Training Camp 2016

  • 05/20/2016
  • 5:00 PM
  • 05/22/2016
  • 5:00 PM
  • KOA in Cotopaxi, CO


  • Participation in this class is only available to kids already enrolled in Kids Team pool classes. A code will be made available to parents in order to register here.
  • Friends/family who want to attend Training Camp who are not boating with a CW class.
  • Early registration price ($125) valid through March 13, 2016. Regular registration ($170) from March 14 - April 30. Late registration ($200) May 1 or later.
  • For kayaking participants who are also participating in any other CW multi-day paid instruction in 2016, the Training Camp early registration discount of $125 is extended until April 30! You must register for the multi day class prior to registering for Training Camp so your participation can be verified and you'll be given a registration code that will allow you to register for Training Camp at the early registration rate.

You may register more than one participant of the same registration type listed above in one transaction. If you need to register two or more different registration types, you'll need to do it in separate transactions, (for example, Standard Participant AND Fun Hogs)
Registration is closed
The First BIG Whitewater Event of 2016
- This is how we roll!

Training Camp is Colorado Whitewater’s greatest annual event, in terms of both size and scope.  About 150 people usually attend this weekend long fun-fest to:
  • Improve their paddling skills on moving water with ACA certified instructors (Saturday and Sunday).
  • Share family-friendly off water fun and laughs with paddling friends, old and new.
  • Enjoy Friday night kayak “porn” (movies of kayakers doing things that most of us never dream of doing!)
  • Support Colorado Whitewater in this largest fund raising event of the year.
  • Enjoy 2 fabulous catered meals (Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast) to feed your starving kayaker soul.
  • Dance the night away Saturday evening with live music from Nathan and Jessie!
  • Get the paddling season rolling!

Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, May 20-22, 2016

Cotopaxi Arkansas River KOA Kampground, in Cotopaxi Colorado in Colorado's South-Central Rocky Mountains right on the Arkansas River, on US Highway 50 between Salida (to the west) and Canon City (to the east).
  • RV’s are welcome on a first come, first served basis.
  • If you don’t care to camp, the KOA has a variety of other accommodations available but the fees are not included in Training Camp fees. Please contact the KOA directly and make a reservation with them.  All rooms sell out every year, so book early!
Who Can Attend
  • If you’re not taking, teaching or supporting a class, you’re very much welcome to participate in all other activities (movies, food, camping, live music and party) as a FUN HOG for just $50 (to cover camping and food).
  • You must be a Colorado Whitewater member to participate in on-water activities with the club at this event (for insurance purposes). Your membership must be current through May 22, 2016.  To join or renew, click here.
  • Families, friends and children are welcome, whether they are boating or not.  Children must be under adult supervision at all times.  
  • Kayaking kids who have some paddling experience, but are not already enrolled in the CW Kids Paddling Team must be 12 years or older by May 2016, weigh at least 50 lbs and must be accompanied in classes by a parent.  
  • Dogs must be leashed and supervised at all times.
  • Please see participation fees listed in the next section.
Speaking of Dogs…
  • The KOA is pet friendly and has a small fenced-in dog run for supervised play time, but they do have specific, strictly enforced policies including these 3 that dog owners MUST abide by:
  1. We do not permit unattended, aggressive, or noisy animals.
  2. A six foot leash is required at all times, everywhere in the park, including down by the river.
  3. Dogs cannot be tethered to trees or other vegetation
  • Responsible teen Ryan Hannah Lindsay will be available to care for canine kids during your time on the water.  For $10 per dog per day Ryan will walk fido twice and check on them throughout the day to be sure they have fresh water and are not tangled. Please register your furry friend upon arrival so Ryan has your campsite number (just ask at the registration table). If your dog has aggression issues towards other dogs or people, she will not be able to walk them.  Please contact Ryan in advance if you have any concerns or if your furry friend will need extra care.  Her email address is
Fees – How Much Does This Thing Cost?

Training Camp Participant Type  Cost
Standard Training Camp Participant  
     • Early Bird - Register by March 13, 2016 $125
     • Register by May 2, 2016 $170
     • You’re Late! - Register After April 30, 2016 $200
CW Student Discount
(w/enrollment in multi-day CW Class - Register by May 2, 2016)*
CW Kids' Paddling Team Member $80
Fun Hog
(friends/family who are not boating with a TC class)
Instructors and On-Water Volunteers $25

What You Get for Your Money:
  • 2 all day on-river training sessions with ACA certified instructors
  • Tent / car  / RV camping at the KOA
  • 2 FABULOUS catered meals: Saturday evening Dinner and Sunday morning breakfast
  • Live music and dancing on Saturday evening after dinner
  • Friday night kayak flicks, Sunday morning awards, a bunch of new friends and...
  • ...a ton of fun all weekend long!
If some unforeseen major event happens to prevent you from attending after you have registered, you can request a refund by contacting the Training Camp Director.  Refunds are at the discretion of the Training Camp Director. Your request does not guarantee a full refund.  CW pays a fee for processing credit cards and we will deduct this convenience fee.  

*Student Discount
For kayaking participants who are also participating in any other CW multi-day paid instruction in 2016, Training Camp is discounted to $125! You must register for the multi day class prior to registering for Training Camp so your participation can be verified.Kayaker’s Skill Categories
PLEASE be conservative when evaluating your skills!

Boaters who have overestimated their abilities may be asked move to a different class or even to leave the river.  This is at the discretion of the Instructors and is intended to ensure the safety of the entire group. Besides, it’s much more fun to be at the top of your class rather than the bottom, losing your confidence and swimming every 30 yards or so, right?

Please Note: there is NO FLAT WATER INSTRUCTION at this event, everything we do will be discussion on dry land or practice in moving water.  If you are not ready for moving water, this is not the event for you.

You can BECOME qualified to participate in this event by:
Course Offering

Availability is on a first come, first served basis, so sign up early to get the classes you want!  Instructors are tentatively already assigned and most classes will be limited in size.  If there is a particular instructor you want to work with, look for their name listed below.  Please be sure to indicate your class preferences for each day – Saturday AND Sunday.

If you have volunteered as a sweep or support person at Training Camp in the past but wished there was a higher level class to help you improve your own skills, you might consider one of the level D classes.  You’ll be surprised at the level of instruction you’ll receive!

Kayaking Essentials (Level A)
8 Students Maximum per Course

Saturday and Sunday (2 day clinic)
We begin this course on dry land with gear review, discussion of river and safety basics, land based demo and practice of basic boat control and recovery skills, (which is all much more fun than it sounds!) and will progress to moving water on day one.  On the water boaters will work on getting comfortable with executing all the basics in a current, including strokes, balance, posture and edging in order to successfully perform eddy turns, peel outs, ferrying and more.
Two Courses Offered:
Course 1 - Lead Instructor: Leslie Tyson
Course 2 - Lead Instructor: Diane Redish

Go with the Flow (Level B or Level C)
No Maximum # of Students

Saturday and / or Sunday
A safe, mellow, chillaxin’ float trip for those who prefer a low-stress experience.  No intensive skills drills, this is an uncomplicated, fun but instructional cruise requiring mild effort.  The group can determine their own focus, whether it’s discussion about reading whitewater or safety scenarios, or what-have-you.  Talk to your Trip Leaders to customize your trip.
Two Courses Offered (Level B & Level C):
Lead Instructors: TBA

Intermediate FUNdamentals (Level B or Level C)
8 Students Maximum per Course

Saturday and /or Sunday
A river trip where we’ll work on paddle strokes, bracing, edging, eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, rolling and river reading to maximize your future fun factor. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and let the Instruction Team know which skills they most want to work on. Emphasis will be placed on river running and skills drills.
Five Courses Offered (4 for Level B; 1 for Level C):
Course 1 - Lead Instructor: Debbie Hathaway – Level B
Course 2 - Lead Instructor: Amy White - Level B
Course 3 - Lead Instructor: Bob Daigler - Level B
Course 4 - Lead Instructor: Ryan Ness - Level B
Course 5 - Lead Instructor: David Clair - Level C

Level-Up Boot Camp (Level C or Level D)
8 Students Maximum per Course

Saturday and / or Sunday
For assertive boaters who want to get to the next level! This clinic will grill and drill and improve your skills.  We’ll be working mostly in a particular rapid, practicing stroke efficiency and advanced eddy hopping by running a particular predetermined route utilizing specific series of maneuvers.  You’ll benefit from specific, candid individual critiques (and possibly, immediate video feedback, if we are able to obtain tablets to use and volunteers to video). Once you get your critique, you’ll portage back to the top and run the designated course again. And again. You won’t believe what you see and how much you learn!
Two Courses Offered (1 for Level B; 1 for Level D):
Lead Instructor: Nik White – Level C
Lead Instructor: Kyle Johan – Level D

Reading Water (Level D)
8 Students Maximum

Saturday Only
You’re confident in your river skills but you have anxiety about finding the best route through a rapid? This class will develop your ability to visually dissect whitewater and better understand the forces at work. Become more confident in your ability to negotiate a rapid and to recognize typical obstacles you may encounter.
Lead Instructor: Dick Alweis

Surfin’ Safari (Level C & D)
8 Students Maximum

Saturday OR Sunday (pick one)
This is the ideal class for those have a reliable river roll, good ferrying skills, and a desire to maximize their fun by dancin’ with the river, not just running it.  We will focus on eddy hopping through rapids and searching for great waves to surf in order to make the fun last longer (instead of blasting from top to bottom without stopping).  We will practice boat scouting in order to identify eddies and waves within rapids, and work on how to adjust a ferry to catch the waves, along with the techniques needed to stay on them and do the dance! 
Lead Instructor: John Leventhal

Intro to Playboating (Level D)
 12 Students Maximum

Saturday and / or Sunday
Want to take your paddling to the next level? Gain balance, boat control, fear control and best of all build a bomb-proof roll. This class will take you through a proven progression that world champion kayakers have used to push the limits. If you don't believe us, just come and learn from the reigning World Freestyle Champion Emily Jackson who will be leading this class. But don't worry, all you need is a good roll and willingness to take your paddling to the next level. The class will start with a warm-up routine to prevent injury, flatwater balance drills, fundamentals of kayak surfing, side-surfing, spinning, cartwheels and maybe getting your first loop! The best part is all these skills will make you more confident in your roll and river running.

Lead Instructors: Emily Jackson and Peter Holcombe

Intro to Slalom (Level D)
15 Students Maximum

Saturday and Sunday (2 day clinic)
Slalom paddling is a great way to perfect our kayaking skills and challenge ourselves in the river without the consequences of hard whitewater. We will be working on slalom skills in an eddy-rich section of the river.  Learn to nail eddy turns, stay on line, and what the heck “Hup!Hup!Hup!” means in this two day clinic. Saturday will be at the WW park in Salida and Sunday will be a river trip to employ the techniques learned Saturday.
Lead Instructor: Landis Arnold

Take Me to the River! – SUP Transition to Whitewater (Stand Up Paddleboard)
10 Students Maximum
Saturday and Sunday (2 day clinic)
The River SUP class will allow students to take their flat water SUP skills onto moving water.  This course will cover basic river hydrology, equipment, River SUP stokes, board control techniques, and other necessary skills for Whitewater SUP.  There might even be some SUP yoga!  The course content will be catered to the class participants as much as reasonably possible.  Students will need a fundamental understanding of SUP basics on flat water prior to signing up for this course.  Flat water classes can be arranged prior to Training Camp, by contacting Kim Lowe.

  • Students must provide their own weather appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Don’t have a SUP?  No worries!  Whitewater SUPs, paddles, pfd's, helmets, leashes are available to rent for Training Camp at a reduced rate of $25/ day.  Please reserve your rental in advance to ensure availability.  Your equipment will be waiting for you at the KOA.
  • For any questions or to reserve equipment, please contact Kim Lowe.

Lead Instructor: Kim Lowe

Kids Team
Saturday and Sunday (2 day clinic)
Participation in this class is only available to kids already enrolled in Kids Team pool classes. A code will be made available to parents in order to register.

On Water Volunteers
On Water Volunteers -
Should have:

  • Full sized kayak (unless playboating)
  • Rescue vest
  • Throw rope
  • Knife
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit
Should be familiar with:
  • Boat based rescue techniques for people and equipment
  • Boat recovery techniques
  • Self rescue techniques
  • Swimmer rescues and assists
  • Current CPR and First Aid certifications
  • Recent swift water rescue training
Instructors are being asked to recruit their own support teams.  If an instructor has asked you to assist with their class, please indicate who that instructor is when registering.

If you have not been asked to assist, we are still in need of volunteers with Class III or better boating skills and rescue experience.

The number of volunteers may be capped without notice!

If you don’t want to take a class or volunteer with one, please consider registering as a Fun Hog.

Please keep in mind that this is a fund raising event, and the proceeds allow Colorado Whitewater to sponsor conservation activities such as river cleanups, special events, and helping protect and fix neglected or abused sections of rivers we've grown to love.  Plus, as an all-volunteer organization, we are able to promote the sport of whitewater kayaking and rafting for all abilities - from newbies to the more experienced.  Your support will helps provide our members with ACA certified instructors, allows for discounted swiftwater safety classes, free CPR/First Aid training, and so much more!

Other Stuff You'll Need to Know If You Haven't Been to Training Camp Before

Cash registrations will NOT BE ACCEPTED at Training Camp - Not from Volunteers or anyone. 

But there will be other opportunities to spend cash, so don't leave your wallet at home!
  • Please register early so you don't miss out on the class you want! Plus, you'll save money.
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather.  It could be 80 degrees, it could pour rain, it could snow. Seriously. Be prepared.
  • If you're a newer boater, make sure your boat FITS YOU and you have the 5 essentials (kayak, paddle, spray skirt, helmet and PFD).
  • We will have catered meals for dinner on Saturday night and breakfast  on Sunday morning.  You'll need to provide all other snacks,  meals and beverages. 
  • There is a liquor store in Cotopaxi and the campground has a little store but there aren't many real food options so bring what you need and like.
  • State Parks Passes will be available for sale in camp on Saturday morning.
  • All volunteers and participants will receive a schedule and details by email the week of the event.
  • No matter what else you do, be prepared to have an AWESOME weekend!
There is a ton of information here!  Please read carefully and if your question is not answered in this posting you can email Training Camp Director Elizabeth Austen. Please include your phone number and best time to reach you.

Colorado Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  1312 17th St #76767, Denver, CO 80202

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