Soul River Inc. “Runs Wild”

We are a nonprofit 501 c3 focus on bringing veterans as mentors and inner city youth together into the wild rivers of nature inspiring the youth by becoming a guardian, teacher or role model as an act of service into the outdoors. The hope is that it encourages youth participants to grow and become ambassadors of our natural environment.

(SRI) Uplifts and strengthens communities by connecting inner city youth and veterans to the outdoors. harnessing incredible opportunities and powerful experiences that forges strong connections between youth and veterans, their communities, and the natural world. Spending time embraced in currents of river water, trekking majestic forested trails, and witnessing a bald eagle or elk in its habitat is healing. Connecting with nature is a powerful outlet to reduce stress, find focus, sharpen self-awareness, embrace spirituality, and develop positive values beneficial to both the individual and community. Soul River unites youth and veterans on challenging yet rewarding adventures at zero cost where they become part of something bigger than themselves, developing into strong leaders in the outdoors and their communities.

(SRI) Teaches cannot be learned in a traditional classroom or on a city street. It takes practice to learn outdoor skills and time on the river and to develop leadership. Our wild rivers provides the ideal setting for this unique, experiential education Soul River Inc. classrooms are amphibious based on some of the world’s wildest and most awe-inspiring locations. We believe living and learning by our rivers in untouched places like a classrooms will teach students responsibility and veterans healing with a purpose.

Founder and President, Chad Brown, decorated US Navy veteran who received multiple honors after serving in Desert Storm Gulf War and Operation Restore Hope, Somalia, struggles today with PTSD. The illness nearly drove him to suicide before he found solace in fly fishing. Brown’s discovery of nature as medicine inspired him to launch Soul River, Inc., a nonprofit that aims to share the healing power of rivers with veterans and inner-city youth. Soul River Inc. has held successful deployments taking youth and veterans on local rivers in Oregon, Washington, and to far off destinations into Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These opportunities promote healing and learning through many facets of outdoors education while breaking barriers and building new communities.

Today, Brown runs a non profit named Soul River Inc. as Founder and President. His work has taken him across the country, including multiple times to our nation’s capital, to speak about connecting people, particularly youth of color, to the outdoors. Additionally, Brown has presented to key city leaders, state representatives, and officials about diversity, conservation, and building collaborative relationships between non-profit and for-profit businesses. Brown also sits on the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Board of Directors.
Brown and Soul River Inc have been recognized and featured on international radio BBC, National Wildlife Refuge, in national publications such as Outside Magazine and The Drake, and in various Pacific Northwest publications. Additionally, Brown was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award Presented by Orvis, as well as the Bending Toward Justice Award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Brown holds his MS in Communication Design from the nation’s top Pratt Institute. Today, Brown designs and consults for his own brand Soul River Runs Deep, An Boutique apparel brand one of Portland’s first outdoor lifestyle apparel and design inspired by fly fishing. The apparel line is inspired by fly-fishing and aims to promote environmental advocacy as well the healing powers of the river. It aims to reach a younger diverse demographic, with the intention of promoting a love of and investment in the outdoors. Every sale through Soul River Runs Deep 15% of profits goes towards the non profit Soul River Inc. that brings youth and veterans together to the river and home to themselves and their communities as inspired ambassadors of nature.

Chasing Ghosts

PTSD survivor and U.S. Navy veteran turned gear designer Chad Brown has a passion for fly fishing. He says it's his medicine, and now he wants inner-city youth and fellow vets to experience the sport's healing power for themselves.  

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The PTSD River Cure


Oregon Field Guide

U.S. Navy veteran Chad Brown deals with his PTSD through fly-fishing. Now he’s bringing the art of fly-fishing to urban youth who lack access to nature and have their own issues to deal with.

Arctic Circle / Alaska Cross-Cultural 

Science Exploration

What happens when you merge inner-city youth and veterans together on a once-in-a-lifetime deployment to the top of the world’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Witness the relationships forged while experiencing Mother Nature and Her healing powers through the lens of a veteran and youth. Learn how conservation becomes another ‘participant’ and the experience is equally shared with arduous moments of valuable life lessons. Journey into wild Alaska with us as we then connect with Alaska Geographic youth on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. This is the stage where inner city youth become the teacher and veterans become the guide, all emerging in Alaska’s rugged yet pristine stage.

Oregon Field Guide OPB info

Founder of Soul River Inc. Chad Brown has fostered a deep bond between youth and veterans through his organization, Soul River Inc. His fly fishing trips not only help the youth learn lessons from nature, but create a family-like sense of trust and belonging. #GoldPeakatHome Sponsored by Gold Peak.


Monday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Tuesday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Wednesday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday10:00AM - 6:00PM

Contact us

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Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625

Email. info@soulriverinc.org