Ocoee Whitewater Adventure

Last weekend, Southern Adventures took a group of participants to O.A.R (Outdoor Adventure Rafting) for a weekend on the Ocoee River.

Olin Downs, a marketing graduate assistant, gave his account on what he describes as “The most awesome weekend…ever.”

With the van loaded, we hit the open road.  Six hours of driving lay between us and our ultimate destination…rafting the mighty Ocoee.  Now, you would think six hours of driving (twelve roundtrip) packed ten deep in a van would be a miserable experience, however, the trip leaders, Jenn and Mikey, kept everyone energized and entertained with various road games and riddles that challenged our mental prowess.  A few naps, dinner, and a couple of road games later we arrived at the O.A.R. (Outdoor Adventure Rafting) campground and immediately fell asleep in anticipation of the next day’s rafting excursion.

                The next morning, after a hearty oatmeal and bagel breakfast, the eager band of Southern Adventure participants geared up and loaded the O.A.R. bus to ride upstream to our drop-in point.  The bus ride provided ample time to become acquainted with Eric and Stan, our raft guides as well as Georgia Southern students.  These two guides controlled our fate, would they navigate the treacherous river safely or capsize us into the roaring rapids?  There was only one way to find out and we were all prepared and ready for whatever the ominous Ocoee was about to greet us with.

                When we reached the drop-in point, the rafts were unloaded, gear checked again, and off we went…there was no turning around, this was it!  The beginning was not bad.  It was swift flowing water with small rapids.  This worked well as an “icebreaker” for what we were soon to encounter, rapids known as “Broken Nose”, “Tablesaw”, and the unforgiving Olympic section.  Keep in mind the Olympic section was built and designed for world-class kayakers in mind, not rafts.

                “Give me two…right side back…all in!” the guide shouts as we hit a four foot drop and plunge into the churning white mass below.  One person falls out and is saved by the guide, everyone else regains their senses and sits back in their seats, alert, waiting for further instructions from the guide, but there was none.  We’d reached a slow flowing section where the water looked smooth as glass.  Mirrored on the surface was the breathtaking Appalachian Mountain Range.  It looked like we were no longer on the river, but gliding effortlessly high above the mountains through the clouds.  Our lunch stop was just around the bend and after that was more heart racing and adrenaline pumping fun!

                The trip was amazing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

So now we turn to you! Have you ever gone whitewater rafting? Would you like to? Do you have any interesting stories?

Until Then…CRI ’til you die!!



$10 Swim Lessons? Yes, Please.

Swim Lessons. If you’ve seen the fliers for the upcoming free preview, you may have thought, “Pshhh! So not interested, I already know the basics.” Or “I really need to learn. But there is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that I’m getting into that water!”

 Whether you fall into these categories, or somewhere in between, I bet CRI Aquatics has a swim lesson plan that meets your skill level. So follow along as I dive in (pun intended) to the swim lesson breakdown:

Here’s how swim lessons work:

First off, the lessons are taught by certified swim instructors so I promise you’ll be in good hands.

If you’re interested in learning how to swim or refining your technique, you will first attend the free preview on September 8th at 6:30 p.m. At the free preview, you will actually get in the water and receive a free lesson. This allows participants to get a feel for what a lesson is structured like and also allows the instructors to evaluate your skill level and place you in the appropriate class level.

There are three basic lesson levels you can possibly be placed into:

  • Beginner
  • Progressive
  • Stroke Refinement                  

The beginner level is for those who have never learned to swim. Many times, swimmers who enter the beginner class may be scared of the water and be apprehensive about even getting in- and that’s okay. The swim instructors will walk you through the entire process with the goal in mind of helping you feel comfortable in the water.

 The next level is the progressive level. This level is for swimmers who have minimal skills. They may be able to float, blow bubbles, or put their head under water.

The third level is stroke refinement, also known as the fine-tuning level. Swimmers in this level know basic swimming strokes. Instructors then work on perfecting known strokes and teaching new ones.

Feel like you don’t fit into any of these categories? Well maybe tailor-made lessons are more your style. The Aquatics Center can form lessons based on your individual needs. Some tailor-made lessons already created include ROTC-based lessons and Triathlon training lessons.

So, after you have attended the free preview and decided to go through with the lessons, you will register and pay- The lessons only cost $10 for 6 lessons. Seriously.

Lessons are taught twice a week for three weeks. The beauty of this schedule is that you get to choose the day and time combination that works best for you. Classes will be offered either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thurs and the time slots to choose from are 6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

So now that I have explained how this whole process works, are you ready to get in the water? If you need a little extra push, you can always check out the swim lessons page  or email James Browning, Aquatics Director, at jjbrowning@georgiasouthern.edu.

CRI Till You Die!