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HomeSafety Weekend
Safety Weekend 2019
Dates: July 13 and 14, 2019

Location: Fishermen's Bend Campground, North Santiam River


Safety Weekend Overview
Every boater should learn basic river safety and rescue techniques if they are paddling Oregon's beautiful rivers. WKCC's Safety Weekend is your chance to learn these needed skills at a reasonable cost while meeting other enthusiastic river boaters.Our classroom is the North Santiam river at Fisherman's Bend where you will have on-land and in-the-river instruction and practice. If you are new to boating, now is the time to learn. If you have experience, this is an excellent opportunity to practice what you know and learn a little more.
Your weekend includes space for camping, with basic bathroom and shower facilities, four prepared meals and fun, active classes taught by experienced WKCC members.
Here are some of the skills we will be teaching;
  • throw bags skills and rescues
  • knots
  • swift water crossing
  • the power of strainers
  • mechanical advantage, or how to haul your boat off a rock.
  • swiftwater swimming
  • boat rescues
Detailed Course Descriptions
Frequently Asked Questions about Safety Weekend:
1. What is Safety Weekend?
Safety Weekend is a non-certification series of instruction offered annually by the Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club (WKCC). Each year approximately 15-20 volunteers organize, facilitate, and instruct a two-day agenda that emphasizes and illustrates ways of staying safe on whitewater. A limit of 40 participants of varying levels and styles of boating learn and practice rescue skills. Fees for the event cover the cost of camping, an instruction manual, and four meals during the event: Saturday lunch and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch, and also great snacks.
2.  How much does it cost?
$100 through June 20th, $120 thereafter. Registration closes on July 6th or whenever all open slots are filled. Contact the organizers at to get on the waiting list after registration closes. 

3.  What time does Safety Weekend start and finish?
Check-in begins promptly at 8:00 AM Saturday.  Activities will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.
The course ends around 5:00 pm Sunday.
4.  When are campsites available?
Campsites will be available from 2:00 pm Friday until checkout time at 1:00 pm Monday.
5. What will I need for Safety Weekend?
  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and HELMETS are mandatory for all river activities!!
  • Cotton clothing not allowed on/in the river – choose from suggested list below 
  • Drysuit over synthetic layer(s): examples: polypropylene, polyester pile or fleece, Capilene®, wool, neoprene
  • Farmer John or full wetsuit (3mm or thicker) under splash jacket+pants
  • Sturdy neoprene booties or paddle shoes over wool or neoprene socks
  • You will be in the cold water for a few hours on both days, so dress for immersion.
  • Bring extra layers to start the second day dry!
  • If you have them, please bring personal throw bags, paddles and carabiners. 
    • Be certain to mark them so that they are recognizable as your property
  • Rain gear and warm clothes if forecasts indicate possible bad weather
  • Personal camping gear including tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag
  • Re-usable plate, cup, and utensils: we are aiming for a zero-waste event and will have dishwashing stations. No disposable items please!!
  • Water bottle, sunscreen, personal medications, etc.
  • Bring your own food for any meals not provided by the Event.
6.  What if I don't have my own gear?
Possible resources/gear rentals for those who don’t have appropriate gear include:
7. What meals are provided?
Saturday snacks, lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast, snacks and lunch will be catered by a small group of volunteers and includes fresh fruit and vegetables. We can accommodate requests for vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary alternatives. Please indicate your meal restrictions upon registration.
8.  Is Safety Weekend only for kayakers?
Anyone who plans to spend any amount of time on or near rivers can benefit from the instruction and practice gained at this event.
9.  Will I need to bring my own boat?
No, any equipment for instruction will be provided for the sessions.  You may bring your own gear, so you can practice using it, such as a throw bag, carabiners, and paddle, as well as personally fitting your PFD and helmet.  Be certain to mark your items so that they are recognizable as your property.
10.  Do I need prior experience or specific boating skills?
No, all skill levels are welcome, beginner and experienced alike.
11.  Will there be an opportunity to paddle a river?
We will try to have a short paddle Saturday afternoon before dinner, depending on conditions. You will need your own boat and gear for this paddle trip.
12.  What will I do/learn at Safety Weekend?
Basic safety issues and rescue responses are the core theme for the weekend.  Morning sessions are generally on land and afternoon sessions are in the river.  You will practice knots, swift water crossings, river swims, rescues; with Z-drags, throw-ropes, as well as strainer drills.  On-river scouting, group and individual responsibilities will also be covered.
13.  Will there be any certificates given out for this weekend?
This event is a non-certification course although many of the same techniques taught in certification classes are practiced at Safety Weekend.
14. Who should take this course?
Beginning to advanced kayakers, rafters, canoeists, swimmers and anyone who expects to spend time on or near a river.
15.  Is there a minimum age limit to attend Safety Weekend?
The minimum age is 12 years old.  In addition, we require that a PARTICIPATING parent or legal guardian accompany any minor under 18 years of age.
16.  Will there be any refunds?
A full refund is available through July 6th; no refunds thereafter. Contact the organizers at if a problem comes up.

17.  Will there be room for RV's or any hook-ups?
Maybe. Please check with the organizers at
18.  What about beer or alcohol?
A beer, cocktail or glass of wine after a fun day on the river is permissible!  But only AFTER you are COMPLETELY finished on the river.  Club policy is for bring-your-own alcoholic beverages, with each adult responsible for its consumption, and responsible adults ONLY.  We encourage you to enjoy yourself, but we require that quiet hour begin at 10:00 PM.
19. What about non-participating attendees?
Please check with the Safety Weekend organizers at  Non-participating attendees may observe, or may volunteer to help the instructors or cooks. They are to pay for their food, and a small camping fee.

20.  Are pets allowed at this event?
As much as we all love and rely on our non-human friends, there is very little time between events to properly look after them, so we request that pets stay home. 
21.  How do I volunteer for the event?
Please sign up to volunteer here.

22. Other questions?
Please contact the organizers at

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