Watch and read about cityWILD rafting on the South Platte on 9News – summer 2009.
[Reposted from 9News.com, July 2009]
It’s quite wild in Denver’s backyard
By Ben McKee
SOUTH PLATTE RIVER – You can’t describe it as anything more than a wild, wild rush. Assuming you have the gear and the river water on your side, riding the rapids is unlike anything else.
The biggest headache with taking part in river rafting isn’t just enduring the time it takes to get there. For many parents of “non-outdoorsy” children, it’s motivating their kids to get off the couch and realize how much fun getting outside can be.
Beating apathy is the motivation between the Denver nonprofit CityWILD, which takes low income and culturally diverse young adults out on outdoor adventures, including river rafting, hiking and rock climbing.
Best of all, the kids are home in time for dinner. That’s because each outdoor activity takes place right in Denver’s backyard.
“We’re looking at kids who haven’t had an opportunity to experience things they wouldn’t see otherwise,” said Seth Winnerman with CityWILD. “It’s a great time working with the middle school students in particular, because you can joke around with them and just enjoy the opportunity of growing up in the outdoors.”
CityWILD’s focus is on more than just hanging out and making good friends in an outdoor setting. It also gives middle and high school students an opportunity to work on their teambuilding skills during those adventures.
“You’ll see a group of kids work together and overcome something difficult on a river, and then you can refer to that when you’re trying to help them get through a tough concept at school or conflict with a friend or parent,” Winnerman said.
CityWILD is one of several charities supported by the Schomp BMW Denver Polo Classic, the largest charitable polo tournament in the country. The tournament is July 10-12 and it’s organized by the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation.
“CityWILD is one of those groups that helps build leadership,” said Orlin Camerlo, president of the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation. “It helps educate kids on what’s going on in the outdoors, and it brings them together. It’s very fun and very rewarding for those youth, and it’s rewarding for us to give back and help them reach out to more children.”
To learn more about CityWILD, visit http://www.citywild.org/.
For more information about the Schomp BMW Polo Classic, click onto http://www.denverpolo.org/.
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