ARTA's six-day Oregon Junior Whitewater School is a wonderful introduction to whitewater guiding and a great opportunity for exploration, discovery, and growth; not to mention a really fun week on the river!
The school will take place on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River in southern Oregon. The Rogue is a fun river with lots of easy, straightforward rapids and a few more challenging ones, great for learning the basic elements of whitewater navigation. Instruction will cover many aspects of whitewater navigation including rowing, paddle-captaining and inflatable kayaking. Training will also be provided in whitewater safety, repair, rigging, cooking, and minimum impact camping. In addition to and perhaps more important than these technical skills, students will also develop teamwork, decision-making, interpersonal, leadership, and risk-assessment skills in a supervised, wilderness setting. Our goal is to act as positive role models and to foster a fun and friendly environment in which each student can gain self-confidence, independence, and maturity (while having the time of their lives!)
Day before the trip: We will meet at the Medford airport between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, then drive to the ARTA facility in Grants Pass (1 hour). Here we will have dinner, go over trip parameters, pack for the trip, get to know each other, and spend the night.
Day 1: An early and busy morning during which we will learn knots and rigging and go over safety procedures will lead to a relaxing afternoon in the boats floating downriver. There are just a few small rapids on this day, giving us time to learn basic navigation techniques and become comfortable in the boats. Camping will be at a wilderness site along the Rogue.
Days 2– 5: We will continue down the Rogue working on ferry angles, turns, pivots, and eddy-catching. In addition to whitewater instruction, we will take time to learn about wilderness camping and the unique history of the Rogue. We will explore historic ranches, hike to idyllic swimming holes, and play skills games in the warm water of the Rogue. The students and instructors will be divided into groups with each group having specific responsibilities for the day. Students will be involved in setting up and taking down camp, preparing meals, washing dishes, and caring for the equipment. The days will be busy, but not strenuous. Evenings will include a combination of structured and unstructured time.
Day 6: An early morning wake-up will get us to take-out before noon. We will de-rig the rafts, load the trailer and head to Medford to catch afternoon flights back home. See Departure Information section for details about flight times.
Alternate Ending: Over the years, many parents have signed up for a regular ARTA trip immediately following their child's Junior Whitewater School and have taken a trip together with their newly graduated "junior assistant guide". These trips have always been fun; the parents have gotten to see their kid in action and the kid has gotten to show off their new skills for their parents. We highly recommend this if you can make it work; call us and we'll help you make plans.
The full details (where to meet, what to bring, etc) are here. If there are any questions we haven't answered, send us an e-mail or give us a call (800/323-2782). We love to talk about our trips, so don't be shy!