More Confessions of a Whitewater Teen Skills Camper
We love hearing from our clients. Especially our Whitewater Teen Skills campers. By the end of the summer, we’re practically family, so getting a letter like the one we just got from Matt, makes the whole summer worth while.
“When I’m not physically at Dvorak’s, I find my memories gathered over the years from the warm family environment and constant excitingly challenging tasks profoundly impact my daily life and personality.” – Mafro, former camper and current river guide
Our Whitewater Teens Skills camp is one of a kind
It’s an indescribable adventure that teaches kids to be good, kind, responsible, team-working, adventure loving people. The skills they learn are invaluable and will help guide their path through life. But don’t just take our word for it. Read this letter and then sign your teen up for the 2016 Whitewater Teen Skills Camp.
“A letter to the intrepid reader interested in the White Water Skills Camp,
Hi, my name is Matt, and I am one of multiple Matt’s at Dvorak’s. I note that last bit because it has particular relevance to the fond and formative memories and lessons I’ve learned since my days as a fifteen year old skills camper back in 2002. Around Dvorak’s, I go by the nickname Mafro. I picked this nickname up as a camper when two of the guides noticed that my hairstyle would be a good way to distinguish me from the multiple Matt’s working for the company at the time, as well as in the present. In fact, most customers and new coworkers think my name really is Mafro! I’m often asked about it, and from that humorous question, a wealth of amazing experiences and memories come to mind.
I came to the Skills Camp with a little kayaking experience that I had picked up during a family trip to Dvorak’s in 2000, as well as some trips around my home state of Indiana after acquiring some of those basic skills. The kayak instruction offered to us campers was top notch, with great effectiveness in developing skills at all levels to suit the needs of our diverse group of campers. Even if you’ve never sat in a kayak in your life, you can walk away from the Skills Camp a capable boater. Kayaking and river running have been passions of mine ever since, that have gifted me friendships all over the world and taught me lessons about responsibly dealing with risk, cherishing rewarding outcomes, developing a relationship with the natural world, and perhaps most fundamentally, how to get outside and do something awesome!
Boating handling is one part of what makes a great boater. We cover the bases in a way very similar to our guide-training program, which is truly among the best. Like our guide-training program, campers gain skill sets in rafting and kayaking, camping, trip packing, logistics, safety, and public relations in the tourism business. The specifics of the Skills Camp itinerary can vary, but in one form or another includes multiday rafting and kayaking trips on some of the many rivers we run, along with a variety of day trips around the Arkansas Valley. Another very important and unique part of the Skills Camp itinerary is the opportunity to learn and become certified in Swift Water Rescue from industry leaders, including Bill Dvorak himself. It is a big responsibility, but is immeasurably important, and actually a pretty fun and interesting course.
Another very important and unique part of the Skills Camp itinerary is the opportunity to learn and become certified in Swift Water Rescue from industry leaders, including Bill Dvorak himself.
Jaci Dvorak will happily and enthusiastically talk to parents or prospective campers about the particulars of the Skills Camp. Having the Skills Camp experience myself, and worked on several since, my aim is to provide some personal insight to you, the reader. Of course it was hard to say goodbye to the friends and mentors I had made at the end of my camp experience, not to mention leaving the stunning Arkansas River Valley for Indiana was tough. So, I just kept going back every summer. In 2003, I worked as a general warehouse helper in order to get as close as I could to the river and my new home away from home at Dvorak’s. I also got to start tagging along on kayak instructions. Aside from some gaps while picking up a couple degrees and dealing with other obligations and opportunities, I’ve guided and taught kayaking at Dvorak’s ever since. When I’m not physically at Dvorak’s, I find my memories gathered over the years from the warm family environment and constant excitingly challenging tasks profoundly impact my daily life and personality.
My main point is this: At Dvorak’s we are a welcoming family who just can’t get enough sharing of River Magic with people. We hope we can provide teenagers with an outlet for cultivating the general life skills I mention above using the river runner lifestyle as a foundation, and ultimately, positively influence future generations in the ways that I feel I’ve benefited from as a former Skills Camper.
We would be thrilled to have you on board!
Sign up for DVK’s Teen Skills Camp 2016!
If you’re looking for an alternative to your typical summer camp, if your teen is interested in learning the art of river running, learn the skills to become an outdoor river rafting and adventure guide, learn to respect and protect the environment, as well as rescue skills, then this is just the camp for your teens.
Call (800) 824-3795/(719) 539-6851 to sign up for the 2016 Whitewater Teen Skills Camp.
Dvorak offers a variety of instructional courses, raft guide training courses, paddle school, and rescue courses.
We also offer rafting, kayaking and fishing trips of the Colorado River, Dolores River, Green River, Arkansas River, Gunnison River, Salmon River, North Platte River, San Miguel River and Rio Grande River.
Dvorak’s Expeditions – Est. 1969
Family Owned & Operated
Bill & Jaci Dvorak