25th Anniversary 2023

25th Anniversary Schuylkill River Sojourn Dates Announced -June 17th to 23rd. 2023

 

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Follow the Sojourn on Social Media

If you’re not able to view the sojourn in-person, you can still follow the event through SRG social media accounts. Follow the hashtag #SchuylkillSojourn from June 17th to June 24th for photos, videos, updates and more about the 2022 Sojourn. Click the links below to like/follow SRG social media pages so you don’t miss any of the action.

Facebook (@SchuylkillRiverGreenways)

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Registration for the 2022 Schuylkill River Sojourn has closed. Registrants can find daily plan sheets with maps, check-in times, parking information and more for each day of the Sojourn by clicking the button below. 
Registration Information

The Schuylkill River Sojourn is often described as summer camp since the outdoor expedition combines kayaking, camping, education, and games into one exciting adventure! The Sojourn is an annual 112-mile guided canoe/kayak trip on the Schuylkill River that begins in rural Schuylkill Haven and ends seven days later at Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row. Participants paddle 14-18 miles per day. Register for one day, any amount of individual days, or the entire week-long journey.

New Year, New Dates

The dates for this year’s Sojourn are June 18 to 24, 2022. The pre-Sojourn check-in will begin Friday evening (June 17, 2022) in Schuylkill Haven. The first day of paddling will begin on Saturday (June 18, 2022) and end the following Friday (June 24, 2022) in Philadelphia.

Why isn't the Sojourn starting the first week of June?

In the past, the Sojourn has begun the first week of June. Schuylkill River Greenways is moving the dates two weeks later this year because we want families, teachers, and people tied to the academic calendar to be able to participate. Because of the Pandemic, the 2021 Sojourn was moved to August, resulting in an increase in new, first-time Sojourners. Schuylkill River Greenways has received feedback from many participants that they were finally able to participate with the later start date, since the event traditionally overlapped with the school year. Schuylkill River Greenways hopes the new start time will allow more opportunities for first-timers to join this year's Sojourn.

More About the Sojourn

Organized by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, the Sojourn has evolved into a popular paddling event that has allowed more than 4,000 people from 25 states and four foreign countries to paddle the revolutionary river. Sometimes it's wet and wild. At other times it's peaceful and inspiring.

There are rapids, calm water, plenty of laughs, songs at campsites, and celebrations in river towns. There is a little bit of everything for paddlers throughout the week-long sojourn. And though the same route is paddled every year, a different river greets us every June.

Please Note: The 2021 Sojourn event was altered because of COVID-19 guidelines. These details describe a normally scheduled Sojourn and do not necessarily apply to the 2020 or 2021 event.

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The 23rd Annual Sojourn Took Place From July 31 to Aug. 4, 2021

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The 2021 Schuylkill River Sojourn

About 215 people embarked on an unforgettable water adventure during the in-person 2021 Schuylkill River Sojourn. The 23rd Annual Sojourn was a 5-day guided downriver paddling trip. This year’s event began from Jim Dietrich Park in Muhlenberg Township on July 31 and ended at the iconic Boathouse Row in Philadelphia on Aug. 4.

The 2021 Schuylkill River Sojourn had a later summer start since adjustments were made because of the pandemic. A drawback to starting later is the Sojourn had to start further downriver since the headwaters tend to have a decreased water flow in late July. A benefit of starting later is schools are out of session, which made it easier for families to join the incredible experience. Children ages 8 and up are welcome to join the Sojourn if they can properly fit a life vest.

Photo provided by Glen Tompkinson

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area invited the public to watch more than 100 colorful boats make the 5-day journey by viewing when paddlers passed underneath bridges along the river route.

The 2020 Schuylkill River Sojourn

The 22nd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn went virtual for the first time in 2020 and featured two evening video live streams on August 9 and 16, hosted by longtime Sojourn Guide Matt Stan of Bad Adventures. About 150 people participated in the 2020 Sojourn.

The virtual Sojourn included a Schuylkill Trivia tournament, video interviews and a live auction of Schuylkill River water trail signs. An in-person guided paddling experience was offered on three separate days: Aug 14, 15 and 16. The paddle began at Pottstown Riverfront Park and ended in the Phoenixville Area. Participants received boxed lunches, practiced social distancing, and used masks.

For the first time, a Schuylkill Selfie Contest was embedded into the 2020 Virtual Sojourn. People took pictures of their individual paddling trip on the Schuylkill River (or any body of water) and entered the contest for a chance to win a free day on the 2021 Sojourn. People were asked to submit their most ridiculous, silliest, and outlandish paddling photo taken on a waterway. The funniest photos were chosen for the Top 10 Countdown, revealed during the Virtual Sojourn video live stream on Aug. 16, 2020. Although different from previous years, the 2020 Sojourn was an unforgettable and adventurous journey of the river.

FREE Sojourn Opportunities

There are opportunities for people to participate in the Schuylkill River Sojourn at no cost to them. Click on the tabs below to learn about scholarship opportunities available for people to paddle in the Sojourn for free.

Schuylkill Action Network Sojourn Steward

Overview

The Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) is providing a full-week scholarship ($1,035 value) for an enthusiastic individual who is interested in documenting their experiences while traversing the Schuylkill River.

Click Here to Watch the 2021 Sojourn Steward Presentation on YouTube

Paddling and social media experience are preferred but not required. All materials are provided by the SAN, including Sojourn registration, kayak rental (with boat, paddle, life vest, and dry bag), and photography supplies. The steward will be asked to present their findings to other Sojourners. 

Sojourn Steward Responsibilities:

  1. Participate in the entire Schuylkill River Sojourn (Starting in Schuylkill Haven on June 18 and ending in Philadelphia on June 24). Please click the links for details on the itinerarypacking list, and general Sojourn information and policies.
  2. Document the "River of Refuge" theme via photographs and video reels highlighting organizations offering outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the watershed. You can use either your own camera or the waterproof cameras provided. 
  3. Create & Post social media updates via posts, reels and stories to the SAN's Instagram during lunch and evening breaks. Use the hashtags #ExploreTheSchuylkill #SojournSteward and #SchuylkillSojourn, and tag Schuylkill River Greenways and the Schuylkill Action Network.
  4. Interact with Sojourn participants.

Application Deadline is May 10, 2022

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE & APPLY NOW

For questions, please contact Meghan Rogalus at MRogalus@DelawareEstuary.org.

Schuylkill Action Network Diversity Scholarship

Overview

The Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) is providing racial diversity scholarships to Sojourn participants including people who identify as African American, Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latino/Latinx, and/or Asian & Pacific Islander. Participants will be chosen based on application questions displaying interest in the Schuylkill River and outdoor recreation.

Scholarships will include costs for Sojourn registration fees and kayak rental (includes paddle, life jacket, dry bag) for a participant, and a friend for however many days of the Sojourn the applicant is available/interested in participating. This scholarship aligns with the SAN's values and mission that the Schuylkill River, clean water, and outdoor recreation is for all, and to prioritize connecting underrepresented or systematically excluded communities to the Schuylkill River.

Application Deadline is May 10, 2022

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE & APPLY NOW

For questions or concerns, please contact Meghan Rogalus at mrogalus@delawareestuary.org.

Bill Trace Scholarship for First-Time Sojourners

In memory of Bill Trace, a longtime sojourner and devoted member of Schuylkill River Greenways, a fund has been established through the generosity of his family and friends enabling us to offer a free one-day trip on the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn to a pair of two people who have never before been on the Sojourn.

If you are awarded the scholarship, you are invited to bring someone along with you to paddle a day of the Sojourn. This scholarship is only open to those 18 years and older. To apply, you will need to fill out a one-page application. For questions or additional information, please call 484-945-0200. 

Application Deadline is May 6, 2022

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE & APPLY NOW 

 

Youth Mentorship Program

The Reading Recreation group and Schuylkill River Greenways Heritage Association celebrates a day on the Schuylkill River Sojourn. From left, seated in front, Michelle Hnath; seated second row, Ronda Morrison, Jeiliz Vega, Amanda Wilson; standing, Niyah Morales, Nora Haefele, Mark Cholewa, Shaylynn Bailey, Debby Wyatt, Olivia Wilson, Garrett Redmond, Danielle Russell, Ayanna Rodriguez, Amanda Russell and Daphne Klahr.

This program was established during the 20th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn in 2018. It allows several young adults to join the Sojourn for their first kayaking experience. The youth paddle the river from Allegheny Aqueduct Park to Pottstown Riverfront Park. Each youth participant (mentee) has a mentor to help guide them on the river, as they experience first-hand the historical evolution of water trail. 

Participants of the 2021 Youth Mentorship Program were featured in a Reading Eagle article. Below are some quotes from the participating teenagers published in the article. 

  • “My mentor told me a lot about his life and where he’s traveled, and he showed me the different types of birds, and I learned that the water’s current will do most of the work for you.” - Danielle Russell, 15
  • “Wear old clothes, bring water shoes, and be prepared to learn new things and experiences. I learned that if I were to fall off my kayak, to lie on my back and float with the river.” - Ayanna Rodriguez, 16
  • “My advice to someone who has never kayaked is to have faith, we’re going to make it because though it feels long it’s worth it!” - Jeiliz P. Vega, 14

Special Thanks to Our 2022 Sojourn Sponsors

Gold Paddler Sponsor:  Aramark * The Lewis Group * The Justi Group * Tompkins VIST Bank 

Silver Paddler Sponsor: ExelonFirstEnergy 

Bronze Paddler Sponsor: Trace Pheasantry * Borough of West Conshohocken * Aqua * Constellation * Delaware River Basin Commission * PA American Water

Kayaker Sponsors: * Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation  * HP * Wilson Consulting Group * All Type Fence Company, E Brandywine Reality Trust * Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau * Traffic Planning and Design * JP Mascaro * Visions Federal Credit Union

Patrons: Service Castor * Weaver, Reckner * Reinhart Association * Boyer Engineering LLC * Robert Kuhlman * Evans Delivery Company, Inc. * Swisher Studio * MCCC *

Friends: Take It Outdoors Adventures * Pottstown Parks & Recreation * Bad Adventures Co. * Keystone Canoe Club * Bause Catered Events

The Sojourn is also made possible through funding from the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), the National Park Service, and the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River

The Schuylkill River Sojourn is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

In the News

Videos

MORE SOJOURN VIDEOS

Schuylkill Soaring Film

The SRG produced “Schuylkill Soaring,” is an original short film celebrating recreation on the river through stunning imagery from land, water and air. The film premiered during the 2020 Virtual Sojourn. Starting in the lush landscapes of the headwaters in Schuylkill County, the film included a virtual journey through both rural and urban communities in Berks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties, with a paddler’s arrival at the picturesque Philadelphia skyline.

Rock Climbin' Grandma Joins the 2021 Sojourn 

Riel Bilto was the Schuylkill Action Network's 2021 Sojourn Steward. Riel is an avid adventurer with her own YouTube channel called "Rock Climbin' Grandma." Bilto created a video about her Sojourn experience and posted it on her YouTube channel. 

Spring-Ford Spotlight Schuylkill River Sojourn

Thank you to the Spring-Ford Area School District Ram Country TV Station for creating this video about the 2019 Sojourn stop in Royersford.

2017 Schuylkill River Sojourn

Public Outreach Project Award

In 2016 the Sojourn was honored with a national Public Outreach Project Award from the American Society for Environmental History. Since its inception in 1999, the sojourn has introduced about 4,000 people from 25 states and four countries to paddling the river.