Mission: We believe that everyone, regardless of physical or financial limitations, should have the opportunity to experience the beauty & challenge of the wilderness. Through Environmental Traveling Companions’ (ETC) outdoor adventures, disabled and disadvantaged individuals overcome self-imposed limitations, attain greater personal freedom, and better understand themselves in relation to others and the environment.
Results: In our 37 year history, ETC has provided educational outdoor adventures for more than 56,000 people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,100
Geographic areas served: Greater Bay Area, Northern California, Central California
Programs: TYPES OF PROGRAMS: Our program objectives include the following:
Whitewater Rafting Program: to serve people with special needs with one to four-day whitewater rafting adventures. Our rafting trips take place on the American River, at our accessible campground and education center in Lotus, CA.
Sea Kayaking Program: to serve individuals on one to two-day sea kayaking trips. Our kayaking adventures take place in San Francisco and Tomales bays.
Winter Skiing Program: to serve participants in our winter cross-country skiing program. The home of our winter program is in Bear Valley, in the Sierra foothills.
Youth Leadership School Program: to offer three 21-day intensive summer Watershed Ed-venture Youth Leadership Schools for 12-14 youth. The courses include training in whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, and environmental stewardship.
Shared Adventures: to offer 7-14 day shared whitewater rafting and sea kayaking experiences for individuals with all abilities. Our shared adventures include rafting the Colorado and Green rivers and sea kayaking in Baja Mexico.
Benefit Trips: to provide whitewater rafting and sea kayaking trips to the general public to generate revenue, spread ETC's mission, and build our volunteer base.
Volunteering with ETC has been an incredible experience and opportunity. They are incredibly organized (even compared to for-profit outdoor guide services I've worked for) and dedicated to getting anyone and everyone out on the water. They foster a very inclusive environment and I've met so many amazing participants and fellow guides as a result.
Professional with expertise in this field
I first found ETC 10 years ago and my life changed forever. Starting with the winter program, I moved to the river rafting and then helped with ocean kayaking. ETC not only does amazing things for the disability and underprivileged communites, they have created an environment within thier staff and volunteers that is unmatched. I dare you to find someone associated with ETC that wouldn’t welcome you, no matter who you are, with open arms. ETC is a family. That family extends over thousands of miles and changes people forever. Even though I haven’t been a part of their trips in a decade, (I currently live in VA) they, and the memories I made, are always with me!
I am a volunteer with the organization. They create an amazing community of fun and acceptance. Whether on the river, kayaking on the bay or cross-country skiing in the mountains, this makes for a wonderful experience for participants and essential life lessons for volunteers. Many of the other volunteers have gone on to become some of my dearest friends- it is a real community.