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.
This is Bob Tracy, TRR Boise Chapter Coordinator. WE founded the Boise Chapter 6 years ago, and it has been exceptionally rewarding to be able to help support our veterans in need. We not only teach and guide kayaking, we also have a community of caring and support to help vets with their health and healing. I also would like to speak highly about the OJT program. We have now had 5 vets go through the program, and they are all now active leaders within our chapter. The OJT programs has provided a way to help them build the skills and knowledge to become effective leaders, and by them becoming leaders it has enabled our chapter to also become much more effective.
Team River Runner not only trains veterans to kayak, but it creates a warm, welcoming community and environment for learning. I've loved being part of this organization for the last several years and it's so rewarding to see the positive impact it's had on veteran participants, especially those with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and physical limitations/adaptive paddling.
This is the organization that took 5 blind whitewater kayakers down the most challenging rapids on the Grand Canyon - no small feat - and continues to plan more amazing expeditions like this. TRR enables wounded vets to exceed their own expectations of what life can be like post injury.
Team River Runner is an in incredible group of volunteers who are doing a fantastic service introducing veterans to kayaking sports. I'm very happy and thankful for my experience with them, and look forward more!
Saved this Disabled Veteran Life. I am an amputee. Depressed and no reason to live.
As a Vietnam veteran a Team River Runner volunteer instructor I can attest that we have made a meaningful contribution to the mental and physical health of Wounded Warriors. I have personally coached triple amputees and guided blind veterans in kayaks on whitewater and witnessed the pleasure that these men and women have experienced.
Pictures speak a thousand words so that is what ill choose to share
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.
My name is Susan Schaffer. I enjoy getting to know people, so when I met our Chapter leader at a Veterans Expo I am quite sure that my interest was not typical. I saw the opportunity to broaden the scope of my usual disability awareness programs to include veterans also. I was and still am excited to spread the word about a non-traditional way to help vets. I have more ideas to grow this experience. Although it's voluntary it requires the same tasks as in my paid outreach position.
Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner allowed my husband, Clay, a one armed amputee, to learn to kayak! The organization and it's members participated in Penn State's Rec Fest recently and it was our first time attending the event. They taught Clay to use an adaptive kayak with a Paddle Pivot in order for him to be able navigate through the water. It was amazing! A nearly 60 year old man got to realize a dream! Their work to enable is awesome!
Team River Runner offers an important opportunity for veterans in recovery from the wounds of war, visible and invisible, to connect with a supportive and positive community, a healthful and lifegiving outdoor activity, and a network of fellow veterans to support their mutual journey.
I have volunteered with Team River Runner since 2013, and have seen lives changed in beautiful and amazing ways.
No one, whether veteran or civilian, paddler or volunteer, walks away from one of our sessions the same person they were when they walked in. River therapy is transformative, the best of medicines.
Seeing folks transform their apprehension (from the first pool session) into relaxed confidence on the water is an amazing experience. The friendships made and the skills learned are irreplaceable. I encourage all vets to take advantage of this program!
Instant family! My son has spent the past 2 years in hospitals and rehabs, and given the nature of his injuries, is now challenged in every way. The ingenuity and care of this group allowed him to kayak safely to his heart's content, and experience once again the freedom of the outdoors as the guy he once was. Truly a gift!
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.
Awesome experiences and great group! I learn something new every time I attend a session or outing.
As the Fredericksburg Virginia Chapter Coordinator, Eastern Regional Area Coordinator, and newly appointed OJT Veteran Program Administrator I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this amazing Team River Runner organization.
From the very first day I started I could tell that Team River Runner truly cares not only about our Recovering Warriors, Disabled Veterans, and their family members, but also about how we represent ourselves as a program as we strive to be of service in whatever way that we can make a difference! Its about saying Yes we can help with that when saying No might be the easier path.
From the National Staff all the way down to the volunteers within each chapter it feels like a family and I'm so honored to be just a small part of it. On this day of inauguration and the desire to unite our great country I would highly recommend this program to everyone looking for a reason to get involved with something greater than themselves. Together we can make a difference!
Team River Runner has been a great inspiration and career enhancer. I knew nothing about kayaking but as a veteran and reservist, I knew that facing challenges and conquering fear would make me a better soldier. Also it was my first opportunity to volunteer to help wounded warriors which I might even be one day. I have learned a great deal from the dedicated leaders of TRR Fredericksburg Chapter. I always look forward to safely learning the skills needed to control the kayak as well as the rewards of helping others while using those skills.
Team River Runner has been a great way to learn an exhilarating new sport, but also build fantastic camaraderie within the team.
Team River Runner (TRR) has provided me with tremendous knowledge and confidence regarding kayaking. Moreover, I have thoroughly enjoyed helping with my Red Cross certified therapy dog at TRR events; and even my dog has learned to ride in a kayak! I've met some terrific people there.
First, they make you feel right at ease and very welcome when you first show. Then they help you through the paperwork and talk to; not just to get the necessary information, but to actually get to know you. Then everything they do starts with basic techniques and safety. They are a great bunch of folks doing great things. I direct everyone I know their way.