Our all-levels Whitewater camp is designed to introduce kids to the exciting world of whitewater kayaking while under the care of our professional instructors.

Ages 10-15

At our camp, we prioritize both safety and enjoyment as we introduce young paddlers to the dynamic world of swift water. Our goal is to instill confidence and enthusiasm for a lifetime of paddling adventures.

Our sessions begin with an initial introduction to flat water, covering essential topics such as equipment and safety measures. Depending on the group's aptitude, one to two days are spent in a flat water environment. During this phase, young participants will become proficient in wet exits, paddle strokes, kayak maneuvers, and risk awareness. Once they are prepared, our skilled instructors will guide campers into the realm of moving and swift water, where they will learn to master catching eddies, prioritize safety, and navigate rapids.

Day four of the camp is often the most rewarding, as we embark on a full-day excursion to the McKenzie, Santiam, or Lower Deschutes rivers for an immersive whitewater kayaking experience.

Please note that the last day typically concludes later, around 5-6 pm, due to increased travel times. While most days involve travel times of no more than 45 minutes to and from our operation locations, our river trip day necessitates approximately 2 hours of travel time each way.

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 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 (TC) Initiated Cancellation Disclaimer: Applies to all one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events. TC 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 TC’s control.


Welcome to Tumalo Creek's Kids Whitewater Camp - All Levels! We're thrilled you've chosen us for your child's summer adventure. Here's a camp overview along with essential details to prepare your child for this exciting experience.

What We Need from You Before Camp Starts:

Completed and signed medical form, including emergency contact details and your child's brief medical history.
Completed and signed Liability Release.

Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe
805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6, Bend, OR
(Adjacent to the Colorado Street bridge, just downriver from the old mill shopping center).

Start Time:
9 am (Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early on the first day to meet our staff and address any last-minute questions).

Pick-up Time:
4:00 pm*

*Please note that on Thursdays, our river day may end later due to travel time. Start time: 9 am / Return time: 5-6 pm. We will make every effort to notify parents of any changes as early as possible.

What to Bring:

Backpack with extra clothing
Sun Shirt* (rash guards work well)
Water shoes or sandals
Fleece top for cooler temperatures (synthetic material)
Sunglasses with a retainer strap (optional)
Full water bottle
Plenty of healthy, high-energy snacks
Bag lunch (Your child will need a lunch from home each day of the camp).

*For comfort, kids are encouraged to wear quick-drying "surfing" type clothes like board shorts and a rash guard. A bathing suit and a t-shirt also work well. Please avoid sending children to camp dressed in cotton.

Sample Camp Itinerary:

Monday: Day One

Start time: 9:00 am
End time: 4:00 pm

Agenda: Meet at the shop, acquire our paddling gear, and head to Elk Lake. Lunch will be enjoyed at the lake before getting on the water, returning to the shop around 4:00 pm.

Today's Goals:
Set safety expectations
Fit for kayak, helmet, PFD, spray skirt, and paddle
Learn how to "wet exit"
Gain comfort with being upside down
Learn forward and sweep strokes
Control your boat in flat water

Tuesday: Day Two

Start time: 9:00 am
End time: 4:00 pm

Agenda: Meet at the shop to gather our equipment before heading to the water. Depending on the group's progress, we may continue reinforcing flat water skills or transition to running water to practice various river running techniques.

Today's Goals:
Practice wet exits
Learn the "T rescue"
Master bracing to prevent flipping
Edge your kayak
Execute eddy turns and peel-outs
Learn about ferrying
Develop safety awareness

Wednesday: Day Three

Start time: 9:00 am
End time: 4:00 pm

Agenda: Meet at the shop, gather gear, and continue reinforcing river running skills. When ready, we'll progress to running rapids and putting our skills to the test.

Today's Goals:
Eddy turns and peel-outs
Master catching eddies
Run Class I and II rapids
Scout rapids and assess risk
Learn to "read" the water

Thursday: Day Four

Start time: 9:00 am
End time: 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Note: Camp instructors will provide specific details regarding pickup times based on the latest river conditions.

Agenda: Meet at the shop at 9 am. We'll then travel to one of our operational locations, which may require up to two hours of travel time. Instructors will contact the shop with an updated ETA upon returning from the water. To obtain an updated pickup time, please call the shop between 3:30 and 4:30 pm.

Today's Goals:Apply the skills and techniques learned in class to a Class I/II river.

Please be aware that itineraries may be adjusted or canceled due to weather and/or safety concerns. Student skills will be assessed on day one, and adjustments will be made to meet individual developmental needs.

Excited to join the fun? Tumalo Creek warmly welcomes parent 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 won't accidentally fall off should be considered.

Is my kid old enough?

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