When It Rains, It Pours!


Sometimes on these deployments you never know how the weather will present itself. You hope for very good weather but then there are times when the weather challenges you to throw in the towel and go home. Even after school sports programs do this sometimes. There is definitely a point when you do have to evaluate the situation but just because there is rain coming down does not mean you need to pick up your football and go home. Considering the countless months of logistics, planning, and organizing, when things become hard we just keep going as planned. I am dealing with so much and wearing so many hats to make sure logistics are good and happening on the backend (i.e., insurance, waivers, program development, and participant recruitment), that all is being dealt with, gear is being organized, partnership communication is clear and concise, the nuts and bolts are being hammered out, budgets are being followed, and food preparation is in good hands (Christa!)


Christa and youth preparing healthy meals!

Soul River Inc’s partnership with the Quinault is through exclusive invitation. Each year, we feel humbly honored to have this opportunity extended to us, creating a family relationship and bond between the tribal council and Soul River Inc. To make this last deployment a success, the conversation has evolved from a business partnership to that of a brotherly/familial commitment where the only concern is to see this through together with the end goal to make sure our youth and veterans connect in the educational and healing space. This cause a sacrifice for the great and higher goal for others is what Richie Underwood and the Quinault Indian Nation has demonstrated with the SRI organization.


Richie Underwood (QIN) welcoming the youth and veterans.

The joint mission is about healing and educating in the outdoors between a youth and veteran. We don’t want to forget the ‘why’ nor our purpose or walk as we do this. We take seriously the commitment to which we fight hard for, holding ourselves accountable to what is most important for our youth to have the opportunity to experience the outdoors. They also see that it is rewarding and a magnificent place to create lasting memories, ultimately grooming them into ambassadors of our environment. This was how we both acknowledged and navigated the situation where we both felt the commitment to follow thru what we started. Just like when the weather goes bad, where a parent would say ‘No way! You’re coming inside!’ or an organization would cancel, together SRI and QIN move forward together.



This is nature and sometimes nature can be inconvenient. When that happens, it’s important to see the beauty from a different lens and appreciate the rain as it hits our faces and drips down our skin, knowing these are also rain drops of blessing as well as the river giving us permission to see it in its fiercest. As we wade, we smile together in one canoe going down the river, inspired by Richie Underwood’s wisdom of life.


Richie Underwood (QIN)

Looking behind the scenes can be crazy! Richie was texting away with his family and community looking for support in cooking up hot meals and syncing up time schedules to make sure youth and veterans were fed a delicious home cooked meal. These meals are made from sincere and authentic love of the QIN; recipes passed down from generation to generation. Its impossible to replicate and delicious to the soul.


Salmon being grilled by Richie Underwood (QIN)

This is where warriors of generations rise above the challenges, whether it be extreme weather conditions or unexpected hiccups. However, this Nation, along with the SRI veterans and youth of color are aware of the struggle and have fought the fight even when the odds are stacked against you and you become invisible to society. Your skin gets tough, you build an unwavering resilience that creates a stronger community, a sharper mind, and a flexible bend to the chaos that comes your way. The strength of the QIN was apparent. This is where hope and spirituality intersect with the force of willingness to prevail, adapt, and overcome. From young to old, this is where we broke bread as the rain pattered around us and the midnight sky beamed over us. We feasted and heard stories and successes, sharing in the joys and trials of today, this outing, the past year, or of our lives.


Soul River Inc is forever indebted to the relationship with QIN. We are so grateful to Richie Underwood, his family and community, for making this year’s final deployment a success. We are looking forward to 2017! Rain or shine!


Soul River Inc. 2016 – See you next year!

Tight Lines,
Chad Brown


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

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Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625