This all-levels camp is designed to introduce kids to the exciting world of whitewater kayaking! With professional instruction, your child will feel the thrill of running rapids.

Ages 10-15
We’ll emphasize both safety and fun as we introduce campers to moving water. Paddlers will gain confidence and awareness as they get ready for a lifetime of paddling the rivers of the great Northwest.

Sessions start off slow in our warm outdoor pool. Our instructors will fit kayakers to their boats and introduce them to wet exits, where they will learn to become comfortable upside down in the water and safely exit their boats. After everyone is feeling comfy cozy in their kid-sized kayaks, we’ll head up to Elk Lake and play all day in the crystal clear waters of one of Central Oregon’s most picturesque alpine lakes. Next we’ll take to the river and practice our strokes and learn about currents in the gentle moving stretch of the Deschutes by the Old Mill. And then it’s time for a field trip! If the group feels ready, we’ll spend the last day of camp out on a river with some real whitewater while we get comfortable in easy Class II rapids.

Equipment List

Tumalo Creek Provides

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • PFD
  • Skirt
  • Helmet
  • * Please see ' other considerations'

Participant Provides

  • Sun Screen
  • Water
  • Packable lunch
  • Lots of healthy, high-energy snacks
  • Quick-drying clothes like board shorts and a rash
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Insulating top

Gear required for this trip is available for purchase at our shop.

Meeting Location

805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6 Bend OR 97702


Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe Programs Cancellation Policies

Kids Camps: 14 days prior to departure date required for cancellations or date changes. No Shows, cancellations or date changes for any reason inside the 14 day period will be subject to forfeiture of all fees.

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe (TCKC) Initiated Cancellation Disclaimer: Applies to all one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events. TCKC reserves the right to cancel, postpone or reschedule one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events within 24 hours of scheduled date. Circumstances include but are not limited to; low enrollment, weather (ex. thunderstorms/lightning), natural disasters (ex. forest fires) and events or circumstances beyond TCKC’s control.


Kids Whitewater Camp - All Levels -
Welcome and Congratulations on choosing Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe’s Kids Whitewater Camp for your child’s summer activity! Below is a camp outline with information and tips you will find useful in preparing your child for camp.

Things we need from you before camp start date:
• Completed and signed medical form, that includes emergency contact information and a brief medical history for your child.
• Completed and signed TCKC Liability Release.

Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe
805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6, Bend, OR
(Just down river from the old mill shopping center, next to Colorado Street bridge).

Start Time:
8:45 am (Please plan on arriving early for day one to meet staff and ask any last minute questions)

Pick-up Time:
4:00 pm*
*Thursdays river day will begin earlier and return later, due to travel time. Start time 8am / return 5pm. Every effort will be made to notify parents of any changes as early as possible.

What To Bring:
• Backpack w/ Extra Clothing
• Towel
• Swimsuit*
• Sun Shirt* (rash guards work great!)
• Water shoe or sandal
• Sunsrcreen
• Fleece top for cooler temps. (synthetic material)
• Sunglasses w/retainer strap (optional)
• Full Water Bottle
• Lots of Healthy High Energy Snacks
• Bag Lunch (Your child will need a lunch from home each day of the camp. Tumalo Creek provides a cooler to store lunches)
* Kids will be most comfortable if they wear quick drying “surfing” type clothes like board shorts and a rash guard. A bathing suit and a t-shirt also works just fine.

Sample Camp Itinerary
Monday: Day One
Start time: 9:00 End time: 4:00
Agenda: We will meet at the shop, get our paddling gear, and head up to Elk Lake. We will eat lunch at the lake before getting on the water. We will return to the shop about 4:00.
Today’s goals:
• Getting fitted for a boat, helmet, PFD, spray skirt, and paddle
• Learning how to “wet exit”
• Becoming comfortable with being upside down
• Learning the forward and sweep strokes
• Controlling your boat on a lake

Tuesday: Day Two
Start time: 9:00 End time: 4:00
Agenda: We will meet at the shop. Today, we will split the class into two groups. One group will work in the pool while the other group works in the current at McKay Park (just downstream of the shop). We will regroup for lunch and the groups will switch locations.
Today’s goals:
In the pool:
• Practicing more wet exits
• Learning how to do a “T rescue”
• Bracing (to prevent flipping)
• Introducing how to roll (if appropriate)
At McKay Park:
• Edging your kayak
• Eddy turns/peel outs
• Ferrying

Wednesday: Day Three
Start time: 9:00 End time: 4:00
Agenda: We will meet at the shop. In the morning, we will work in the current at McKay Park again or above Healey Bridge. After lunch, we will run the section of the Deschutes between Aspen and Big Eddy (we will NOT be going down Big Eddy). We will try to be back at the shop at around 4:00.
Today’s goals:
Above Healey Bridge:
• Eddy turns/peel outs
• Ferrying
Aspen to Big Eddy:
• Catching eddies
• Running Class I and II rapids
• Learning to “read” the water

Thursday: Day Four
Start time: 8:00 End time: between 5:00 and 6:00
Agenda: We will need to meet at the shop at 8:00. We will load up the van and head to the McKenzie River or the North Santiam. If we go to the McKenzie, we will put-on the river at Blue River and will paddle down to Finn Rock. We will eat lunch at Finn Rock and will continue down to Silver Springs take-out. If we go to the North Santiam, we will put-on the river at Mill City and take-out at Fisherman’s Bend. This will be a relatively short section, so we may end up running it twice.
We will call the shop when we are leaving to return to Bend. It takes a little more than 2 hours of driving each way (the reason why we will leave early and return late). If there is enough time, we will stop for a treat at a convenience store. Your child may want to bring an extra snack/drink, however, for the ride home.
Today’s goals:
• Applying the skills and techniques learned in class to a Class I/II river.

* These Itenraries may be modified or cancelled due to weather/safety concerns. Every effort will be made to reschedule cancelled days when possible. If day is not rescheduled a refund or credit will be issued for the lost day. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

** student skills will be assesed on day 1 and adjusted to met individual development needs

Sound like too much fun to miss? Tumalo Creek always welcomes parental chaperones with river experience and safety skills.


How big are the camps?

Our kids camps have a 6 to 1 ratio for kids and instructors with a maximum occupancy of 12 kids per camp.

Are lunches included?

We do not provide lunches for our kids camps. Please pack your child their lunch and enough snacks to get them through the day.

What should my kid wear?

Please pay attention to the weather and make sure your child is wearing the appropriate clothing to be comfortable for the entire day. Plan for cooler mornings and warmer afternoons. There is also a strong likelihood that your child will go swimming swimwear, sun protection, sunglasses and water shoes that can not accidentally fall off should also be considered.

Is my kid old enough?

Our kids adventure camp is designed for 8-15 year olds where our whitewater camps are for children 10-16.