Applications must be received by 11:59pm on January 31st, 2020!


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. 


Please scan and send completed application to 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.

Soul River Inc. 2020

Deployment Prospectus

What We Do:

Soul River’s 2020 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 lifetime. 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 is the overarching title of a series of community projects which will be implemented into each of the 2020 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 infrastructure 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.

In the Field: Fly fishing & Conservation Education, Outdoor Leadership, Hands-on Learning + Outdoor Skillbuilding, Civic Engagement


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; Artmaking and Journal Writing.

Leadership Development

Soul River creates opportunities for individuals to be leaders, by learning new skills, and working together to address the task at hand. They 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 Skillbuilding

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.


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 congressionals; 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.


Tuesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Wednesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Thursday9:00AM - 3:00PM

Contact us

keep in touch

Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625