Teen Whitewater Safety

Camp Curriculum

Camp will be held at Alton Baker Park, the Willamette River (in-town) and the McKenzie River between Finn Rock and Prince Helfrich Landing.

Monday-Wednesday will be split into two hands-on training session in and out of the water.

Thursday and Friday will be a full-day raft trip down the Willamette river (in-town).  Due to the Holiday Farm fire, our beloved McKenzie River run will not be available, but we will find an alternate river to practice skills learned throughout the week in fast-paced training scenarios.

This is the perfect camp for students entering 7th-12th grade who spend time in Oregon's wilderness and rivers.


  • Rescue throw bag practice

  • Common knots and their application

  • River signals and communication

  • Proper river position and how to swim a rapid

  • How to right an inflatable kayak and climb aboard from the water position

  • General inflatable kayak paddle skills


  • River hydrology and how to read water

  • Rescue team dynamics and how best to direct your team

  • Retrieving a rope from moving water

  • Using a rescue throw bag in moving water

  • Fording moving water as a group



  • Freeing a stuck craft using the vector pull technique

  • Creating a 2 and 3 point self equalizing anchor from both inside and outside a raft

  • Properly swim over a strainer in moving water

  • Ferrying a raft across moving water with a paddle team


  • Using a rescue throw bag in moving water

  • Basics of guiding a raft with a paddle crew in moving water

  • Righting a flipped raft with a team and re-boarding

  • Rescuing a swimmer from inside a raft in moving water


  • Put all the skills into action with a full day raft trip down the whitewater where we will train in fast-paced training scenarios.

Camp Times & Locations

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Location:  Alton Baker Park

drop-off 9:00 a.m.  

pick-up: 4:00 p.m.



Location: Willamette River Float

drop-off 9:30 a.m. at Clear Lake Park, Springfield

pick-up: 4:00 p.m. Alton Baker Park


Location:  TBD

drop-off 9:00 a.m. at Alton Baker Park

pick-up: 4:00 p.m. / 4:30 p.m. at Alton Baker Park

Gear Requirements

Suitable attire for being in and out of the water daily is required. 


Quick-dry shorts & t-shirt/rash guard mandatory, no jeans, no cotton clothing allowed!


  • Type III or V - Life Jacket 

  • Helmet (bike or skate is acceptable)

  • River Footwear (old tennis shoes, Chaco, Teva, Keens, etc...)

Your camper should bring a water bottle, a snack and lunch, and sunscreen with them to camp every day. 

I want kids to take away the ability to love river sports, to know how to be safe in and around whitewater and to use the amazing resources of the Willamette and McKenzie rivers, right in our backyards!

Chad Heidtke, Rapid Whitewater Owner/Instructor

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Chad Heidtke
Rapid Whitewater LLC

Eugene, Oregon

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