Here comes a much needed update on all things Wild River Academy and some things Paddle for Change. We left you in late March, Anna had not yet joined us in Minneapolis and the weather continued to look bleak. Now it is the middle of May and we have acquired vital equipment and helpful partnerships in our race to the pilot trip on May 19th, 5 days from this posting! A huge thank you goes out to all those wonderful companies and individuals that have helped us along the way. Natalie was able to give a presentation at the Bloomington, MN REI on Tuesday May 7th. The presentation was excellent and REI will be a huge support throughout our summer and into the future. GSI will be providing us with a cookware set and Wilderness Medical Systems, LLC has sponsored us with 2 large first aid kits. Thomas Barry, an active member of the MN outdoor community, avid paddler, and white water rafter, generously donated 8 Watershed Colorado dry bags as well as a Watershed camera bag. These sponsored items, alongside support from companies and individuals, boost our ability to efficiently run trips this summer, while also building our network in the outdoor industry and community.
Wild River Academy tabled at Midwest Mountaineering’s annual meeting April 26th through the 28th. The exposure to like minded individuals at expos through conversations made with participants and our fellow table neighbors facilitates lasting friendships and partnerships. Midwest Mountaineering was brilliant in their planning and managed to organize a host of presenters that rivaled the line-up at the recent Canoecopia event in Madison, WI. Organizing the basic expo with presentations, manufacturers, and tabling organizations is a massive undertaking in and of itself, that being said Midwest Mountaineering went above and beyond by orchestrating a fantastic dinner and gathering with the employees, volunteers, manufacturers, and organizations; basically, thank you so much for a wonderful expo Midwest Mountaineering.
Among Wild River Academy’s partnerships, our relationship with River’s Edge Academy has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for Wild River Academy to pursue our mission of outdoor experience and education for all. River’s Edge Academy aims to reduce the drop-out rate, increase the graduation rate of Minnesota’s urban youth, and reduce the achievement gap between white and non-white students. They envision using the natural environment to engage students in work that is hands-on, standards-based and college preparatory. Wild River Academy will be organizing a fully sponsored, free trip for River’s Edge Academy students... wait a second guys, how can we fully sponsor up to 14 students to attend one of our trips?! That’s where you, the blog reader and Wild River Academy enthusiast come in. We need donations, as low as $10, that will allow us to provide this life changing opportunity to the maximum number of students. Our goal is to raise $8000 dollars before June 23rd. The donation page can be found here: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/River-S-Edge-Academy-River-Trip. Thank you in advance for making this expedition a reality for these awesome students!