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LMRD 558 -- Thursday, March 14, 2018

Mississippi River Summer Camp

For Immediate Release

March 14th, 2018

Delta HS Students are Invited to Join the Crew for a Five-Day Voyage on the Mississippi River

A new camp offers a unique summer experience for high school students

This summer, high school students in Arkansas and Mississippi will have a chance to join a new kind of summer camp. In the Mississippi River Summer Leadership Camp (June 11th-15th) students become part of the crew as they navigate 100 miles of the Mississippi River in voyager style canoes.

The camp was planned by the Lower Mississippi River Foundation, a non-profit that connects youth to the Mississippi, in partnership with Quapaw Canoe Company, a guiding and outfitting service on the river. Students will work with experienced Quapaw guides to navigate their canoes approximately 20 miles each day along the river. Each day they will take on more responsibility for their boat and their crew.

The trip will leave from Helena, Arkansas, and end five days later in Arkansas City, Arkansas. Each night students will camp on remote beaches and islands on the river. Each day they will practice canoe safety, handling and navigational skills as they work together to reach the end of the journey.

Twenty students will be selected to join the trip. The Lower Mississippi River Foundation wants most of those students to come from the Delta where students live nearest the Mississippi River but often don’t have the means to access it. Through the help of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and private donations, they have raised money to provide scholarships to any student from Phillips or Coahoma Counties who wants to attend the trip.

John Ruskey, the owner of Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale, has led several trips like this one on the Mississippi with youth groups from all over the country. Students from the Delta are often not able to come on these trips either because the cost is too high or because they do not know about them. In July of 2017, LMRF committed to working with Quapaw to provide a summer camp trip specifically for students in the Delta. LMRF is recruiting students from local schools and youth organizations and offering scholarships for all students from the Delta.

This is the first time LMRF has offered this camp and will be a learning experience in of itself. The LMRF intends to offer multiple camps in 2019 and beyond using what we learn from this first trip in 2018.

Applications for the trip will be accepted through March 31st. Accepted students will be informed by April 15th.

Note: Click here for Summer Camp Application. Please share with any high school students, teachers or youth leaders you know!


Shannon McMulkin- Lower Mississippi River Foundation


John Ruskey- Quapaw Canoe Company


Fundraising Challenge:

We have set a $7,500 goal for each state (Mississippi and Arkansas) for a total goal of $15,000 to enable the week-long Summer Camp for 20 students. Thanks to $5,000 grant recently received from the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi we only require $2,500 more to reach the Mississippi goal. Please consider helping us reach our goal for our youth! You might make a donation to support one youth for Summer Camp ($750), or some portion of that. Or you could help us complete total challenge with $2500 donation. Awaiting notification of grant awards for Arkansas youth, but you can support goal in advance. LiNKS = Leave no Kid on Shore! If we raise more than goal we will be able to plan a 2nd Mississippi River Summer Camp 2018!

Checks can be written and sent to:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation
291 Sunflower Avenue
Clarksdale, MS. 38614

Let us know if you prefer credit card, and we can arrange a Paypal invoice.

Update from Lower Mississippi River Foundation Executive Director, Shannon McMulkin

Thank you so much to those of you who reached out to welcome me after last week’s email. I know there are many of you who have been involved with Quapaw and the Lower Mississippi River Foundation for years and I cannot wait to meet you and learn your stories.

As we mentioned last week there is a lot of change going on here at LMRF. We are focusing our efforts on youth engagement, starting with our Mississippi Summer Leadership Camp in June. It’s very important to me that, as we make these changes, we stay true to John’s vision and don’t lose sight of why you all supported this organization in the first place. I hope you take some time to fill out the short survey (see below) to help me understand why you became part of this organization.

Yours, Shannon

Three Easy Things You Can Do to Help LMRF Today!

  1. Fill out the quick survey to help me better understand why you support our work ( and get to know you better!) Click Here

  2. Like the Lower Mississippi River Foundation on Facebook! Click here

3. Share the application for our Mississippi River Summer Camp with any high school students, teachers or youth leaders you know! Click here

Shannon McMulkin, Executive Director

Lower Mississippi River Foundation