‘As long as you have two hands and you can see, you’re pretty much ready to sail’

12 09 2017

EUGENE, Ore. – A heat wave in the Willamette Valley means excellent weather for sailing at Fern Ridge Reservoir in Eugene.

About a dozen students completed their week-long youth training course Friday afternoon.

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The classes are offered by the City of Eugene’s River House Center every summer.

“They can steer a boat, they can trim a sail, they can dock and undock. They know how to beach a boat,” said instructor Connor Shirk.

The classes are not just offered for middle and high school students. Adults are also encouraged to participate with weeknight and weekend classes.

“The main difference is that the adult classes all take place on the big boats,” said Shirk.


http://nbc16.com/embed/news/local/as-long-as-you-have-two-hands-and-you-can-see-youre-pretty-much-ready-to-sail


Youth courses start on smaller boats, referred to as dinghies. The skills are easily transferable to larger boats.

“The worst thing that can happen in the small boats is that they flip. But, then you flip them right back up. Adults don’t like that quite as much,” added Shirk.

They leave daily from the River house at 9 a.m. and return at 4:30 p.m.

Participants say the best part is that anyone can join.

“In things like gymnastics, it’s hard to do if you’re not flexible or if you don’t know certain things. With boats, as long as you have two hands and you can see, you’re pretty much ready to sail,” said Nina Persins.

The youth camp continues for one more week, with a cost of $265.

There are scholarships available to help bring the cost down.

The adult classes continue until October.

For more information, click here.


Original article and video can be found at: http://nbc16.com/news/local/as-long-as-you-have-two-hands-and-you-can-see-youre-pretty-much-ready-to-sail

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Camp Confluence and Partners for Youth Empowerment.

5 07 2017

sara3By: Sarah Worl     Photos: Marty Oppenheimer and PYE Global

With support from our Instructor Development Funds, I was able to attend Camp Confluence, organized by Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) in Whidbey Island, Washington. Camp Confluence was a 6-day gathering of camp directors, lead facilitators, and staff that are involved with camps based on the Creative Community Model. The Creative Community Model was developed by PYE over decades of youth summer camps across the globe. In their own words from the PYE website:

“With arts-based practices and leading-edge group facilitation strategies, Creative Community Facilitators cultivate environments in which people can realize their potential. By embracing positive risk-taking and free creative expression, youth and adults alike open up to new possibilities. Research shows that creative expression—in a supportive setting—nurtures qualities like empathy, teamwork, and problem solving, while also fostering joy, hope, and the desire for a meaningful life”

At Camp Confluence we talked a lot about the “Emotional Arc” that a camper experiences from the day they enter camp to when they leave, and how to support that transformative experience with community agreements, plenary activities, supported creative risk-taking, free time, nature time, and more. I appreciated the emphasis on the camper’s experience and curating the week’s activities to support their journey.

We also spent a whole day talking about how to further Equity and Anti-Oppression in all levels of our summer camps; from camp staff demographics, to camper recruitment, to food and sleeping arrangements, to incorporating explicit community agreements around equity in the beginning of the camp. It is rare that I am in a space of people so committed, honest, and eager to talk about Anti-Oppression in their institutions and programs and I am very grateful to have participated in those conversations and to emerge with a greater awareness of actions I can bring back to my work. I am looking forward to my upcoming outdoor recreation and summer camp season to see how I can incorporate bits of the creative community model into my work.

I’ve learned a lot of very practical facilitation skills from the PYE trainings and camps I’ve been involved in over the years. I’ve also witnessed many young people and adults (including myself) overcome old stories of fear and self doubt as we explore our creativity, connection to ourselves, connection to others, and connections to nature together in a supportive environment. I believe many of you that work with youth know what I’m talking about when I say that those moments of witnessing youth light up with hope, joy, and connection are what keep me coming back to this work, and giving me hope for the present and future. I am so grateful to be a part of the community at the River House Outdoor Program; a community that is so committed to fostering these types of magical and transformative experiences for youth and adults.

P.S and Fun Fact: A local summer camp hosted by the Oregon Country Fair called Culture Jam is based on the Creative Community Model and brings in facilitators that have led PYE camps across the U.S and internationally. The River House supports Culture Jam each year with a couple days of outdoor play at Fern Ridge! PYE also offers facilitation trainings in the Pacific Northwest each year- check them out at www.pyeglobal.org.  Their website also contains many great summer camp and youth program resources!

-The River House Instructor Development Fund (IDF) is an investment in our staff to seek extra training and experiences that can be brought back to their work and personal lives to help enrich experiences for both participants and instructors.

sara2

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Crow students roll through semester on skateboards they made themselves

7 06 2017

crowskate

Crow students spent months building their own skateboards. They tested them out at Washington Jefferson Park in Eugene Tuesday, May 6, 2017 with help from the City of Eugene River House Outdoor Center skateboard instructors.

Crow Middle/High School is incorporating skateboards into classes.

Students are celebrating the end of a semester-long project with a ride at Washington Jefferson Park.

Teachers said the project used techniques from math to art to teach kids how to create their own skateboard.

“It’s pretty cool that we get to, like, make them in school and stuff ‘cause most schools don’t have the opportunity since they’re so big they can’t do the classes like these,” said Olivia Clark, a ninth grade student at Crow Middle/High School.

They said since the project began, more than 20 students have been staying longer in class and skipping lunch to put together their project.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Oregon Country Fair.

“Doing math and science and they don’t even know it. It becomes part of the thing; that’s the way real life is and you can’t fake it with these kids,” said Tina Dwoarakowski, a teacher at Crow Middle/High School. “You know they know when you’re giving them busy work. They know that it’s got to be the real deal; it’s got to be authentic.”

Teachers said they plan to continue this project for years in the future.

From: KVAL 13 news broadcast

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River run, wisely

27 10 2016

Be prepared, be realistic when rafting, paddling waterways, local guide advises

June 18, 2016

There are plenty of reasons why thousands of people are lured to water every summer.

It could be the sound of water flowing over rocks, the cool breeze that comes off the surface, the refreshing feel on a hot day or the wildlife such an outing attracts.

Whatever the reason, city of Eugene recreation programmer Aimee Goglia and her team of rafting guides know to expect it every year. That’s why they offer so many rafting opportunities — through city summer camps, school field trips and groups such as Nearby Nature and McKenzie River Trust.

Run out of the River House Outdoor Program on N. Adams Street in Eugene, the rafting program also coordinates trips with all the community centers. The River House program does not compete with private outfitters — groups wanting a tour guide and a raft trip are encouraged to call private rafting outfitters.

The rafting season can start as early as April and run through September. At the height of summer, Goglia and her staff of 20 guides are coordinating about five trips a week.

This summer, a rafting camp through the Wayne Morse Family Farm runs July 11 through July 15. Youths ages 6 to 8 will float the Willamette and older kids will float the McKenzie. Another camp based at the Sheldon Community Center will take kids ages 6 to 11 on the Mc-Kenzie River the week of August 1.

Program staff floats the Willamette and Mc-Kenzie rivers often enough to really know the rivers, appreciate their beauty and understand the inherent dangers. They are experts at teaching people the basics of floating these local waterways.

river run, wisely

Inflatable rafts dot the Willamette River west of the put-in spot at Aspen and D streets in Springfield. River guide Aimee Goglia led the outing for elementary-age students from Eugene and taught them water safety. (Collin Andrew/The Register-Guard)

 

 

Staying safe

Goglia says one of the most important safety tips is to pick an appropriate river for your skill level and to never go alone.

“People should know the river and the runs and be aware of their skill level in relationship to the river,” she says. “People should ask questions about the hazards in the river.”

A common, and potentially deadly hazard, is a “strainer” — a piece of debris in the river that allows water to flow through but would trap a person. A downed log or a shopping cart could be a strainer.

If a person fell out of their raft, she should swim aggressively away from hazards such as strainers and only stand up when moving water is calf-deep or shallower. A swimmer also should swim toward the boat closest to him.

Because falling out of a boat is always a possibility, Goglia recommends always wearing a properly-fitted life jacket.

She said she sees a lot of people overuse ropes and lines in their boats and loose lines can cause people to get entangled in them.

“More ropes in the water causes more chaos,” she says. “People can get tangled on them.”

Above all, Goglia tells boaters to “remain calm.” She says panicking will only lead to bad decisions.

Enviro ethic

Safety extends beyond humans. Goglia wants boaters to follow the leave-no-trace environmental ethic to protect wildlife and the environment as well.

“We are passing through critters’ homes,” she says. “People should pack everything out that they brought and take only pictures on their trip.”

Feeding the animals only hurts them in the end — people food is unhealthy for wildlife, helps them lose their natural fear of people and can cause them to conflict with people.

Goglia also hopes boaters take a look at the shoreline before stopping. In some cases, killdeer or Canada geese are nesting and the presence of people could disrupt the nest.

Another common activity to avoid on the shoreline: urinating — it’s no joke.

On the Willamette and McKenzie rivers, the volume of water is so large that peeing in the river is preferable to on the shore. “It has more of an impact if people pee on shore,” she says.

Where to go

Goglia has an array of great float trips on the tip of her tongue, and she encourages people to call the River House for help when planning a trip.

For beginners looking for local, short day trips with Class I or II river stretches (that is, an easy, calm section with occasional rapids that are easy to maneuver around), Goglia recommends these:

Up the McKenzie River, put in at Helfrich and take out at Leaburg Dam or at the EWEB boat landing.

Also on the Mc-Kenzie, put in at Armitage County Park and take out on the Willamette River at Marshall Landing on the left, southeast of Junction City. There is also a river right take-out outside Coburg at Cross Roads Lane, the road where Agrarian Ales is located.

On the Willamette River, put in at Island Park in Springfield and take out at River House in Eugene (which does not have a boat ramp) or across the river at Valley River Center. For a shorter run, take out at Alton Baker Park.

On the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, put in at Pengra Access Boat Ramp west of Dexter Lake and take out at Clearwater Park in Springfield.

On the Willamette, put in at Aspen Street/Alton Baker Park and take out at Whitley Landing County Park, in north Eugene.

Dancing on the river

Many of Goglia’s raft guides are younger people who have done raft trips through the city’s summer camp program or through their local elementary school. Goglia loves to see kids connect with the water in the same way she has.

“I love rowing,” Goglia says. “There is a beautiful flow. It is such a dance on the river. When done right, you are finessing rather than muscling your way through a rapid.”

More Out and About articles »


Plan a trip

Following are a few resources to help plan a river outing:

McKenzie River Guides: A comprehensive listing of river guides and outfitters for the McKenzie River; mckenzieguides.com.

Oregon Paddle Sports: 520 Commercial St., offers classes and rentals for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and rafting. Also connects with rafting guides; oregonpaddlesports.com.

River House Outdoor Program: 301 N. Adams St. For information about river and float trips, call 541-682-5329; eugeneoutdoorprogram.wordpress.com. Also, Aimee Goglia leads private whitewater rowing lessons at $40 for a minimum of three hours. Call 541-682-6358 for an appointment or email aimee.n.goglia@ci.eugene.or.us

The University of Oregon Outdoor Program: 1225 E. 18th Ave. Rental equipment available for members and nonmembers. Summer hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; outdoorprogram.uoregon.edu.

The Willamette Water Trail Guide: This is an excellent resource for planning a river trip, Goglia says, including equipment must-haves; willamettewatertrail.org/about-the-water-trail.

Life Jackets

Sponsored by the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and the Eugene Emerald Valley Rotary Club, the sixth annual Life Jacket Exchange Event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Springfield Cabela’s, 2800 Gateway St. Here’s how it works: Bring outgrown or unused life jackets to Cabela’s and exchange it for a properly fitted child’s life jacket. Experts on hand will check for proper fit. Call 541-682-4179 for information.


Full article can be found at: http://registerguard.com/rg/life/weekend/34415389-289/river-run-wisely.html.csp

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House on the River

23 05 2016

 Eugene’s River House celebrates 50 years

Eugene's River House

Eugene’s River House

Ah, Eugene, “a great city for the arts and outdoors,” especially if you have the right gear, training and financial means to actually get down and dirty in the area’s natural wonders.

One factor for enjoying the outdoors is having access in the first place. The Eugene Rec Outdoor Program provides just that for Eugeneans, and the organization’s 50th anniversary is right around the corner.

Originally established by clean-water advocate Mel Jackson and the city of Eugene in the late 1960s, the outdoor program later was expanded by the Eugene Parks and Rec department. The group eventually acquired the nickname River House, seeing as the building is smack dab on the river. Canoeing, rock-climbing, white-water rafting and other activities have been added to the program’s activity list over time, and accessibility for the courses is a consistent factor for the River House team.

“We have a goal of making our program inclusive and accessible to anyone wanting to participate,” says program supervisor Roger Bailey, who’s been with River House for nearly 30 years. Bailey says he’s seen the positive community influence that accessible outdoor programs offer. “That is our mission,” Bailey says, “to help people grow and to help make this community a better place to live.”

For Bailey, this means approaching courses with “cultural respect, accountability, honesty and integrity.” He says more energy is going towards focusing on financial accessibility, and a youth sailing course provided by the outdoor program was recently able to share scholarships for low-income children.

“Every walk of life comes here to take our programs,” Bailey explains. River House programs provide people with, as he puts it, skills that need to be learned outside of school or work. Whether you’re feeling like honing your outdoorsy side in town or want to put some spur-of-the-moment REI purchase to the test out in the forest, the program has activities for all levels, and few exceed a $40 price tag — not to mention the handful of courses that are free to the public.

The River House’s 50th-anniversary celebration will be 4 to 7 pm Saturday, July 23, at 301 N. Adams Street, with food, circus arts, cake, kayaks and paddle boards provided at the event; more info at eugene-or.gov.

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Sailing–The Perfect Way to Spend Your Summer

6 07 2014

Life lessons abound as your middle schooler or teenager learns how to sail: teamwork, cause and effect (read: choice and consequence), and learning to read your environment are only a few.  Of course, there are technical skills, too.  But your child won’t be thinking about any of that; they’ll be busy having fun and making friends! We hope you watch this short and sweet video together of our Sailing Camps, and decide for yourself.  Here’s the link to enroll–https://ceapps.eugene-or.gov/econnect/Start/Start.asp.  Go to “Register for Programs,” and click on “Camps” on the left hand side. There’s no better weather to learn how to sail!

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Play in the Rain Day, November 9th

1 11 2013

Join River House staff and several other partners at Mount Pisgah on November 9th!  While we can’t guarantee rain, we can guarantee that there are plenty of activites for kids, parents, and grandparents. Archery, tree climbing, nature art, and cider pressing are just some of the many offerings this year.  Dress for the weather and be prepared for a busy event–last year, over 2000 folks attended!  Play in the Rain Day is a free annual event from 10am-3pm.  More information below, thanks to www.youthinnature.org.

 

PLAY IN THE RAIN DAY!!!

FREE PUBLIC EVENT

NOV. 9th – 10 am to 3pm 2013

Free Parking Courtesy of Lane County Parks

Come to Mount Pisgah Arboretum’s White Oak Pavilion to join the fun at Play in the Rain Day.  Local outdoor recreation and education organizations will come together to provide fun activities for you and your family.

Enjoy

  • Tree Climbing – Campfire Cookery – Nature Exploration/ Hikes
  • Nature Crafts – Backcountry Horse Demos – Hayrides
  • Smokey the Bear and MORE!!!!

GROUP

PLAY IN THE RAIN FEATURED ACTIVITY

Emerald Back Country Horseman
Demos of horse packing with real horses. Hands on! Come meet the horses!
Forest Service
Demos of horse packing with real horses. Hands on! Come meet the horses!
Whole Earth Nature School
Practice archery with foam-tipped arrows! Check out our nature touch-table!
WREN
Join us for a guided nature walk and Scavenger hunt with WREN, BLM, and Forest Service volunteers!
Willamalane
Bones ‘n’ Animal Tracks and Track Crafts! Get to know your furry friends. Check out our cool collection of bones.
Near by Nature
Create art with natural materials! Use small cones, shells, pebbles, lichen, and more to “paint” a temporary picture.
BLM
Check out the fire truck! Join us for a guided nature walk and Scavenger hunt with WREN, BLM, and Forest Service volunteers!
Friends of Buford Park
Come along for a hay ride!
Mt. Pisgah Arboretum
Take a guided blind-fold walk and experience nature through your other senses! Try a little fresh apple juice, pressed right before your eyes!
Northwest Youth Corps
Nothing says camping like good ‘ol fashioned campfire cookery! Cook hotdogs or marshmallows over a fire! Visit us inside the pavilion and dress like a corps member!
LCHAY
Come play our Spin the Wheel game and learn about fun and healthy lifestyles!
UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Make coil or pinch pots decorated with natural materials!
Camp Fire Wilani
 

Learn about canoe safety techniques outside, and join us inside to learn to tie knots!

 

The sky is NOT the limit for enjoying the great outdoors! We hope to see you at Play in the Rain Day.

The Youth in Nature Partnership

Purpose Statement:

The Youth in Nature Partnership is a collaboration of non-profit and governmental organizations committed to increasing opportunities for youth to spend time in nature.

Why We Collaborate:

The partners are concerned about the decline in children spending time in nature. Each organization brings unique resources and perspectives to the partnership and creates opportunities to reconnect children with nature. From nature education to service learning to just having fun, we all value how nature can inspire and teach children.

Current Members:

Bureau of Land Management Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah
Northwest Youth Corps Mt. Pisgah Arboretum
United States Forest Service Willamette Resources and Educational Network
Nearby Nature City of Eugene Recreation Services
Willamalane Whole Earth Nature School

Contact Us:

Learn more about how to get involved with the partnership or to take part in any of our events please e-mail or call:

Jennifer Steimer –
jen@nwyouthcorps.org
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
541 349 7501

Sara Lausmann –
office@bufordpark.org
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
541 344 8350

 

 

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