Training Camp - May 18th-20th, 2012

  • 05/18/2012
  • 05/20/2012
  • KOA in Cotopaxi, CO


Sorry.  Registration is now closed.  We are sold out. 

Come join your Colorado Whitewater friends at Training Camp, the CW's largest annual event.  You can learn new skills, meet new paddling buddies and build confidence on the water by paddling with skilled kayakers.  Off-river activities will include group dinner and breakfast, plenty of campfire time and even live entertainment!

Friday, May 18 – 3pm to 11pm Registration

Saturday, May 19 – Kayaking 10am to 3pm.  Dinner at 6pm

Sunday, May 20 – Breakfast 7:30am.  Kayaking 10:30am to 3pm

Who Can Attend

You must be a current CW member to register for TC (including and through May 2012).  To join or renew - visit the Membership page.

Boating kids must be 12 years or older by May 2012, weigh at least 50 lbs and must be accompanied in classes by a parent.  Families, children and friends are welcome, whether they are boating or not.  Children must be under adult supervision at all times.  Dogs must be leashed AND SUPERVISED AT ALL TIMES. Please call the KOA for more information on their policies regarding pets.  Unattended dogs have a tendency to bark.   Therefore, if you do leave your dog unattended, the owners of the KOA reserve the right to call local authorities to remove the animal at your expense.   If you want to make a reservation with our (tentative) “At-Camp” dogsitter, please send an email to after your online TC registration is complete.   Additional cost will apply (approx $30 for both days).  “Space” reservations are limited.


Cost for boating participants: $160 includes two all day on-river training sessions, tent / car camping at the Cotopaxi KOA, Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast as well as evening entertainment.  You must provide your own equipment (boat, paddle, spray skirt, helmet, PFD, etc.), lunches for both days and breakfast for Sat.  Contact if info on rentals is needed.

Cost for non-boating attendees: $45 includes camping, meals and all activities other than boating sessions.  Please pay for all non-boating attendees upon arrival at camp at the registration table.  Checks and cash accepted / no credit cards.


If something comes up and you cannot attend, you can apply for a refund (application does not guarantee a full refund).  The club pays a fee for processing credit cards and we will deduct this convenience fee.  No refunds will be available after May 11th.


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Skills Assessment

On your registration form let us know your skill level using the guidelines below.  PLEASE BE SURE TO PICK YOUR SKILL LEVEL AND CLASSES FOR BOTH SAT/SUN.

 PLEASE be conservative when evaluating your skills.  Boaters who have overestimated their abilities may be asked to leave the river or at a minimum to step-down a level (Note: Instructors for TC Weekend have the final "say" in safety and boating concerns when it comes to the assessment of your skills on the river).

-Level A

This category fits for you if:  you have never been in a boat.  HOWEVER, we STRONGLY prefer you have at least 6 hours of formal flat-water instruction  (or are intending to take flat-water/moving water courses before TC) which can include pool session lessons (at a bare-minimum, you are required to know the use of all your equipment and the “wet-exit”).   Also, this category fits if you have not been on OR are not comfortable on moving water.    We encourage you to be aware of (and hopefully have practiced) the concepts on moving water of eddy turns, peel-outs, the cross-river ferry and the combat roll.

*SPECIAL NOTE:  For Level A Boaters - If you have not been on moving water, we STRONGLY suggest you take an “Introduction to Moving Water” course BEFORE TC Weekend as the water tends to be reactionary from winter/spring run-off on the Arkansas River in May.    We want you to have FUN – not end-up swimming all weekend!

Good News:  CW offers a 50% discount for our Flat Water / Moving Water Weekend (usually held the weekend before TC) Course if you sign up in advance for TC as well.   Prices are VERY reasonable so please see our “Instruction Page” on our website for a listing of classes and dates (space is limited).   Or contact Mark Robbins for discount, scheduling and more information at

 -Level B

This category fits if:   you have been in a kayak on moving water (you have had 6 hours or more of formal moving water instruction). You have performed a wet exit on moving water and are comfortable with bow rescues. You can at least attempt a combat roll and have a 50% success rate (rolling upright).  You can maneuver your boat with 100% control on flat water.   You know what an eddy turn, a peel out and a cross-river ferry are and have sufficient practice on moving water with these concepts with at least an 80% success rate (without flipping over).

 -Level C

This category fits if:  you have a solid flat-water roll (100%) and are totally comfortable doing peel outs, ferrying and catching eddies on moving water.  You are completely confident on Class II whitewater and want to improve your skills.   You have at least an 85% success rate with your combat roll.

 -Level D

This category fits if:  you have a solid river combat roll (100%) and are comfortable and want to improve your skills in Class III whitewater.  You should consider volunteering for TC if you are at this level. The more-the merrier and we’d appreciate the help!


On your registration form let us know your class preference from the list below.   Five person minimum per class.

 -Getting Started (Level A)

Sat /Sun Package:  New to kayaking or just want to get your confidence up?  This session starts on flat water where you will learn (or review) basic skills including safety, familiarization with your equipment and boat handling.   At the end of the first day (and also on the second day)  the group will graduate to easy sections of moving water.

-Float Trip (Levels B, C and D)

Offered Sat and/or Sun.  No frills, no thrills, this is a gentle float down a quiet stretch of moving water.  No pressure, no skills drills, just easygoing fun in a kayak or duckie.

 -Skills Drills (Levels B, C and D)

Offered Sat and/or Sun.  Work on basic skills such as paddle strokes, catching eddies, peel outs, ferries, rolling and river reading. Participants are encouraged to ask lots of questions and let trip coordinators know which skills they most want to work on. Emphasis will be placed on river running and skills drills.

 -Intro to Playboating (Level C and D Only)

Offered Sat (manditory) with a possible Sun option as well for those who participated on Sat.  Learn beginner playboating skills such as surfing waves, stern squirts and side surfing. This group requires solid river skills and a solid river roll.  This class will be held the play park in Salida.

 -Reading Whitewater (Levels B, C and D)

Offered Sat only.  So you are getting down river OK 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.  Be more confident in your ability to negotiate a rapid and to recognize typical obstacles you may encounter.

 -Basic Safety Class (Levels B, C and D)

Offered Sun only.  This is a one-day class designed for newer paddlers who want to learn the basics of whitewater safety, rescue skills, and how to stay safe on the river.  The class will be taught on Sunday in conjunction with the CW  TC.  There will be exercises in safely swimming a rapid and practice sessions with throw bags and live swimmers.  The class is half dry land and half on the water. Bring a chair to be comfortable for the morning dry land activities. You must have appropriate attire for afternoon the water activities as we promise you will be wet and cold. A dry suit or a wetsuit with a paddling top are strongly encouraged. Thick-soled shoes (preferably closed toe), helmet and PDF are required.

 -Learn to Lead (Level C and D Only)

Offered Sun only.  This one day class will cover the skills you need to lead your own trips. Students should be skilled paddlers who don't need guidance and have experience as a sweep boater.  Have you ever wondered how to pick a river, put a group on and lead them down the river to the takeout?  How to make sure your charges are prepared and not in over their heads and how to get the group safely down river?  This class will cover the mechanics of putting a trip together, how to manage that group on the river and how to lead them through rapids. The class will also review safety topics including throw rope handling, swimmer rescue, rescue priority and hypothermia.

Volunteers NEEDED

As in past years, we are looking for advanced boaters to help lead and sweep.  We are also looking for an “At-Camp” dog sitter or two.  If you are willing to volunteer to help make TC a success, please send a message to Patty LaBarge at   Please RSVP as soon as possible for organizational purposes.  Please specify if you have a current First Aid/CPR certification (not required, but preferred) and if you would like to Lead or Sweep.  Please also let me know what levels or classes you are interested in volunteering for (not guaranteed, but I will do my best).  Donation fee for volunteers is $20 per person to cover the cost of camping and meals.

 NOTE:  You must have a certain skill level to be both a lead and a sweep.  Swimming is not an option.  Please do not volunteer if you do not have appropriate skills.  You may be asked to fill out a volunteer application for approval.


Email Patty LaBarge at

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

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