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2020 Watershed Expeditions at Home

Campers exploring their watershed on a hike near the Missouri River. 

Camp In a Box + Virtual Camp Experience 

  • 4 Weeks in July 2020 
  • 4th-7th & 8th-12th Grade 
  • 10 Activities & 4 Virtual Camp Experiences 
  • Tuition: $50 per student 

Financial Aid is Available! 

Registartion is now CLOSED! 

Value of Summer Camp 

The importance of summer camp experiences cannot be understated. It plays an important role in character and skill development. Missouri River Relief is dedicated to supporting our communities. That is why we are pivoting to a virtual camp experience. Watershed Expeditions at Home is the innovative answer of the need to cancel our in-person summer camps this year.

We All Live in a Watershed! 

We invite you to join our experienced instructors for a month-long watershed expedition. No matter where you live, you live in a watershed. A watershed is kind of like a bathtub or a sink. It’s an area of land that drains to a single body of water such as a lake or river. Watersheds come in many different sizes. A few acres might drain into a small stream or wetland, or a few rivers might drain into a large river, like the Missouri River.  

We are all connected by watersheds, and now more than ever, we need connections during these times of isolation. Watershed Expedition does exactly that!! Campers will have the opportunity to connect and socialize with peers. They will explore their local watershed and investigate how actions of people who live in a watershed affect the health of the waters that run through it. They will learn to tell the story of their watershed and how to help protect the health of their watershed.

What is Watershed Expeditions? 

Watershed Expeditions is a combination of Camp in a Box and Virtual Camp that brings the fun of a camp to your home! This balanced approach promotes creative thinking and outdoor activities that campers can do from home. 

Camp in a Box 

  • Camp in a Box provides fun, meaningful activities for campers. Camp in a Box includes 10 activities over the course of four weeks that are science based, screen-free, encourage outdoor time, and minimize demands on parents. 
  • Each camper that registers will receive a Camp in a Box in the mail the first week of July with all the materials and instructions for individual watershed exploration. In the box, campers will receive written instructions on how to do each activity. 
  • Camp in a Box will include everything you need to keep your camper engaged: activities, crafts, and STEM projects. Instruction for these activities will be age-appropriate and connected to a theme for each week. 

Included is 10 science and nature activities with supplies and instructions:

  • Watercolor Paints & Brush 
  • Watercolor Paper 
  • Nature Journal
  • Hand Magnifier 
  • Bug Container
  • Colored Pencils
  • Backpack 
  • Heavy Duty Trash Bags 
  • Gloves 
  • Small First Aid Kit 
  • Envelope & Stamp 
  • Pencils and Eraser
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Plus, a Missouri River Relief t-shirt, waterbottle and sticker!

Campers beware: grown-ups will be tempted to borrow these Camp in a Box supplies!

Virtual Camp

  • Virtual camp is the digitally-interactive aspect of Watershed Expedition that brings the peer social experience of being at camp directly to your home. 
  • Virtual camp will be conducted entirely through Zoom video chat. Our instructors will lead your camper through a variety of activities that take place during pre-determined Zoom dates and times. Please see below for more information about when each session is happening.
  • Zoom session sizes will remain at a 1:10 ratio to ensure each camper will receive an adequate amount of attention.

Our goal is to bring our incredible staff, instruction, and the community you love at Missouri River Relief to your home! We believe our families and campers need camp more than ever. Please consider enjoying this program with siblings or registering with friends and participate as a small group in your neighborhood. 

Watershed Expeditions in the Media 

Read about this program in the Gasconade County Republican Newspape

 Registration Process

RegistatioIf you are applying for financial aid, please refer to the "Financial Aid" section below. 

Complete the online enrollment process here or by calling 573.443.0292 by June 26th, 2020. Please have your payment information ready when enrolling. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to qualified participants. To apply for financial aid, complete the financial aid application by June 26th, 2020. 

We will begin awarding financial aid at the end of June 2020 and then continue making awards on a rolling basis until all available funds are awarded. Once you are notified of your financial aid award, you will be given a deadline to accept the award. Please Do NOT register before you are notified of your award.  

Sponsorship 

Thank you so much for considering sponsoring a student. You can complete your sponsorship by mail or online.

  • Send a check to: Missouri River Relief P.O. Box 463 Columbia, MO 65205.
  • Or donate online via our online form

With either donation leave us a note and let us know that you would like to support the “Watershed Expedition at Home” program. If you have any specific request with the donation (i.e that it be provided to a student from your hometown) just email our education director your request.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Participate in Watershed Expeditions? 

Watershed Expedition is designed for rising 4th-7th graders and rising 8th-12th graders. Each grade level range will receive age-appropriate instruction and activities. Each grade level range will also have separate virtual camp experiences. Also, this is a virtual camp so regardless of where you live, you can participate! 

When is Watershed Expeditions? 

Watershed Expeditions will happen the month of July from July 6th to July 31st. Our virtual camp will meet once a week via “Zoom” video chat and at registration you will have the option to select your preferred date from the following options:  

Rising 4th-7th Grader 

  • Session 1: Thursday Morning: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM CST
  • Dates: July 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th
  • Session 2: Friday Morning: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM CST
  • Dates: July 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st 

Rising 8th -12th Grader 

  • Session 1: Thursday Afternoon: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CST
  • Dates: July 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th
  • Session 2: Friday Afternoon: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CST
  • Dates: July 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st 

What will Campers Do During Watershed Expeditions? 

Each week’s activities will focus on a certain topic pertaining to explore the campers local watershed.

Week 1: Exploring Your Watershed (July 6th – 10th)

  • Camp in A Box Activities: Map Making, Scavenger Hunt, and Boat Building 
  • Virtual Camp Activities: Welcome, Expectations, Watershed Olympics, Get to Know Each Other, Share Discovery and Community Time.

Week 2: Making a Difference in Your Watershed (July 13th – 17th)

  • Camp in A Box Activities: Local Neighborhood Clean Up, Bug Hunt, and Message in a Bottle (i.e. Pen Pal with Another Camper) 
  • Virtual Camp Activities: Watershed Olympics, Trash Contest, Meet a Trash Warrior, Message in a Bottle Collection and Community Time. 

Week 3: Telling the Story of Your Watershed (July 20th -24th)

  • Camp in A Box Activities: Smoosh Book, Watercoloring, and Found Object Art. 
  • Virtual Camp Activities: Watershed Olympics, Discuss Watershed Project, Meet a Watershed Artist, and Community Time. 

Week 4: Connecting Others to Your Watershed (July 27th -31st)

  • Camp in A Box Activities: Watershed Project 
  • Virtual Camp Activities: Final Watershed Olympics, Share Watershed Project, Celebration and Community Time. 

What is the Missouri River Olympics?

  • Missouri River Olympics is a series of team building activities used to enhance social relations and often involve collaborative tasks.  Each week’s activities will build on each other. 

What is Community Time?

  • Each week we have built in the opportunity for campers to “hang out” with each other; to share discoveries, tell stories about their adventures, or ask for additional feedback on their activities. Community time provides a unique opportunity for all the campers to be able to socialize and make new friendships. 

What is the Watershed Project?

  • During the Watershed Expedition, campers will identify an issue that in some way affects their local watershed. Campers will then learn how to use art to tell the story of their issue and each student will have the option to share their story in our last virtual camp. At the end of Watershed Expeditions campers will understand watersheds near and far. 

What if My Camper Does Not Like “Art”? 

  • We are using the word “art” very loosely for this project. Campers will be able to select their own medium which could include video, photography, graphic design, paint, comic strips, or sculpture. Guidance and encouragement will be provided to each camper throughout their project. 

What’s is Included in the Tuition Cost? 

Tuition costs $50 per camper and includes instruction and supplies for 10 activities over the course of four weeks, access to weekly virtual camp “Zoom” video chat and priority access to Camp Director, Kristen Schulte, for any questions.

How are the Camp in a Box activities arriving at my home?

Camp in a Box will be shipped to the address provided in your registration form. Our shipping fee is built into the tuition of the program. We will ship all Camp in a Box supplies the first week of July. Please allow 3-5 business days for shipping.

Do I need to have any special tech equipment for virtual camp?

Campers will need access to a smartphone, tablet, or a computer with a camera on it to participate in virtual camp.

Do I need “Zoom” video chat for virtual camp? 

Yes! Downloading the FREE Zoom app on a device that has audio and video capability will be necessary before virtual camp begins. Once your virtual camp reservation is confirmed, we’ll send an email with more Zoom instructions. In the meantime, you can read about Zoom set-up here. 

If we didn't answer your question, then please e-mail or call 573.443.0292.

Watershed Expeditions at Home 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, Executive Director 

Steve Schnarr lives in Columbia, Mo. His favorite part of working for Missouri River Relief is introducing people to the Missouri River for the very first time.

 

Melanie Cheney, Office Manager

Melanie has been a volunteer crewmember with Missouri River Relief since 2002, working on clean-ups, special projects, and educational events.  Hired as an Americorps Stream Team Assistant in 2007, she networked with Stream Teams in the area, developed education programs and helped coordinate events. She now manages the MRR office full time to keep the organization legal and the financials flowing. Melanie also assists the staff with programs and outreach.

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