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Classroom in the Woods

LMRD 666, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mississippi River Summer Leadership Camp Re-Cap
(Photos by John Ruskey. Feel free to share!)

Learning to Love the River

First-time ever Summer Camp on Lower Mississippi River!

Led by Shannon McMulkin of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation, we set out downstream with 6 high school youth, 3 adults, 2 big canoes, 2 small canoes, 1 dog, several big river guides, and one big muddy river, June 11-15, 2018. 71 miles on Lower Miss from Helena to Rosedale, every night at different campsite. Kids: If you missed boat, you can get your chance next year! Call the LMRF (870) 228-2421, or email for more information.

Go to LMRF Blog for more photos and day-by-day description. This historic 1st time ever camp (on Lower Miss) was made possible with a challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi -- and also many friends, family, and river supporters from near and far. (PS: many of you read this newsletter: from the bottom of our muddy hearts: thank you! thank you! THANK YOU!)

Pushing Off from Camp 1

Exploration of Wetlands and Back Channels (Mellwood Lake)

Swim Lessons

Putting Up Tent Skills

Animal Encounters and Identification (Spiny Soft Shell)

Cooking and Food Prep Skills

Canoe Rescue Workshop

Fire-Making Workshop

Teamwork: Paddling Together in Harmony

Time for Personal Reflection

Immersion in the incredibly vast and prolific floodplain of the Lower Mississippi River Valley

Becoming Comfortable with Nature


Lower Mississippi River Foundation
Press Release: PLEASE SHARE!

************June 19, 2018***********

June 11-15, 2018
Helena to Rosedale
5 Days, 4 Campsites, 71 Miles

Delta Youth Embark on a Mississippi River Adventure

High school students from Helena and Clarksdale depart on a five-day canoe trip on the Mississippi River

On June 11th, 2018 six high schools students from Phillips and Coahoma Counties left Helena Harbour on a five-day canoe trip down the Mississippi River. The trip is part of new camp offered by the Lower Mississippi River Foundation.

Students from local schools applied and were accepted to be part of the program. They became part of the crew as they navigated 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 worked with experienced Quapaw guides to navigate their canoes approximately 15 miles each day along the river.

The trip left from Helena, Arkansas and ended five days later north of Rosedale. Each night students camped on remote beaches and islands on the river. Each day they practiced canoe handling and navigational skills as they worked together to reach the end of the journey.

John Ruskey, the owner of Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale, has led several trips like this one on the Mississippi with 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 trip specifically for students in the Delta.

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 wanted to attend the trip.

This is the first time LMRF has offered this camp. Only six students joined the trip this year but they hope that next year they can reach more students. There is a deep seated fear of the Mississippi River for many residents of the Delta.

Most students who heard about the trip were scared to be part of it, either because they couldn’t swim or had never spent a night outside. During this year’s trip LMRF captured photos, videos and testimonials from students to help others overcome their fear and want to explore the Mississippi River.

Photos and stories from the camp are available on LMRF’s facebook page and their website,

In addition to this camp, LMRF will host a day camp the following week (June 18th-22nd) for elementary school students to experience the Mississippi River.

The mission of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation is to promote stewardship of the Lower Mississippi River through deep engagement. LMRF is located in Helena, Arkansas. ###


Missed the Boat?
You can now make plans for the
Mississippi River Summer Camp 2019!

For more information or to register contact Shannon McMulkin 870-753-8954 or


"Wilderness Within"
at the Mississippi River State Park

Watercolors by John Ruskey, June - November, 2018

Opening Reception:
June 21st from 6:30pm-8:00pm
All Welcome!

“Wilderness Within”

Watercolors by John Ruskey

Mississippi River State Park

For more information, contact:

Kristina Root-Carranza, Park Superintendent

Mississippi River State Park


Mississippi River State Park exists to provide quality access to the St. Francis National Forest and to inspire personal connections with the River, Delta, and Ridge.


Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

"Voice of the Lower Mississippi River"

Published by the Quapaw Canoe Company since 1998

Celebrating our 20th Anniversary Year in 2018!