RAFTING – DENVER RESCUE MISSION – RAPID RECOVERY PROGRAM
2013 Denver Rescue Mission Video
2015 Denver Rescue Mission Video
Wilderness Aware Rafting donates 50 to 70 seats per year on a Browns Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trip to the Denver Rescue Mission. The Mission uses it as a motivation tool for encouraging program participants to stay actively engaged in their substance abuse recovery program. Program participants look forward to the reward and the challenge.
Program resident Earl Says… “I was apprehensive, then I thought ‘This is cool’” Earl had been “acting crazy, living on the street” before landing at the Mission seven months before the trip. “That river was fast, but life can be fast too. What I think now is that if you know your way to steer around or through a challenge, you’ll be fine. You may look at something and feel afraid. But sometimes you get into it and it’s not bad. Like today, I was scaring myself over nothing. I’m over that…. I’m ready for the next hurdle.”
New raft guides have a hurdle to cross as well. They have been training for 3 weeks in preparation and the trip serves as a “check out run” for the managing agency and guide certification. An experienced guide sits next to the newly trained guide ready to take over in the event of trouble. So far no new guide has gotten in over their heads and no Mission participant has ever been injured.
First year raft guide Ben Greiner, son of the Wilderness Aware owners Joe and Sue Greiner had this to say…”Since I was seven years old, I had been hearing about the big Rescue Mission trip from my parents and the other guides. After training as a guide my turn came. I knew where I wanted my raft to go. Knowing the river was not an issue. Knowing what would happen when I called a command with a crew I trained myself was new to me. I learned you have to watch and retrain your crew more than you do with a crew made of raft guides. I feel this trip helped me be a better guide.”
Wilderness Aware stands ready to offer advice to any non-profit that would like to start a similar program for their residents in other areas. Wilderness Aware has offered this program every year since 2000.