster. This program offers deeper learning and hands-on experiences with leaders working in conservation, further underlining the growing expertise of youth leaders as voices for conservation. Soul Mountain focuses on supporting and providing pathways to further mentorship, higher education and workforce opportunities related to conservation.

Arctic Conservation & Humanitarian Task Force

THE HUNT 2020


August 15-25, 2020

Arctic Village, Alaska Arctic Circle

Soul River Inc will return to the Arctic to deepen and continue to enrich our strong partnership with the Gwich’in community. We will be working in collaboration with the Gwich’in community gaining knowledge on the importance of protecting wild landscapes, adventure through story and culture, and growing leadership in the Arctic. This year we will return to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to the Arctic Village working closely with tribal leadership. Our connection between tribal community leaders and Soul River is an ongoing relationship that is becoming a growing program for Soul River, creating a lasting supportive partnership. We will establish an environmental, educational basecamp to engage, build, and advocate for one of our planet’s few remaining pristine ecosystems, the Arctic. This deployment is the pinnacle of joint efforts between veterans and young leaders of tomorrow in partnership with the Gwich’in community through cultural immersion and environmental engagement. Cross-cultural engagement is a central objective and is fundamental to our main conservation goal of protecting sensitive landscapes. Our mission forward project this year has been identified between the president of Soul River Inc. and Gwich’in Chief Gatlin. Soul River will help finish building the Gwich’in community church where the Gwich’in community attends service every Sunday and it is also the cornerstone of Gwich’in faith. Soul River Inc. will learn firsthand through cultural immersion living amongst the Gwich’in in the Arctic Village. We will implement an interactive, non-traditional classroom in the village where SRI will observe and discuss concerning issues, both environmentally and socially, with the Gwich’in community. The expedition will conclude with Gwich’in tribal leaders appointed by Chief Gatlin and the Gwich’in hunters for the village coordinating a hunting camp with Tribal Administrator, Tiffany Yatlin to observe a Caribou migration/hunt lead by Gwich’in tribal hunters. At the established camp, SRI youth and veterans will learn about the subsistence culture in which the Gwich’in hunters live and the land they rely on. SRI youth and veterans will have an opportunity to practice leadership and advocacy in Washington D.C. following the deployment.

DEPLOYMENT GOALS

• Take grassroot efforts to protect the environment and strengthen understanding of environmental issues

• Create links among Gwich’in youth and community and SRI youth and community.

• Discuss impacts of climate change, wildlife, ecosystems, culture, etc.

• Establish Hunt camp and learn from Gwich’in hunters

• Instill community-building leadership skills in youth

• Build and repair side-by-side amongst multiple, diverse communities

• Apply conservation-minded practices

• Provide a platform for public policy and advocacy (post-deployment)

• Washington DC |Advocacy Trip

Mission Forward Project: 
Gwich’in community church
Partners:
US. FISH AND WILDLIFE | WILBURFORCE FOUNDATION | Alaska Wilderness League
DEPLOYMENT

GILA RIVER


March 21-28, 2020

New Mexico

The Gila River, a tributary of the Colorado River in Southwest New Mexico, could be considered the birthplace of wilderness and it remains an incredibly wild and incredible place.

When one of the fathers of modern conservation, Aldo Leopold, convinced the US Forest Service that the headwaters of the Gila should be designated the world’s first primitive area back in 1924, it set the stage for the Wilderness Act of 1964. Deservingly, the Gila became the nation’s first congressionally designated Wilderness and remains the largest Wilderness Area in New Mexico.

Today the Gila, the last free-flowing river in New Mexico, remains an oasis of recreation, culture and biodiversity. The West Fork, Middle Fork, and much of the East Fork of the Gila River sit in the shadows of the Black Range along the Continental Divide and the rugged Mogollon Mountains looming at elevations upwards of 10,000 feet in the Gila Wilderness. Surrounded by a varied landscape that includes one of the world’s largest and healthiest Ponderosa Pine forests, the Gila headwaters help sustain abundant wildlife ranging from the rare Gila Trout, wild turkeys, eagles, and dusky grouse to deer, pronghorn, elk, bighorn sheep, javelina, cougars, and black bears. Several packs of reintroduced endangered Mexican wolves have established themselves in the Wilderness Area alongside the world’s largest population of rare Mexican spotted owls.

The deployment will explore this wild river’s watershed and its rich ecological, cultural and spiritual values.

DEPLOYMENT GOALS
  • Explore the nation’s first wilderness and New Mexico’s last free-flowing river ecosystem and its importance as a migration corridor for wildlife.

  • Learn about living tribal cultures and history in the GIla.

  • Learn about the conservation of the rare Gila Trout.

  • Raise the awareness of Mother Nature’s healing and foster mentor relationships.

  • Learn about threats to the Gila and how to become advocates for the conservation of this national treasure.

Mission Forward Project: 
TBD
Partners:
American River | Washington DC Advocacy Trip
questions or comments?

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