would you take your kids whitewater rafting? UPDATE #76 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 80 Old 06-23-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Heh, well, fwiw *I* was homeschooled/unschooled My DS1 will almost certainly be going to public school, although thats at least partially due to location: the only homeschoolers group around is christian-only (to the point of having to sign a 'statement of faith'), and I am *NOT* christian and am *NOT* signing it. And I just don't think it'd be fair to HS (esp ds1 who's *VERY* outgoing and LOVES to play w/ other kids) w/o a HSing group
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#62 of 80 Old 06-23-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I'm not sure that swimming skills would be super useful in white water anyway. I think if you fall in, the deal is just point your feet downstream and float.
Though I see your point in terms of advanced swimming skills such as perfect form while doing the butterfly stroke, I think being generally good at swimming would make a difference. Good breath control while water is slashing in one's face for starters, is important. Not panicking b/c one is familiar with being emerged in water. Ability to steer one's self away from sharp rocks and towards shore would help. Knowing to keep one's legs up in a relaxed manner.

Today I took DS to a very calm lake. He slipped in shallow water and went under. Instead of just standing up, he panicked and flailed. Of course since I was standing next to him I just reached down and picked him up and put him back on his feet, but if it were a situation where I couldn't reach him he would have been in trouble. Though all he needed to do was stand up, his panic kept him from taking this simple non-swimming step.

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#63 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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I think being generally good at swimming would make a difference. Good breath control while water is slashing in one's face for starters, is important.
I think it has more to do with personality that swim skills. My DD with autism has wonderful form and can swim a 200 IM like nobody's business. It would be completely inappropriate to put her in a raft and send her down a river. She would freak out, even if she stayed in the boat.

Conversely, there are lots of people can't swim 10 meters who would do just fine if fell out of a boat while wearing a lifejacket. It's not swim skills you need -- just a cool head.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#64 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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I would definitely do it.

My mom's boyfriend and his son own a ww rafting trip, and I took my 2 yo, 4 yo, and 6 yo on a float trip last year. There were no rapids, but I was so impressed with how much they could control the rafts. My BILs were in kayaks and we were having water fights with the big water guns, and my mom's boyfriend could stop the raft, turn it around, and get me right in position to spray them.

Also, I don't think swimming would matter much. You can't really swim in a rapid, you just have to float along and try to kick over to the edge or a boat, or just wait for them to pick you up, as far as I can tell.

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#65 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Today I took DS to a very calm lake. He slipped in shallow water and went under. Instead of just standing up, he panicked and flailed. Of course since I was standing next to him I just reached down and picked him up and put him back on his feet, but if it were a situation where I couldn't reach him he would have been in trouble. Though all he needed to do was stand up, his panic kept him from taking this simple non-swimming step.
I think this is the scenario I worry about for your child. Just a lack of ease in the water.

What is the harm in waiting for a year or two until they are a bit bigger and better in the water?

I'm thinking the rapids will still be there ...

Liz

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#66 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 07:26 AM
 
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A couple of things to consider:

1. Although guides can control a boat pretty well themselves, alot of times they rely on thier crew to follow instructions and paddle,also. This applies more in class IV and V water, but if you have a boat full of people who cant paddle, or can't follow a guides instruction, the boat doesn't always go where the guide wants it to.

Would all the people in the boat have paddles, would they be paddling?


2. Do they have a saftey boater that goes along with the trip? All the companies here send one or two safety kayakers along with the trip. They are able to reach a swimmer quicker and help get them safely back in the boat.
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#67 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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I'm curious...........are any of you who are saying yes (or no, for that matter) unschoolers? What I perceive around here is that unschoolers are a little more flexible (for lack of a better term) about the risks they let their kids take. (My kids go to public school.) Is that just a stereotype?
I'm not in the US so this might be irrelevant, but our kids go to a public school, & private school for the middle-senior years. Our family is just okay with things that others might think are a little bit 'out there'. DH & I firmly believe that letting kids take risks where they are fairly safe is good for learning boundaries about what isn't safe, iykwim. I take a somewhat eclectic & middle ground when it comes to free-range kids- sure, jump off that waterfall, but make sure you swim underneath first (including duck-diving down from the surface to check) to ensure there aren't any hidden trees or rocks. Sure, climb that boulder or rock, but check your landing first & know that if it goes wrong you can break your ankle or wrist (& that sucks). Sure you can walk up to the shops, but first you need to show that you are aware of traffic safety & such. Sure you can ride your bike to the park to play footy or use the swings (again traffic safety is key).

I think it's all about what your family feels comfortable with- there is no right or wrong here.

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#68 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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I did just call.

Good idea! He said it would be safe for my 7 yo., and they could provide helmets for me if I wanted. But their website pictures don't show helmets.
I haven't read the whole thread but this bothers me about the company. They should be REQUIRING helmets of all boaters - kids, adults, staff. My husband has been a whitewater guide in the past - both in raft and as a safety (kayak) boater. If you are going near whitewater, you need a helmet.

Me , 36 year old RN and future AP mom in training . I am wife to one wonderful husband and "mom" to one great rescue pup :.
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#69 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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2. Do they have a saftey boater that goes along with the trip? All the companies here send one or two safety kayakers along with the trip. They are able to reach a swimmer quicker and help get them safely back in the boat.
That's a good question. I'll ask.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#70 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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Only on page 1 but no for the 7 year old.

I think there is too much chance for sheer panic if he were to fall out and be in flowing water. Too much he can't control like banging into rocks, tree roots etc. Imagine falling in and being upside down and not knowing where you are at that age. So for me, no!
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#71 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I'm curious...........are any of you who are saying yes (or no, for that matter) unschoolers? What I perceive around here is that unschoolers are a little more flexible (for lack of a better term) about the risks they let their kids take. (My kids go to public school.) Is that just a stereotype?
No I'm just an adventurous person who grew up in the country on a river, I don't know why this would even be applicable honestly.

I'm more flexible because it's my personality.

I'd never un-school or homeschool for that matter, it's also not my personality.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#72 of 80 Old 06-24-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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"Yes" for the 13 year old. "No" for the 7 year old because he is a non-swimmer.

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#73 of 80 Old 06-25-2010, 08:01 AM
 
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Fwiw, my dh took my 6 yo (maybe he was even 5, can't really remember) on a class 2-3 river.. they went a total of 3-4 trips. (dh has been a guide for almost 30 years.) We have borrowed rafts and done trips on class 2-3 rivers with our kids when one of them was about 3.

Honestly, barring all the tragic things that can happen in everyday life. A guide on a class 2-3 river will not let anyone fall out of a boat unless he (she) wants them to.
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#74 of 80 Old 06-25-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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I wouldn't. If my child knew how to swim, I would do canoeing, etc. WWR would be too risky for me.

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#75 of 80 Old 06-26-2010, 04:14 AM
 
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Of my children, I would easily take my 6 year old and up (although my 15 year old would not want to go).

With a life jacket, I would not worry about them falling out, and they have no fear, or so it seems.

My 6 yo has been riding the "baby roller coasters" at King's Island since he was 4, and olders went on the Diamond Back rollercoaster (as well as ALL the others there) at age 8, 11, & 13. They LOVE adventure, fast rides, and action. They would LOVE to white water raft. The only one to opt out would be my 15 yo, as she does not like fast things or bumpy rides. And in a year or two, I am sure my almost two year old would also love it.

Perhaps it is just something I have passed down to them, because I love it myself.

As for us, we are an unschooling family, and I was a homeschooled kid myself. But, I don't think that really has anything do do with it other than opening up the times we could go.

And as for Dad, I have had to push him into more "risky" type stuff. It is not his style.

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#76 of 80 Old 07-03-2010, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

We went (on the Yellowstone River up in Gardiner, Montana) and had a great time. The rapids were fun, but not as bad as I had anticipated. We also went horseback riding, which was fun too, except for the fact that a horse BIT ME and I have a huge bruise!!

My kids had a fantastic time.

Thanks for all of the advice!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#77 of 80 Old 07-04-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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I've taken my son twice, at age 5 and 7. The first time was a mistake. We were on the Kananaskis river in Canada which is glacier fed and freezing cold. It was a "family float trip" and the they didn't let the little ones paddle. Without that exercise it was too cold. The poor kid was blue when he was done.

The second time, we still did an easy trip because a friend who is a non-swimmer came, but we had a great time. It was a much warmer river, which helped, and he could paddle.

I'd call and ask about helmets, and whether my 7 year old could paddle. If the answer is yes to both then I'd go. Rafting is sooo much fun.
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#78 of 80 Old 07-05-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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No, I would not. My ex-boyfriend's father & uncle died in a rafting accident in 2004. They were on a guided trip on the Gallatin River in Montana.

http://www.boatbanter.com/showthread.php?t=14052
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#79 of 80 Old 07-06-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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UPDATE:

We went (on the Yellowstone River up in Gardiner, Montana) and had a great time. The rapids were fun, but not as bad as I had anticipated. We also went horseback riding, which was fun too, except for the fact that a horse BIT ME and I have a huge bruise!!

My kids had a fantastic time.

Thanks for all of the advice!
So glad you went and that it turned out so well. Sounds like fun! (Except for the horsey bite. )
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#80 of 80 Old 07-06-2010, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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So glad you went and that it turned out so well. Sounds like fun! (Except for the horsey bite. )
Thanks!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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