DOCUMENTARY FLOW 2022
June 21st – June 28th
Co-ed | Full Scholarships Available
Ideal for Students About to Enter Their
Junior or Senior Year
Note: All scholarship recipients are also eligible for college essay writing and ongoing coaching support.
In June of 2022, Open Roads is curating an eight-day river rafting and documentary storytelling adventure for a diverse group of high school students who are on the road to college, along with a select few college-age mentors and leaders. The trip, “Documentary Flow,” is focused on using this time in nature to reflect on our values and life goals, and gain a deeper sense of confidence in our ability to create the life outcomes we desire (often referred to as our self-efficacy). We will also integrate an introduction to the documentary arts of photography, film, and writing to help us learn to become authors of our own life story.
The heart of the trip is a five-day river rafting trip on Idaho's majestic Salmon River. Along the trip we will experience the peace of slow moving flat water, the thrill of rolling rapids, the beauty of native rock art, the wonder of hikes to nearby waterfalls and hot springs, and the lessons provided by those brave enough to live and farm along the river. Of course, the river itself may prove to be our greatest teachers as we learn to simply go with the flow!
We are partnering with White Otter River Expeditions, a company dedicated to organizing intentional and meaningful group travel programs. Founded by seasoned teachers and staffed by inspired nature enthusiasts and river guides, the White Otter family brings a soulful partner to handle all river logistics, food prep, as well as providing a wonderful introduction to the one-of-a-kind geology that will inspire us at every turn.
Day One: Arrival
All participants will fly to Boise, Idaho and then drive as a group to White Otter's headquarters at Sunbeam. We will share a delicious and responsibly sourced meal together on the deck of the Sunbeam cafe while meeting some of the guides who will be taking us down the river. In the evening, participants will set up their tents and camp in the Sunbeam Village.
Day Two: Orientation
Our group will spend the first day getting to know each other, learning the basics of documentary storytelling, and preparing for the adventure ahead.
Day Three: To the River!
Participants will wake up, eat breakfast and begin transportation North to the put-in. The bus ride will last about 4 1⁄2 hours. We will arrive at the put-in around noon where all the boats and guides will be waiting. Our professional guides will brief all participants on safety, water etiquette, and general backcountry travel at the boat ramp. We will push off that afternoon and begin to settle into the slow and intentional pace of river-time. This feeling of leaving behind our fast-paced lives is one of our absolute favorite moments.
The adventure begins with some moderate rapids such as Killum, Rainier, and Devil’s Teeth. This is the first opportunity to get your feet wet in preparation for the larger rapids downstream. This will be your first night camping on the river and the guides will go through everything you might need to know about setting up tents and safely navigating camp. You will share your first of many delicious riverside meals and drift to sleep under one of the largest dark sky reserves in the lower 48.
Days 4 - 6
Each morning, you will wake up with the sun to the sound of the river. Our schedule will begin to align with the flows and cycles of the natural world. In the mornings you will get out of bed, pack up your personal camping items, and enjoy breakfast. On the second day, we will raft through our first big rapid, Black Creek. This rapid is positioned in the beautiful Black Canyon, and for the rest of the day we’ll travel through an incredible geologic window into the past. In the afternoon we’ll stop at the famous Barth Hot springs where participants can relax and soak in a natural hot springs pool that overlooks the river canyon.
At night, we’ll camp on sandy beaches or nestled in Ponderosa stands, play games, share meals around the fire, and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Frank Church Wilderness area. Our river trips have been intentionally designed to foster meaningful connections between participants and their natural surroundings and to cultivate a greater sense of stewardship and reciprocity with nature.
The latter half of the trip holds exciting rapids such as Bailey, Split Rock, Big Mallard, Elkhorn, and several others. The Salmon has been a lifeblood for indigenous people for more than 10,000 years, and this history lives in the river canyon. There are petroglyphs left by the Shoshone-Bannock peoples who still call this river home. We’ll also have opportunities to stop and visit historic settler sites such as Buckskin Bill’s, Five Mile Bar, and Reho Wolfe’s cabin. Throughout the entire journey, there will be endless opportunities to connect with the river and to learn its language. From ancient yew tree groves to 1.4-billion-year-old rock formations, the Frank Church Wilderness area is an exceptional location to tune in with ourselves and with the natural world that we are a part of.
The trip ends with two of the largest rapids, Chittam and Vinegar Creek. Before leaving, the group will intentionally reflect on the experience and make space to acknowledge the
impact we had on the river, as well as the impact the river had on us. Once you arrive at the take-out, it’s a bittersweet goodbye to the river as you begin to transition out of the backcountry. You’ll load into a bus and begin the scenic drive back to the Boise area for a final banquet before our departure home.
Fly home from Boise, Idaho
All camping and other gear will be provided by Open Roads and White Otter Expeditions. Participants only need to bring the clothing on the recommended packing list, which is also accompanied by a useful FAQ
Participants are responsible for working with Open Roads to book their travel to and from Salt Lake City.
Every other element of travel from arrival to departure will be handled by Open Roads.
Leading up to the trip, Open Roads will be in close consultation with our medical advisors and will release our COVID protocols at that time, based on the national situation at that moment. We do expect that a negative pre-trip COVID test will be required.
Total cost for each participant is $3,000 (plus flights), but 100% scholarships are available.
Please complete all forms and upload them in our portal below. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.