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This 6-day adventure is offered to female-identifying students from the Girl Scouts Central Heart of California region. Participants will become acquainted with new friends and learn river guiding skills, while staying on a gorgeous private river camp with an outdoor kitchen. Scouts will receive hands on experience in paddle boats, oar boats, and inflatable kayaks, and professional guides will lead lessons on river hydrology, ecology, and human history of the area.
Students get dropped off in Lotus, CA at ETC’s River Camp in the early afternoon on Sunday. They spend the first day getting to know their new teammates, playing games, and exploring their basecamp and home for the week.
Participants spend all day rafting the Class I-III rapids on the South Fork of the American River. Young women will break into different rafts and have professional guides lead them down the beautiful and scenic river. The students will learn the basic skills of how to read water and navigate through rapids, as well as assimilate knowledge about the flora, fauna, and riparian ecosystems they are traveling through.
Day four of the trip includes a day off the water exploring the natural and historical sights in the region. Girls will tour historic Sutter’s Mill and Marshall Gould State Park, a state landmark noting the location of the first found gold in California. Participants will also visit Native American acorn mashing holes, and have the opportunity to pan for gold, along with exploring swimming holes in the area.
Students jump back on the water and will have the opportunity to put their river knowledge to use! Girls will lead their own boats on the smaller rapids and will get more experience putting their knowledge to use in oar boats. At night they will be enjoying the beautiful outdoor kitchen and sleeping under the stars.
We will start the day bright and early and get on the water with yet another type of boat: an inflatable kayak. These boats maneuver differently and require some practice. We will spend the morning learning how to navigate, and the early afternoon doing a run through Class I-II rapids in them. Once off the water, we will pack up our things and family will join in the late afternoon for a graduation ceremony to commemorate our achievements and new friendships.