River rafting

  • Young women in a raft paddling


Learn about river rafting and prepare for an exciting trip.


Organize a series of activities to prepare for a one- or two-day rafting trip. These activities could take place over a period of weeks or months. To ensure safety, many of the following activity ideas require the presence of a certified river rafting specialist. For each activity, include a spiritual moment—such as a devotional—to invite the influence of the Holy Ghost. Following are some ideas for activities that will help you learn about river rafting:

  • Introduction to river rafting. Invite an expert from your Church unit or community to use pictures, stories, and videos to teach you about river rafting. Learn about the equipment you need to make rafting safe. You could also use a map of your area to become familiar with places where you could practice rafting.
  • Learn about rivers. River rafting will require you to know how to read river currents and features in order to stay safe. Become familiar with the classification system for rivers and other bodies of water and the ratings for rivers near where you live.
  • River safety and swim test. Invite an expert to teach you about the hazards of river rafting and how to remain safe. Learn the techniques for how to guide a raft down a river or through a body of water. Practice how to communicate with each other when rafting. Practice swimming with the young women in your class and improve your swimming skills with appropriate exercise. When in a raft or swimming in a river, always wear a personal flotation device.
  • Practice mild rafting. Practice some of the rafting skills, such as navigation and communication, in a safe setting, such as a nearby pool or lake.
  • Cookout. Learn how to transport and keep food dry on a rafting trip. Practice preparing food for your trip using outdoor cooking methods.
  • Maps and navigation. Ask an expert to teach you how to use a map and compass to navigate a river. Practice these skills.
  • First aid. Invite an expert to teach you basic first aid for injuries that are common to rafting. Do your best to master these first aid skills, and make sure that you bring first aid supplies on your trip.
  • Practice with rapids. Use your skills to practice paddling, navigating, and rafting in rougher waters with some rapids. Make sure you have the help of a certified river guide or an expert from your Church unit or community to help you.
  • Trip planning and preparation. Plan and prepare for a short rafting trip. Be sure to make plans for food, transportation, safety, shelter, equipment. Make sure that a certified guide also helps you plan the trip.
  • River rafting trip. Enjoy a safe trip with the other young women, using the skills you have learned. Plan a longer devotional that helps you make connections between the gospel and what you have learned while preparing for the rafting trip.

River Safety

Regardless of the type of boat you’re using, you need to be aware of some safety rules. Always follow the instructions from your professional guide. Keep your legs inside the boat. Following are some safety rules for rivers and other bodies of water, in case you’re thrown from your boat.

  • Check to see if you’re close enough to swim back to the boat quickly so that you can get pulled back in. If you’re separated from the boat by whitewater or rapids, you may need to float downstream for a period of time.
  • Float on your back with your feet pointed downstream. This will allow you to push off rocks with your feet instead of hitting your head. Never lock your knees when you’re floating.
  • Avoid being swept under a log or bramble. If you see one ahead of you, flip onto your stomach and swim hard to get on top of the obstacle. If you go under, you could get stuck underwater.

Add to Planner