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River Relief

Updates Entry

2020 Missouri River Academy

Students get a unique opportunity to make new friends while developing a hands-on relationship with the Missouri River. 


Student Summer Camp

  • July 5th-9th, 2020
  • 5 days and 4 nights
  • New Haven, Missouri

Tuition: $400 per student

CANCELLED in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic 

Please Stay Tune for an Alternative Program and/or Come Back in November 2020 to register for 2021 Summer!

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: May 18th, 2020: Each summer, families across Missouri entrust us with a part of their heart–their children. It is an incredible responsibility that we are honored to have during our Missouri River Academy. Over the last few weeks, we have been communicating with our families and sharing our balanced and active approach to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

After our most recent consultation with the American Camping Association guidelines, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our staff has made the difficult decision to cancel Missouri River Academy as scheduled.

The health and well-being of everyone during Missouri River Academy is our highest priority. While we are heartbroken by this decision, the Covid-19 pandemic compels all of us to deal with forces beyond our control. We will be offering our families the option of a full refund, to roll over their tuition to 2021, or convert their tuition fee to a tax-deductible donation to Missouri River Relief. We will also prioritize any financial aid applications received this year in 2021. 

We are thinking of our families as they share this disappointing news with their children, and we want to be there for them. We know that there are no substitutes for the real “river camp magic”, but we will be exploring ways to connect and meet the evolving needs of our campers, families, and local communities. 

During the coming weeks, we’ll learn more about what is possible, and we will be in touch with families about these opportunities. Alternative programs might include small re-imagined river clean ups, content in different formats for campers from our staff or family river trips. We hope that no matter the programs we are able to offer, we will be able to provide financial assistance to the families that have been experiencing hardship during these times. 

Are You a Student in 8th-12th Grade Yearning For an Adventure this Summer? 

We invite you to join Missouri River Relief and their knowledgeable and experienced instructors on a week-long journey. You can be an explorer on the Missouri River and develop new river skills and knowledge. Investigate how this incredible river has changed over time and how you can help protect this natural and cultural treasure!

What Parents Have to Share 

"What a great, well-organized experience! Registration, communication, and scheduling was so much better than we have experienced anywhere else. Programming, well, I was jealous of the programming and I am 43". -Parent


“She is a different young woman after the Missouri River Academy.  She has a new standard for fun, connection, and community. I don’t know if the rest of her life will measure up.  Thank you a thousand times. She wants to know how she can do more and soon!” -Parent

What Participants Have to Say!

What was your favorite part of the Missouri River Academy?

Being on the river, especially at night!
The food was the best! 
Making new friends
Learning about the history of the river 
Doing a river clean up and finding cool trash
Water coloring the river
Swimming at Camp Trinity 
Studying live fish and birds
Packing the CSA boxes for Avant Garden 
Riding Bikes on the Katy Trail 

Academy in the Media! 

Read about a return participants account of the Missouri River Academy in the Washington Missourian Newspaper. 

View pictures of the Missouri River Academy on our Flickr Account


About the Missouri River Academy 

Program Schedule 

Want to know what a typical day is like at the Academy? Download the program schedule. This schedule outlines the variety of activities and experiences that range from motorboat rides, water coloring, fishing, swimming and even riding bikes. This schedule could be subject to change due to weather and availability of resources during the program. 

Information Packet 

Want to know what to expect? Download the information packet. This packet contains a schedule, lodging and dining information, a packing list, driving directions, travel information, and general policies.

Missouri River Creative Art Project 

During the Missouri River Academy, students will work in partners to identify an issue that in some way affects the Missouri River. They will conduct research - using MRR resources - to develop a creative solution that addresses their given problem. Students will learn how to use art to communicate about their issue and each student will have the option to share their messages in a public presentation.  

Family and Friends are invited to Missouri River Creative Art Project!

At the end of the Academy, students will present their Missouri River Creative Art Project to an audience of engaged Missouri River advocates. Family and friends are welcome to come and learn about what has sparked their student’s interest. The presentation will take place on Thursday, July 9th, at 2:00 pm at Old New Haven School House at 810 Maupin Street, New Haven, Mo 63068.

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

We want you to know that Missouri River Relief is working diligently to give thoughtful consideration about how our proactive decisions can impact our program opportunities and keep families safe across our region. We have evaluated the “Missouri River Academy” and have decided continue registration for this program. To learn more about our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic visit this link.

If we didn't answer your question, then please check out our FAQ!

Registration Process

1. If you are applying for financial aid, please refer to the "Financial Aid" section below. You will need to complete this process before registering. Financial Aid recipients will receive a separate registration link when they are awarded financial aid. 

2. If you are not applying for financial aid, please complete the online enrollment process here or by calling 573.443.0292. Please have your payment information ready when enrolling. 

3. After completing the enrollment/payment process, download a pdf of the registration packet, fill it out and mail to P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205 or e-mail. The packet contains the following forms: (a) student medical form, (b) general risk release form, (c) student standards of behavior agreement, and (d) travel form. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to qualified participants. To apply for financial aid, download a pdf of the financial aid application, fill it in and mail to P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO or e-mail.

We will begin awarding financial aid mid-April and then continue making awards on a rolling basis until all available funds are awarded. We are typically able to notify financial aid applicants of the amount we are able to award within a month of receiving an application. The applicant will then be given a deadline and separate link to register for the course. Do NOT register before you are notified of your award.  

Registration Deadlines            

  • Financial Aid Application is  –  June 24, 2020
  • Notification of Awards  – Mid-April 
  • Enrollment –  June 24, 2020
  • Registration – June 24, 2020

ReCap of Previous Years


  • Click here for photos from 2015 Missouri River Academy 
  • Click here for the blog from 2015 Missouri River Academy 


  • Click here for photo's from 2016 Missouri River Academy
  • Click here for the blog from 2016 Missouri River Academy 


  • Click here for photo's from 2017 Missouri River Academy
  • Click here for the blog from 2017 Missouri River Academy 


  • Click here for photo's from 2018 Missouri River Academy
  • Click here for the blog from 2018 Missouri River Academy 


  • Click here for photo's from 2019 Missouri River Academy
  • Click here for the blog from 2019 Missouri River Academy 

Missouri River Academy Staff

Kristen Schulte, Education Director 

Kristen has over 14 years of experience in environmental education and an MS in Natural Science Education from Teton Science Schools Residential Graduate Program. In addition, she has been certified for over eight years as a Wilderness First Responder. In her role at Missouri River Relief, she works to advance MRR's mission of connecting people to the Missouri River through education.

Laura Waldo-Semken, AmeriCorps VISTA: Education Assistant 

Laura grew up in Kansas City, fell in love with the Kansas River in Lawrence, moved to Iowa and proceeded to fall in love with all the rivers that lead to the Mississippi. She has been a part of the environmental education community in Iowa for 19 years, leading wildlife camps for children ages 5-15. Laura will assist in the organization, implementation, and marketing of education programs targeting title one schools and community organizations that work with low-income individuals. 

Kevin Tosie, Operations Manager 

Kevin first became interested in the Missouri River in 2015 after helping organize a clean-up with Missouri River Relief and two student organizations, Sustain Mizzou and the Student Environment Coalition of UMKC. Since then, he has been addicted to the Missouri River and all its beauty. After graduating from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a degree in forestry, he became MRR's full-time event coordinator, organizing clean-up events throughout the Lower Missouri River Region.

Steve Schnarr, Exective Director 

Steve lives in Columbia, Mo., a stone’s throw from the Missouri River. His love for the river developed from years of exploring its waters by canoe. He was drawn to Missouri River Relief as a volunteer at local clean-ups, later serving as an event coordinator, MegaScout coordinator, MRR board member and is currently the Lower Reach Manager, Steve coordinates the River Relief crew, manages the website and communications and organizes clean-ups across the state. He is also certified in American Red Cross Basic First Aid.


For any questions, e-mail or call 573.443.0292.

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