June 2011 – River Ambassador Program was founded & created by Soul River Runs Deep LLC. & SR Inc – CEO Chad Brown. Soul River partnered with Northwest Steelheaders Association to assist with bringing the “River Ambassador Program” to fruition. The River Ambassador Program first day of the course focuses on instruction, the second day on hands-on experience, and the third day is a guided drift fishing trip down a river. The first day consists of six different classes, 50 minutes per class. The second day involves utilizing those learned techniques via casting ponds and bank fishing. The third day is fishing float trip followed by awards ceremony. Veteran’s families are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony. Angling helps the participant develop coping skills that helps alleviate stress, find inner peace, and achieve a sense of serenity. We are dedicated to sharing the sport of angling with individuals who would benefit from the experience the most and make positive changes in their lives and communities. As veterans pass through our program, each participant obtains a clear understanding of what conservation means as an ambassador to our rivers. Each RAP participants receives skills and knowledge in river and nautical reading, entomology, and different fishing techniques, including fly fishing for trout and steelhead and gear fishing for salmon and steelhead. Each member will be given fishing gear (rods, reels, lines, flies, lures) to continue their process on the river wherever life takes them.
Overview of Program
The River Ambassador Program is designed to help veterans who have recently returned from a war zone develop new skills and ways of responding to the inevitable stress that accompanies returning from a war zone back to
civilian life, and help participants feel respected and valued. The various approaches outlined in the program curriculum are specifically designed to support their healing process. The participants learn about preserving wildlife and natural habitats. Although the course speaks of life found in rivers and streams through the eyes of the angler, the connection is intentionally to get the participant to integrate successfully back into civilian life and to be life-long stewards of the environment. Respect for nature and its inhabitants is our core focus. The program fosters respect for our differences yet simultaneously celebrate what we have in common as war veterans, a high regard for natural habitats, the sport of fishing and our human bond.
Conserve, Rebuild, Respect
The River Ambassador Program is provided free of charge to qualified members of the military who recently returned from deployment. We hope to do four programs a year, depending on funding. If you would like to donate funds, guiding, rods and/or equipment to help provide this great opportunity to returning war veterans, please contact RAP today.