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Discussion Starter #1
We are getting the old W.A.T.E.R. club (Western Association To Enjoy Rivers) up and going again but with a different format. We are looking to gear it more towards lessons, trips and just general boating. We are still discussing what the clubs focus will be and we are looking for input and members as well as board members. So far the board consists of Denny Adams as President and I (Randall Chapman) for access and conservation. We are at the very beginning of this and proposals for organization are being discussed. If you are interested in being a member or in helping out you can contact me at wildfirstaidatyahoodotcalm, or stop by the climbing gym any evening.

We have our first event scheduled for July 22, 2010. It is an Ice Cream Float. The meeting is an on the river outing, and a dessert and beverage potluck. We will meet for shuttle at the Blue Heron Boat Ramp at 6pm. The float itself starts at 7pm and will run a few hours in length down to the Fruita State Park boat ramp. Please bring food and all necessary boating gear and feel free to bring family and friends.
Randall Chapman
 

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After the first WATER Club float trip I think maybe I made a mistake in joining the board and promoting this club. I am walking away because I feel the attention to safety is not at the level I would expect from a white water club. I tried to resolve this with the president of the club but he didn’t feel it was a problem. I’m not trying to air dirty laundry or talk trash on the president or the club. I was promoting this club and talking people into joining so I feel I should let it be known why I’m not going to be part of this club anymore.


This is the email I sent to the president of the club and while he didn’t disagree with anything on the list he didn’t seem to think it was as big of a priority as I did. I post this because maybe I’m out of line and I wonder what you all think.


Being a member of this board has its perks for someone that owns a business like mine but it also has its pitfalls. People come to my business to learn how to participate in what is considered a dangerous sport and they put a lot of trust in us that we will give them good information and have their safety in mind every step of the way. If someone comes to a WATER Club event while I’m sitting on the board and doesn’t feel safe it reflects on us as a business. Not to mention, if I recommend that person come out to that event. Either professionally or personally I want no part in anything that makes me or anyone else feel unsafe or left behind. I’m not trying to imply that I have more at stake than anyone else; I’m just not willing to stand up and be counted with people that think this is unimportant. So if this is not a priority for the other members of the club I wish you good luck, but I’m out.

As far as I’m concerned this is the absolute bare minimum of safety precautions and they should not only be accepted but made a priority by all (especially the upper level) members of the club.
· The safety of every member on the trip is the responsibility of every member on the trip.
· Everyone stays together
· Regular regrouping with discussions about how everyone is doing and how they feel
· Leaders are the example not the exception
· Never make anyone feel like their concern is not legitimate
· No night runs unless it is scheduled and billed as a night run
· No drinking of alcohol before, during or while anyone in the group is still on the river

Safety Meeting: regardless of the experience of the group or the river being run
· Discuss ANY potential hazard on the run, including obvious ones that most people know about
· Discuss current flow and how that will affect the trip
· Discuss how long the run is and how long it should take
· Describe the run and what to expect, any beta that is known
· Ask if anyone has any medical conditions or concerns about the run
· Explain signals (i.e. go left, go right, stop, eddy out, are you ok)
· Whistle blows (one, something happened eddy out/three, everyone get over here now someone’s in trouble)
· Everyone follows the leader

Introductions: This information is not just for the leads and sweeps but everyone on the trip
· Name
· Experience
· Who has a river knife
· Who has a whistle
· Who has a throw bag
· Does anyone have a throw bag that doesn’t have a knife (suggest against)
· Who knows first aid/CPR
· Anyone take a swift water class

Leads and Sweep:
· The lead must know the run well
· At least one lead or sweep must be First aid /CPR certified
· Swift water rescue class is highly recommended
· Lead must be completely comfortable with the river
· Leads and sweeps must be willing and able to chase boats, gear and people

Hard Kayaks: Must have proper and properly fitted
· Kayak
· Paddle
· PFD
· Helmet
· Spray skirt
· Float bags (not absolutely required but very highly recommended)

My Biggest problem with last night’s trip is I felt like if I stopped for anything I would be left behind and I’m not willing to accept that. We did get left behind even without stopping and we paddled our asses off. The fact that I even have to argue about how unsafe and shitty last night’s trip was makes me want to walk away. My friend from work told me today that if I hadn’t stayed with him, he would have gone to shore, left my boat and gear and hitched a ride home. We talked about this several times at the pool sessions and I thought we were on the same page and that’s the only reason I agreed to help with setting this club up. If any more trips are run like this, I will seriously NEVER paddle with you or this group again, EVER.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All that being said I wish no ill will on the club and hope those that are looking for that type of club will enjoy it and it will grow. If you are interested in the WATER Club you can now contact Denny Adams [email protected] or the Facebook page will most likely be taken over by someone else (it’s under my account so I’m looking to hand it off to someone else). Good luck to all of you I wish you well.
 
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