Mississippi River Trip - Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico
May 06, 2021
Casey Cooper
Mississippi River Trip - Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico

Casey Cooper is the brother of club member Callie Smith.  Casey will share his story of floating the entire Mississippi!

In the summer of 2018, after I graduated college and before I started my career as a funeral director, I paddled the entire Mississippi River. Growing up near the marsh and on the river in La Crosse, this had always been a dream of mine. While attending the University of Minnesota's Mortuary Science Program I became actively involved in an organization called Children's Grief Connection. Children's Grief Connection's main focus is a weekend camp held twice a year called Hearts of Hope Camp. This grief camp is for family members and friends who have lost a loved one. Initially created for children who lost a parent, this camp connects kids who are going through similar circumstances. We teach them how to acknowledge their grief and teach them different coping mechanisms to try and lessen its negative side effects. Over the years Hearts of Hope has grown into a full family camp. People of any age or suffering through any kind of grief are welcome. Camp is free for all campers. I decided to make my trip a fundraiser for Children's Grief Connection. I started my trip in Lake Itasca on June 18th and I reached the Gulf of Mexico 69 days later on August 25th