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Their faces say it all! Although it was an unseasonably cold day, rafters were engaged and excited to be on the river. Photo by Cary Dingel

PUSD Year of the Watershed students raft the Middle Fork

Submitted by Cary Dingel

Plumas Unified School District


For Plumas Unified School District, sixth grade is the Year of the Watershed. It’s an epic year of learning how our Feather River watershed impacts not only our local ecosystem but a large part of California, and includes many much-anticipated field trips, including a rafting trip on the Feather River.

Clad in wetsuits and safety gear and led by Feather River College Outdoor Recreation Leadership students, PUSD sixth-grade rafters put in at the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Graeagle.

During the day of rafting, the students are broken up into two groups. The first group that goes rafting headed down the river, while the other group discussed and wrote journal entries about hydrology principles and information specific to the section of the river the students are rafting. Midway at Camp Layman, the first group of students turned the rafts over to the second group, who floated to Sloat.

Along with learning about the science of the river, the students get to experience the recreation, fun, and adventure that the river provides, work together, and for many of them – face their fears. Many students confess their fear and jitters about rafting before the trip but share their excitement and love for the adventure after the run is over. This new experience helps them realize something that they never even considered doing before, is now not only possible, but available to them.

All photos by Cary Dingel

Sixth graders from Quincy Elementary gather near the river in Graeagle along with Feather River College Outdoor Recreation Leadership student guides and Outdoor Leadership students from Quincy Jr/Sr High School, preparing to launch their rafts.
And they’re off!
Near Camp Layman, Quincy Elementary 6th graders along with their Quincy Jr/Sr High partners and FRC Outdoor Recreation Leadership guides get a chance to navigate some small rapids.

One thought on “PUSD Year of the Watershed students raft the Middle Fork

  • I’m 88. I grew up on east coast on salt water. Later in life I learned about rivers and did some rafting. I’m so impressed by this story. Proud of those kids! Congratulations to you.
    AND congratulations to those leading and teaching these children. So very important.

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