Choosing just the right river for your party is a great starting point. You will also need to recruit suitable helpers like safety boaters, medic, rescue expert, etc. A great deal depends on your run, participants paddling abilities, and your specific skills. Many hands make a light load and that is certainly true when shepherding a bunch paddlers that might not have that much paddling experience. The float plan sets the tone for the trip and is crucial to sucess. Although everyone has a different pace, planning frequent rest stops helps people to stay hydrated and comfortable. Shuttle logistics often need to be well thought out especially when the weather gets colder.
Sorry about the overly extensive coverage of trip planning. I have included all of the trip planning material from my ACA Trip Leaders Assessment class which is targeted to Scout Masters leading trips with children. For a humorous summary, check out the 7 P's.
- Recommended Guidelines For Leader / Participant Ratio
- Appropriate River Selection And Determining Skill Level Of The Group
- Sources Of Information On Rivers - Other Paddlers, Guide Books, Internet
- Develop A Float Plan
- Make Assignments To Secure The Necessary Permits And Permissions
- Develop A Planning And Training Schedule When Appropriate. Include Organizational, Classroom, And On-the-water Time. If No Training Is Planned, Determine Methods Of Verification Of Skills Including Swimming And Paddling
- With Group Input, Determine Trip Rules For Acceptable Behavior And Discipline Consequences
- Determine If Food Or Snacks Are Necessary
- Discuss Personal And Group Equipment. Make Assignments For Specific Group Equipment
- Secure Medical Releases And Parental Permissions
- Discuss Environmental Concerns
- Organize Transportation And Shuttles. Include Use Of Possible Outfitters Or Livery Services