Lance, Bobby and Pam were extremely helpful. They gave explicit instructions, calmly explained points of confusion and made the training fun, an unexpected part of the Sunday training. Very welcoming and encouraged follow-on training. Definitely a well-spent day on the weekend and am excited for upcoming events with the Fredericksburg Chapter of Team River Runner.
Team river runner has done so much for my life in these past 2 years and I'm excited to see what the future will bring. They are an amazing group of volunteers and veterans, who want veterans thrive on and off the water.
I was going through the toughest season in my entire life when I came across team RiverRunner. I had never been in a kayak before and wasn’t even sure it was something I would be able to do with my visual impairment, but my extreme love for anything on the water nudged me to investigate this hobby further. I have never been able to fully participate in boating or other water sports, so a tiny sliver of doubt was there. But I decided during this tough time that I would take up a new hobby for myself. I looked into kayaking, joined some Facebook groups, and decided Kayaking seemed perfect. So I put some feelers out and told people I was interested, let them know of my limitations, and hoped for the best. Someone recommended to me that there was an organization called team river runner who worked with people who have disabilities. This seemed like a perfect option to get me out on the water and introduced to kayaking. So I contacted team river runner and within just a few days someone had got back in touch with me and a meeting was arranged. A volunteer actually came down to my area with two kayaks and took me out for the very first time. It was the most freeing experience I think I have ever had on the water. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been out twice now with team River Runner. I even bought my own kayak. This sport has given me such a freedom and independence that I never thought I could have on the water. I am so grateful for team River Runner and their kind volunteers and all of the opportunities they provide to get out on the water and kayak with such wonderful people.
They were extremely helpful, friendly, and made the training so interactive and worthwhile!
Great organization dedicated to helping veterans and the local community. All of the staff were very knowledgable and went above and beyond to make sure everyone got good training, while focusing on safety.
Awesome people and program for us recovering and recovered Vets. Families welcome and Volunteers always the best!!
Thank you TRR
Team River Runner has been an amazing experience for not only myself, but for the entire family! Not only did it help me as a Vet to find myself again, and provide an experience that brings peace and happiness to me but it has allowed us to grow closer as a family. The adventures that TRR has allowed us to participate in, allows us the opportunity to spend quality time together. And..... not only has TRR provided this for us, it has also allowed us as a family to work with other Vets and their families to provide them with the same opportunities.
Thank you TRR for all you have done for us and for other Service Members and Families.
I can't begin to say what good this program has done for me in particular, and my many friends in general. Water is such a healing medium. It can be calming. It can be challenging. It can scare you near to death, but afterward, what do you need? A drink of water.
By putting Veterans in Kayaks in water, TRR transforms people from broken shells to people who find freedom , healing, and camaraderie. 90 cents or so of every dollar goes to the Veterans and TRR can stretch those dollars like taffy!
I'm proud to be associated with TRR
Team River Runner (TRR) has helped me in more ways than I think I can name. So, let’s talk about the big one – TRR has helped me to heal.
You might not be able to see it when you meet me, but I am a little bit broken from my time in the Military. Sure, I have all the normal aches and pains that comes with the challenge of serving one’s country and those tend to slow me down a little, but there are some other injuries you simply don’t see when you look my way.
My experiences in the 82nd Airborne Division left me with some unseen injuries: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). As I age, the effects of these seem to creep in more and more to my daily life. Frankly, for a while there, things got pretty dark and scary.
My family and friends have been super-supportive, and I am very thankful for them, but there was a deep, dark trench across my path to recovery that kept me from being able to really heal. Those who were close to me could empathize, sympathize, lend an ear, but they simply couldn’t understand what I was really going through. The safety they provided me got me to that trench, but couldn’t get me across it.
TRR helped to bridge that trench.
As I got more and more involved in TRR, I met more and more people who shared a story similar to mine. I could talk frankly with them, watch them get up to that trench and somehow cross it. I watched some struggle harder than me and watched others succeed and grow and I thought, why not me? And, as I walked beside a couple of my closest friends as they struggled, I began to realize that it was not up to me to make a daring leap across this unknown chasm. I began to realize that my friends were laying bridges across the trench so I could cross in safety.
So, you might see a bunch of Veterans paddling down a river or across a lake, laughing and joking with one another and think, “how nice.” But what you don’t realize is that these paddlers are actually facilitating some incredible healing. Being able to share in these stories and be part of another person’s healing is an incredibly healing experience. All the counselors and medications in the world sometimes pales in comparison to just having the ear of someone who’s been there…who can understand the unspoken pieces of the story.
Thank you, Team River Runner!
Team River Runner (TRR) is a valuable non-profit organization with chapters all across the country. The mission of TRR is to provide all veterans and their families an opportunity to find health, healing, community purpose, and new challenges through adventure and adaptive paddle sports. When veterans return home, they benefit from recreational activities that integrate them with others. Team River Runner National - guides regional chapters, offering networking, resources, and support so that programs deliver safe, consistent and quality adaptive paddling. The Blue Ridge~Shenandoah Chapter of TRR is one of many that serves veterans and their families providing therapeutic support.
Great group, every effort to make new members feel welcomed and existing members to still feel part of the group. The lead really goes out of his way to make the group as good as it can possibly be for its members.
This non-profit is setup to help military vets with recovery by offering experiences and training in white water paddling. As part of this service the organization also trains future volunteers so that there is an adequate level of support for the vet.
I recently participated in two TRR programs, a two day swift water rescue training course and an open pool / roll clinic. Both programs were very good.
The Swift water rescue class was two full days consisting of both classroom and hands on in the water training. The instructors were very interesting and knowledgeable. I look forward to taking it again next year.
The open pool / roll clinic (Which is held most Sunday mornings at the Ron Rosner YMCA in Fredericksburg) was staffed by two outstanding certified instructors that always made me feel comfortable as I was taught the needed skills for safe and fun river running.
Great organization that is working for a great cause, staffed with very friendly, and knowledgeable staff.
Because of my experiences with this group I give my highest recommendation for the Fredericksburg chapter of the Team River Runners (TRR).
This organization began by the love, care, and hard work of Joe and Nancy Mornini (teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland) who saw a need to help our most injured Vets find a mental and physical method for recovery. This comes with my highest ratings knowing funds are not only needed but will be used in ethically sound business decisions.
The April 28 - 30 2017 Eastern Regional Area Campout was absolutely awesome! We had a great time Kayak fishing and enjoying two beautiful lakes at Wilderness Presidential Resort in Spotsylvania VA. Over the weekend I think everyone who fished caught something! Fly tying and fly fishing was also popular. The whitewater folks had a great time, too, on the Rappahannock River. We got to meet many Team River Runner chapter members from West Virginia and Pennsylvania and like every TRR event everyone just seems like family. There was lots of laughing, talking, relaxing, and of course spending time on the water providing the companionship and therapy TRR is known for. Thanks to our regional coordinator, Lance, for all his hard work putting this event together, and to our participants and volunteers for an incredible weekend. Looking forward to next year's Campout!
Working with Team Riverrunner I've witnessed many positive changes in our veteran participants. From gaining physical strength to realizing potential to finding friendships, the organization turns the simple act of paddling a kayak into a way to regain functionality or just find enjoyment. TRR is all inclusive welcoming all vets and their family members and tailors the paddling experience to individual capabilities, wants, and needs. This is an awesome organization and I feel blessed to be a part of it.
A few years ago while hanging out with paddlers from a local paddling club I saw a post on their web site asking for help with a Team Riverrunner event. Jim Riley, the coordinator of the S. E. Pa. chapter asked for volunteers to help with an upcoming white water trip. Specifically to help disabled vets move their gear to and from the water and with help getting in and out of their boats as needed. When I read the post my immediate thought was, "been there, done that". I spent the last 6 months of 1968 in Oakland Naval Hospital on a ward of 40. I was one of two patients that had all 4 limbs on that ward. I spent a lot of time helping my fellow patients get around. Piggy backing some, pushing wheel chairs, assisting getting on and off buses, etc. The most impacting memory is when I suggested to one of the patients that I had pushed to the hospital pool that I push him, still in his chair, into the deep end of the pool to see if he could wheel it across the bottom. He said, "do it". Short version... that event ended starting a lot of guys doing that and swimming and having fun. Guys that thought for the most part, life for them as they knew it was over and there was nothing they could do other than sit. It wasn't until I started working with TRR and met some of the therapists that I heard about 'Recreational Therapy' and realized that was what I was doing 39 yrs ago as a patient in a military hospital.
So when I saw Jim's post I contacted him and volunteered to help even though I really had no idea of what Team Riverrunner was all about. Since then I've become a member both as a disabled vet and volunteer and earned my Level 3 White Water Instructor Certificate from ACA 2 yrs. ago. I've worked as both instructor and safely boater on many, many trips and have also encouraged our chapter to start doing flat water trips to 'whet, or wet the appetites' of new paddlers. I'll be running those trips this summer. I've made countless friends from all over the country that are vets, volunteers, and therapists and keep in touch constantly. We work hard and play hard but I don't think I can really express how rewarding it is to see these guys and gals accomplish a goal such as running a river in a kayak with such great smiles and ramped up confidence. It's truly a reward that cannot be purchased with cash but your donations are what fund these trips and the gear needed to get our vets butts in boats. We truly thank you for your support!
I started Voluteering with Team River Runner over a year ago. My favorite part is giving back to our Veterans who have sacrificed so much for us. I love teaching them the sport that I am passionate about. The willingness of the Veterans to learn is what motivates me keep helping and donating to this great organization.
This is a fantastic non-profit and everyone in the organization truly cares about serving veterans. This group gives an opportunity for veterans to learn a new hobby and experience the outdoors. TRR goes out of their way to accommodate and give returning veterans the best experience they can have kayaking.
Following the loss of my leg and a stroke, TRR took me from a hospital bed & wheelchair into a kayak; taught me roll that kayak; then taught me to paddle that kayak down increasingly challenging whitewater until I was able to paddle some of the most difficult water in the country.
They didn't stop there! Through it all, TRR made sure I understood what I was being taught until I was competent enough to become a certified kayak instructor, myself. And it all came full circle, as I was able to introduce paddlesports to the "next generation" of injured service members.
Team River Runner saved me, gave me renewed purpose... and for that I will be forever grateful. See the videos below if you're not convinced
Team River Runner has helped my autistic son more social and gives him something to look forward to each week. Moreover it has given my son and I an activity we can learn and and participate in together. We started just as a "good deal outreach" opportunity Team River Runner offers the Ft. Belvoir community, and it has turned into a family activity.
From Volunteering to becoming a Staff member the past 10 years with Team River Runner have been my absolute best. This is so much more than an organization, this is a family of dedicated and genuine Staff, Volunteers, and Participants.
Awesome experiences and great group! I learn something new every time I attend a session or outing.