Team River Runner (TRR), established in August 2004 by kayakers in the Washington, DC, area, is an all-volunteer organization run by a council of kayakers and overseen by a board of directors. Working in partnership with The Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled Sports USA, TRR helps veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating on the Potomac River. While the focus of TRR’s work is on soldiers recuperating at WRAMC, TRR also provides whitewater boating opportunities for family members as well as for other wounded veterans.
Volunteers introduce these wounded warriors to the high adventure sport of kayaking and, perhaps most important, provide social support and instill confidence.
Idamay Curtis is an avid whitewater kayaker and canoeist, and part of a group establishing an all-volunteer Team River Runner program in Seattle. To begin with, the plan is to run pool sessions for veterans referred to the group by the Rehabilitation Care Services department at the VA hospital in Seattle.
TRR Seattle will provide an introduction to kayaking to wounded veterans. Later on the program will expand to include outdoor trips in a variety of water settings, and events where families of veterans can participate.
TRR Seattle is looking for volunteers willing to fill a variety of roles, including instruction, safety boating, boat outfitting, event support, and coordination of volunteers.
Contact Idamay Curtis, 206-218-7988, or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer with TeamRiver Runner Seattle.
Trips Planned with the DC Group
We encourage all interested OIF/OEF WRAMC veterans to come by the 3rd floor therapy pool Tuesday evening EVERY week from 5-7 PM to begin skill development and fun! Regardless of the injury being addressed Team River Runner has a vast number of adaptive techniques we can try. Future away trips may include sea kayaking/camping in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida or Texas and/or whitewater trips in Texas with the Team River Runner program at BAMC.
District of Columbia
VA Medical Hospital- Richmond,VA
Colorado Kayak Clinic
week long kayaking program in mid June; all expenses paid. Participants selected from those that have a developing roll, and solid class 2 whitewater skills. Costa Rica winter: an advanced kayaking trip for participants with a solid roll and class 2/3 skills. All expenses paid.
Grand Canyon Kayak Trip
Tentative dates are in fall of 2007. Solid class 3+ roll and skills needed.
Caribbean Sea Kayak/snorkel/camping trip
Invite only to ongoing participants with specific needs and skill; see Joe Mornini at WRAMC pool on Tuesdays for information.
Fall Gauley Trip
Kayak and rafting on the upper and lower Gauley river in West Virginia (September)
Lower Yough Trips
Spring – fall, once a month overnight trips.
For more info visit www.teamriverrunner.org/welcome.php or take a look at the video, “Forgetting the Wounds of War”, that shows what this group of volunteers does: run river trips on easy water where all the members of the soldier’s family can participate.