Boys on the River

Whitewater Rafting with the Boys from House #3

By
Child Care Counselor, Eric Scharfenberger

Boys on the River
Working as a team on the river

On the morning of Sunday July 29th I arrived at house three to pick up our boys, (Jon, Ian, Justin, Christian, Matt, and Aaron) to take them on a Whitewater Rafting trip down the South Fork of theAmericanRiver.  The boys were very excited about the trip and filled with butterflies and anticipation about the adventure that lay before them.

After an hour drive into the foothills of Caloma,California, we met our guides atHenningsenPark, where we prepared to launch the rafts and set off down the river.  We rafted down a section of river called “The Gorge” and it is home to a handful of class 3 rapids, with such names as “Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar, Ambulance Chaser, and Widow Maker.”

One of the greatest moments I will remember about the trip was that as the rapids got bigger and stronger our group pulled closer and closer together.  This bonding was unique and special to our group, as the other rafts fought against each other all day long not seeming to be able to get into sync or rhythm with each other.  These boys became a team, a unit, by the end of the day they looked like well-oiled machine and they could maneuver the raft with precision as the guide gave commands to paddle forwards, backwards, left or right.  They would shout “ASONE” or “TOGETHER” when taking on the biggest rapids to encourage each other to paddle as a unit and they did that all day long and took every rapid head on as a team.

It was an extraordinary thing to witness these young men come together and overcome every obstacle the river had to throw at them.  I am hopeful and confident that the lessons they learned that day at the river will be ones they never forget.