Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
River Camp Done Right
Midwest Region, September 17, 2009
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I have spent many a night camped along the banks of a river or lake.  The setup for this type of camping is usually pretty simple – a tent, sleeping bag, and campfire.  What most people refer to as “roughing it”.  When I was asked to assist with Missouri River Relief’s River Camp, I was expecting a similarly primitive camp.  After all, the site was a large sandbar on the Missouri River, inaccessible by land.  Without plumbing or electricity, and accessible only by boat, I was expecting to “rough it.”  Boy, was I wrong.


When I first arrived at River Camp, I was struck by the size.  The sandbar, which is approximately a mile long, was nearly covered from end-to-end with tents and other temporary structures.  The camp included portable toilets, a sound system, live musical entertainment, a functional kitchen, and dinning area (complete with table cloths, candlelight, and fancy silverware).  I’m still not sure how they pulled this one off.  Dedication, a little imagination, and many helping hands I suppose.


All Missouri River Relief asked of us, was to shuttle people from the boat ramp to the sandbar camp and then back to the boat ramp.  Wyatt Doyle and Colby Wrasse from Columbia FWCO assisted with shuttling people, and were rewarded with dinner.  But this was not your typical hot dog, can of beans camp dinner.  The meal included salad, fresh fruit, potatoes, several desert choices, and catfish cooked by a local legend named Soda Pop.


River Camp is an annual event hosted by Missouri River Relief.  The camp serves many purposes including:  celebrating the year’s accomplishments, honoring citizens who make the Missouri River Valley a better place, reconnecting people with nature, educating those who will listen, and most of all taking some time to relax and just enjoy life on the Big Muddy. 


I left that night in awe of these people’s dedication and love of the Missouri River.  Missouri River Relief’s message continues to spread as more and more people are becoming interested and involved with the Missouri River.  Whether through one of its many river clean-ups or its educational campaign, Missouri River Relief and its devoted volunteers are constantly striving to make the Missouri River a better place.  Columbia FWCO looks forward to continuing to work with this committed group. 


Colby Wrasse

Contact Info: Colby Wrasse, 573-234-2132 x30, colby_wrasse@fws.gov
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