First Descent

Rating: 4.89 stars   46 reviews

Issues:

Location: 6000 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. Suite 120 Greenwood Village CO 80111 USA

Mission:

First Descents is committed to curing young adults (aged 18-39) of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them to regain control of their lives by experiencing whitewater kayaking and other challenging adventure sports in a safe, fun and supportive environment.


Programs: First Descents will invite 15 young adults with cancer to attend our week long program at no expense to them. During the week they are taught to kayak. Starting in a small pond escalating up to rolling the boat in class III whitewater. Along the way they form bonds with other participants, share thier common problems, learn to rely on their bodies again, and realise they have the power to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

At First Descents, the reaction to my cancer wasn't a pitying gasp or awe-tinged shock, reactions that I got a lot after being diagnosed at 17. Instead, my fellow campers offered empathy, encouragement, and assurance that life goes on after cancer. My week on the river introduced me to an incredible and inspiring community, led me to rediscover the joy of physical achievement, and helped me make the transition from being a patient to being a survivor.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

all of the people I met--the directors are incredible, the staff are so hard-working, and the other campers created a sense of acceptance and support that was a huge part of my healing process.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and caring, really personally invested in this camp. They created a great balance of fun and seriousness, escape and confrontation.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

First Descents was an amazing experience i have been going for two years. it has definately shed the light on what we can do if we put our minds to it. i truely love what they do, and admire what they do cause it takes very special people who reach out to cancer survivors and i truely appreciate being able to come to this camp and show what i can do outside of my comfort zone.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

to help cancer survivors

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want to get as many people involved this organization as possible

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how they help cancer survivors

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing and helpful to everyone

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

grow to be even bigger than it is

Ways to make it better...

more people came out to help

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

not enough funding

One thing I'd also say is that...

the people who run this are amazing and have really big hearts

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

As a volunteer at First Descents for several camps over the years, I can say with confidence that THERE IS NOTHING LIKE FIRST DESCENTSOUT THERE. Not only does FD pay for young adults to spend a week in the outdoors, but it empowers them for life. I still keep in touch with my friends from camp and know that their stories and courage will be with me for life. I may have taught them how to paddle, but they have shown me what true determination is.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the faces of people as they battle whitewater. It's the same face that will help them remain survivors for life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give everybody lots of hugs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The continued support from the staff and the frineds I've made over the years.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

handsome and smart.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help 10 billion people.

Ways to make it better...

Everyone wore goofy hats and got nicknames. Wait a minute, we already do both of those.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funds donated to this demographic.

One thing I'd also say is that...

FD Rules!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

First Descents blew my expectations out of the water! I signed up for an adventure camp with hopes to step out of my comfort zone. Being a cancer survivor got me into the camp but living to my potential and beyond helped me finish my camp. I walked away with a new found appreciation and desire to live every moment with everything I have. FD has changed my life and I cannot imagine my life without my new FD family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Every participant & volunteer who I've met.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

oh, like I said, I couldn't imagine doing anything different. FD, to me, seems to have all their paddles in order.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people, hands down, are what makes it the best. The kayaking is what got me there, the people made it life changing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The camp staff/volunteer ratio blew me away. At any given time there was ALWAYS someone there to help me if i was in trouble (and I did find trouble).

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help A LOT of survivors.

Ways to make it better...

I couldn't imagine making the experience better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

fund raising.. but I believe they do a knock up job doing that, I just wish it was an easier task.

One thing I'd also say is that...

What makes this camp truly a grand experience is the people. The volunteers are amazing and the love from everyone renews your faith in humankind. Thank you FD!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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