Wildrivers has a twenty-two-year history of programming for schools, with an accident-free record of water safety. Whether through canoeing or rafting, Class I-III rivers are always a program centerpiece. A wide range of additional activities provide a rich experience of the natural environment, often connected to specific areas of the school curriculum.



All Wildrivers staff share multiple certifications-- in canoeing, first aid, and outdoor leadership. Some have achieved membership on the U.S. Wildwater Team; others, the highest levels of certification and training with the American Canoe Association. Enthusiasm for teaching, high instructor-student ratios, and a thorough knowledge of skill development, all support an exciting learning experience for students. Consultants in other program areas include astronomer Bob Berman, widely published and nationally recognized through TV and NPR appearances; naturalist John Serrao, whose photographs have appeared in Audubon and National Geographic before publication in his books; raptor experts, experts in water quality and watershed management, snorkeling and diving experts for lake and river ecology, storytellers, and the Director of the Nature Conservancy’s  “Neversink- Delaware River Basin” Program.






Programs for grades 5 through 12 are carefully planned to meet specific needs and interests of each school. However, all programs support teamwork, encourage participation by every student, create energy and excitement, and help develop a stronger sense of community. The collaboration required for paddling rapids or for group initiatives helps dispel campus cliques. Teachers also speak of gaining new insights into their students through observing them in our programs. These benefits have led many schools to use Wildrivers as a “kickoff” experience to begin the school year.



Most*  programs take place 2 hours from New York City, on the Delaware, A National Wild and Scenic River, and on one of its Pennsylvania tributaries, the Lackawaxen River (a Native American name for “swift waters”). Sightings of great blue heron, hawk, falcon, and bald eagle are common on both rivers. Students and teachers staying overnight have a choice of four camp facilities. For groups of 40 –200, three camps near the Delaware & Lackawaxen Rivers offer 600-1200 acre campuses, 80-100 acre lakes, a choice of platform tents or cabins in the woods, and large dining/meeting facilities. For smaller groups, Wildrivers maintains a campground on the Lackawaxen River (reached by paddling across the river) next to 10,000 acres of wilderness. At the campsites appetites are always big, and the quality of meals is always high.


*Additional rivers and locations are available.


(see  “School Comments” )


Wildrivers can conduct one-day rafting trips for schools, but most class programs range from 2-5 days. (See “Program Examples”).  Programs usually combine activities for the whole class with smaller group workshops and initiatives. Group Initiatives, both land and water-based, follow the pioneering models of Project Adventure (See “Group Initiatives”).  The goal of these initiatives is to increase mutual support and teamwork within the group while developing personal confidence. In addition to rafting and canoeing (including slalom racing), other activities and areas of instruction include a wide choice of workshops led by naturalist John Serrao, snorkeling to explore lake ecology, studying raptors and their habitat, discovering river hydrology and fish habitat through snorkeling, learning to swim rapids, interactive storytelling, development of survival skills, exploration of both the sun and the night sky with astronomer Bob Berman, and workshop/hikes with George Schuler at the Nature Conservancy’s  “Neversink River Preserve”, to examine water quality, watershed management, and the role of water in the life of our planet. Program outcomes for students are twofold: 1) increasing their appreciation of group collaboration to develop individual self-awareness and confidence, and 2) deepening their appreciation and understanding of the natural environment, as stewards are needed now more than ever.   



Program costs, which include all transportation, vary from $ 12
5-225 per student per day, depending on number of days, class size, program content, and location. Programs are not limited to the examples on this website. For more information, contact Gray Smith at 914-923-8157, or grays@wildriversinc.com.


River Sunshine