BGC of SLV takes summer whitewater adventure

Courtesy photo Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley enjoyed rafting the Arkansas River on June 5.

ALAMOSA — The Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley was excited to kick off the 2024 Whitewater Season on June5, by joining close to 200 other Boys and Girls Club members from across Colorado on a whitewater rafting adventure on the Arkansas River.

The excursion, generously provided by the Arkansas River Outfitters Association, included shuttle transportation, raft and gear rental, lunch, and an amazing day on the river with professional guides that ensured a positive and safe experience for all who attended.

The day started with a van trip to Cotopaxi where the rafters had lunch by the river before getting geared up with helmets, life jackets, and paddles. Shortly after, they received a very entertaining safety talk from our Royal Gorge Rafting guides, and then carried boats down to the shoreline of the Arkansas River.  The boats were launched and the whooping and hollering began as the rafters were hitting one stacked wave after another. 

A great time was spent swimming in the current, surfing on waves, and splashing other boats! After paddling from the launch all the way to the Texas Creek takeout, the group was soaked, smiling, and all thankful for the experience! The Boys and Girls Clubs are extremely grateful for the opportunities and continued support provided by communities, businesses and organizations from across Colorado.

This event would not have been possible without the support of participating outfitters like Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, River Runners, Noah’s Ark, Wilderness Aware, The Adventure Company, Arkansas River Tours, Performance Tours, Echo Canyon River Expeditions and Royal Gorge Rafting. The amazing and dedicated staff from these organizations provided hundreds of kids with a rare opportunity to experience a whitewater adventure they will never forget. This event also received much appreciated financial support from the El Pomar Foundation.

The Boys and Girls Clubs strive to provide kids and teens with positive experiences that complement classroom learning and give them opportunities for personal growth and reflection. Events like whitewater rafting teach teamwork, build resilience and confidence, while allowing club members to form positive relationships with their peers. When combined with swimming lessons, hiking, camping, and other club programs, members begin to understand more about who they are and what they can become.

Trips like whitewater rafting, skiing, or flying in an airplane often become milestone events in the lives of club members that help them realize that their world is filled with possibilities. The Club strives to create meaningful programming that helps kids and teens understand and realize their full potential as responsible, caring, and productive citizens of our amazingly diverse world.

Whitewater rafting is just one of the club’s planned excursions for the Summer of 2024. Summer at the Club includes 10 weeks of themed programming and events like; Cumbres and Toltec Railroad, Weekly Fishing and Hiking, visits to the Rio Grande Farm Park, Splashland, Earthships in Taos, the Pueblo Zoo, and the Albuquerque Bio Park. Every week this Summer is packed with adventure and learning opportunities for kids and teens alike.