Volunteers play a vital role at American Whitewater. With a staff of just ten employees, we need many volunteers. We can not do as much as we do, in as many different places, without volunteer help.
Is your favorite river threatened by a new dam? Could the access to your favorite run use a little improvement? Could recreational opportunities be improved if you just had a little better notification from an upstream dam operator? Is your state legislature proposing new laws that limit navigability rights? Are you motivated to start a Wild and Scenic campaign to protect your favorite river?
If something will enhance or threaten your ability to enjoy the sport you love on your favorite rivers, stand up and volunteer. Most of our projects are driven by motivated volunteers. Staff can provide technical support and assistance to navigate the various regulatory processes, legislation, and management actions that affect rivers you enjoy. Become a Regional Coordinator and represent American Whitewater in your local area.
Do you like to take pictures of the runs you do? Do you write about your rivers and experiences? Upload photos to the American Whitewater Photo Library. Join the American Whitewater StreamTeam. The StreamTeam Project is the way that American Whitewater lets its members share their knowledge about rivers with the paddling public, river managers, and policy makers. It is a grass-roots online database of river information that is continually updated and improved. Our river database is one of the most comprehensive geospatial databases of any outdoor recreation activity. Your direct first-hand knowledge recorded in our database, gives us a unique ability to quickly and efficiently respond to new threats and opportunities. Great photos are invaluable in documenting and illustrating our use of rivers. When we have brought direct evidence of our use of particular rivers, hydro power projects have been stopped, management plans have been changed, and elected officials have considered our interests in legislation . This is only possible when volunteers step up to provide the information. The more you contribute, the more effective we can be.
American Whitewater has two main events that we put on each year that take a substantial amount of volunteer help. Those looking to volunteer should consider these events as the first, best place to do it. We also work with our local affiliate clubs who put on regional events throughout the year.
Our biggest volunteer event without a doubt (and our biggest fundraiser too!) Gauley Fest, takes place the third weekend in September in Summersville, WV. Head on over to the Gauley Fest page and check out the section on volunteering for more information. Thanks!
Deerfield Fest is held each July in Charlemont, MA. It's our second largest volunteer event. Please go to the event page and see the Volunteer section for additional info on how you can help us with this critical fundraiser.
Are you between jobs? Do you have a little time on your hands? Are you in need of a research project for school credit? For those who are interested in special projects American Whitewater staff maintain a list of projects that includes several research and writing projects. Contact us and we can get you set up.
If you don't have a particular project in mind but you would like to be contacted when something comes up in your region then get on our volunteer list. We'll be sure to contact you if something comes up. Please contact us with your own ideas and whenever you see river issues arise.