Training Camp

  • 05/16/2014
  • 5:00 PM
  • 05/18/2014
  • 5:00 PM
  • KOA in Cotopaxi, CO


  • Registration price valid through May 15, 2014.
  • For kayaking participants who are also participating in any other CW multi-day paid instruction in 2014, 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.

Registration is closed

Training Camp 2014 Participants & Guests

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
  • Share off water fun and laughs with paddling friends, old and new
  • Support the club financially in this largest fund raising event of the year
  • Get the paddling season rolling!
Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, May 16-18, 2014

Cotopaxi Arkansas River KOA Kampground, 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 and make a reservation directly with them.  All rooms sell out every year, so book early!
Who Can Attend
  • You must be a Colorado Whitewater member to register for TC (membership must be current through May 2014).  To join or renew your membership, click here.
  • 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 2014, 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.  Please see fees listed below.
  • Dogs must be leashed and supervised at all times.

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
  • 13 year old entrepreneur Ms. Ryan Lindsay will be offering her Dog Sitting Services so you have an option for Max or Bella while on the river. 
  • Ryan’s fees are $10 per dog per day, reservations MUST be made in advance. Please send an email with “training camp dog sitter” in the subject line to and include your phone number.


Kayaking Participants: For kayaking participants, Training Camp includes:

  • 2 all day on-river training sessions with ACA certified instructors
  • Tent / car camping at the KOA
  • 2 FABULOUS catered meals including Saturday evening dinner and Sunday morning breakfast
  • Live music and dancing on Saturday evening after dinner
  • Friday night kayak flicks, Sunday morning awards, and a ton of fun all weekend long!
CW Student Discount: For kayaking participants who are also participating in any other CW multi-day paid instruction in 2014, the Training Camp early registration discounted rate of $125 will be extended until May 5! You must register for the multi-day class prior to registering for Training Camp so your participation can be verified.

Guests: Non-boating friends & family can attend with a CW member and receive all of the above excluding the on river training sessions.

Training Camp Participant Type
 Kayaking Participant - Register by January 31, 2014
 Kayaking Participant - Register by May 8, 2014
 Kayaking Participant - Registering After May 8, 2014
 Kayaking CW Student Participant (w/enrollment in multi-day CW Instructional Class - Register by May 5)
 Kayaking Participant - CW Kids' Paddling Team member
 Guest (non-boating friends & family)

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.  Your request does not guarantee a full refund.  CW pays a fee for processing credit cards and we will deduct this convenience fee.  No refunds will be available after May 12th.

Kayaker’s Skill CategoriesClick for a chart to find your kayaking skill catagory.

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 Instructor(s) 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? Also, the use of a "playboat" for beginner (level A) kayakers is unacceptable and for level B kayakers, it is undesirable. If this will present a problem for you, please contact Elizabeth Austen prior to Training Camp to discuss possible options.

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 have zero experience in moving water, this is probably not the event for you.  If you have taken pool classes with an ACA certified instructor but have not had the opportunity to experience moving water, please contact Training Camp Director Elizabeth Austen to discuss.

If you have a little previous whitewater kayaking experience and are looking for a safe refresher in a nice, warm pool before hitting the river, we’d love to have you back!  Check out the River Readiness class on May 4th.

Course Offerings

Our goal is to keep the groups small.  There will be multiple groups for most courses.  Advanced level classes may have limited availability.  Please be sure to indicate your class preferences for each day – Saturday AND Sunday.

Kayaking Essentials (Level A)
Saturday and Sunday Package
We begin this course on dry land with gear review (and adjustments as needed), 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 get comfortable with executing all the basics in a current, including strokes, balance, posture and tilt in order to successfully perform eddy turns, peel outs, ferrying and more.

Intermediate FUNdamentals (Level B, C, D)
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 trip coordinators know which skills they most want to work on. Emphasis will be placed on river running and skills drills. If rolling in a current is a skill you particularly want to focus on, please note this in the comment box.

Go with the Flow (Level B, C, D)
Saturday and / or Sunday
A safe, mellow, chillaxin’ float trip for those who prefer a low-stress experience.  No intensive skills drills, this is intended as an uncomplicated, fun but instructional cruise requiring mild effort.  Each group can determine their own focus, whether it’s discussion about reading whitewater or safety scenarios, or what-have-you.  Talk to your trip leader to customize your trip.

Level-Up Boot Camp (Level C, D)
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 camera(s) to use!). 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!

Pick Your Line (Level C, D)
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.

Surfin’ Safari (Level C, D)
Sunday Only
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! 

Intro to Playboating (Level C, D)
Offered Sat (mandatory) with a Sunday option
If you are afraid to enter the wave this is the class for you. Learn beginner play boating skills such as surfing waves, side surfing and flat spins. This group requires solid river skills and a solid river roll.   Class will be held at the whitewater park in Salida.

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 at 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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