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Rafting Adventure 2018

On our final week of camp this summer during, Wilderness Adventure Camp, we spent the last few days rafting down the Arkansas river! The first part of the week already was a week full of adventure where the campers slept in tents, had a chili cook-off, learned to fly fish, and built their own shelters to sleep in. but on Thursday morning we all piled into the vans and headed to Wilderness Aware Rafting in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. Rafting was the perfect way to end the summer for campers and staff alike.

Rafting the Arkansas River with Catamount Institute

Our guides from Wilderness Aware Rafting prepared us for our overnight rafting trip with all the gear we would need. A very in-depth safety training, and taught the campers all the techniques we would need to get through the rapids. Our first day was full of 14 rapids as we paddled through Brown’s Canyon. Campers cheered and screamed through Zoom Flume, laughed their way through Toilet Seat, Toilet Bowl, and through Bad Joke Alley, and practiced all the commands when we got stuck on rocks. Campers attempted to touch a bridge we passed beneath with their paddles for good luck and made up cheers for each boat.

Hitting the rapids! what fun!

Our trusty guides Zach, Rob, and Miller kept everyone safe and in good spirits, and told us the safe spots to swim and the correct technique for splashing other rafts with our paddles (the trick is to scoop the water, not hit it!). They even gave a few campers the extra push they needed to jump in the river!

That night we camped in luxury being treated do an amazing dinner provided by Wilderness Aware Rafting. They even had a chocolate cheesecake in honor of our staff member Jen who was celebrating her birthday that day! During the overnight campers were able to reflect on the week of adventure, the friendships they had made, and the, and challenges within themselves they had overcome.

The next morning, after being treated to another wonderful meal by our rafting guides. We packed up our tents and prepared to get back onto the river! The final stretch of river is slightly calmer, so in addition to the rafts we had six inflatable kayaks, or “duckies.” Duckies are a lot of fun to use, but are easier to flip and can be difficult to steer for those new to boating!

great fun in the duckie

Nearly all the campers tried the duckies, even those who had less experience swimming and paddling! We had a few duckings tip over, some accidental and some we think maybe not so accidental and more because the water looked so inviting. There were two rapid sections which the duckies had to navigate, and campers ended up in the water after both!

 

Luckily the guides had wool sweaters on hand to warm up the wet campers after their big dips. Campers were great sports, cheering on their friends in the duckies even as they bounced off small rocks and paddled backwards.

When the adventure was done we got off the river and had lunch waiting for us back at the Wilderness Aware office. We thanked our guides, collected all our stray shoes and towels, and piled back into our trusty vans to head back towards the Catamount Institute to meet parents. All the way laughing and recalling the fun of the week and the adventure we had.

Thank you to all the 2018 Wilderness Adventure Camp summer campers. We had a wonderful summer with you and thank you Wilderness Aware Rafting for the great final adventure to our summer!

If you want to know more about whitewater rafting call our friends at Wilderness Aware Rafting. The 2018 season is over but make sure to make a reservation for 2019! Visit their website https://www.inaraft.com/ or call 1-800-in-a-raft.

Blog by: Lydia Ballantine – Ballantine@catamountinstitute.org

2 Comments
  1. Great post, Lyd!

  2. Excellent observations and summary! Thanks for sharing with us! See you next year.

    Joe Greiner
    Wilderness Aware Owner

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Catamount Institute
740 West Caramillo St.
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
Phone: (719) 471-0910
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Website: www.catamountinstitute.org
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