What is Paddle Forward?

An annual canoe expedition down a major river in the Mississippi Watershed in which Paddle Forward expeditioners virtually engage with students through an educational model called adventure learning.  As the group travels downstream, they connect with people who live and work along the river to share their experiences with students online through blogs, videos, and photos





Paddle Forward is part of the organization Wild River Academy (WRA).  In 2013, WRA piloted the Paddle Forward program and paddled the Mississippi River from Bemidji, MN to New Orleans, LA.  Eleven young adults embarked on this journey completing over 2,000 miles in 70 days.  They connected with organizations, individuals, and community members to learn about how they relate to the river.  Using an interactive website they shared these stories with over 40 K-12 schools across the country engaging them in an adventure learning educational programming.

Paddler Responsibilities

  • Plan, organize, and execute the expedition 
  • Build a base curriculum for schools to use in their classrooms
  • Engage with communities, media, industry professionals, and more 
  • Paddle the length of the Minnesota River
  • Post photos, videos, interviews, and observations about the river
  • Read over the Program Overview for more information

Who are we looking for?

  • Inspired and self-motivated college students and/or young adults
  • Excellent team players with good communication and writing skills
  • Ambitious people who are willing to complete a month-long canoe expedition*
  • Someone who wants to do something different
  • People from diverse academic disciplines and backgrounds

Note: *Canoe experience and/or educational experience desired but not needed

Become a Paddle Forward Fellow!

If you're interested in physical challenges paired with intellectual stimulation, problem solving, and education then APPLY for the Paddle Forward Fellowship for this year's upcoming expedition down the Minnesota River. We'll start from Big Stone Lake and paddle to the Mighty Mississippi River (Aug. 28th - Oct. 11th). Plan on making friends in a collaborative environment; working together towards common goals. Please download the following documents to review:

Please fill out the form below if you want to apply for the Fellowship. After completing the form, e-mail a relevant RESUME and COVER LETTER to Liz@WildRiverAcademy.com! 

Name *

Support our mission!

Donations provide funding for the Paddle Forward documentary.