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21st FSS Outdoor Recreation to accept new Raft Guide Training applicants

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It's that time of year again when the weather begins to reconsider its temperament and hears our cries for warm sunny days. The days of sporting sunglasses, flip flops and awkward sun burns are nearly upon us. Before filling up the calendar with obligations or events only holding half your interest, consider spending your weekends drenched head to toe in water, racing down the Arkansas River as bursts of adrenaline course through your veins.
   
The 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation at Peterson Air Force Base is offering white water raft guide training to Team Pete members beginning May 3.

Over the course of three weekends, May 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19, members participating in the raft guide training will have hands-on experience in a variety of areas: proper raft safety procedures, swimming, raft handling and navigation, hydrology, Colorado ecology and swift water rescue training culminating with a final check off run down the river.

"It has physical components, professional development and financial benefits that you can take advantage of," said Timothy S. Wise, 21st FSS outdoor recreation director. "Once you complete this training, you will forever be certified as a rafting guide in the state of Colorado."

With the completion of the training, participants have the opportunity to make additional income as a raft guide for the 21st FSS Outdoor Recreation team on weekends. The money, however, may not be the most rewarding part.

"You're in one of the most beautiful states in the country, you're getting paid to show up to the river on a hot summer days, and you get to experience the exhilaration of class three and class four rapids," said Wise. "You get to go down the canyons of Colorado and once you get everyone down through safely, everyone loves you. It becomes one of the most memorable moments in their life and they will never forget your name because you were the guide who made them have so much fun."

One of the most important things involved with rafting are the experiences of everyone involved on the raft. As a guide you have the opportunity to create those lifelong memories that are not easily forgotten said Wise.

"I love teaching people about the river," said Jonathan A. Sedmak, 21st FSS outdoor recreation specialist and current raft guide. "At the end of the day, when we are on easier sections of the water, I will hand off my guide stick to someone on my raft, let them take control, and the smile that is put on their face, makes my day."  

On the surface, raft guiding is fun, exhilarating and a great way to meet individuals from all walks of life, but it also provides Team Pete with more than that. Being a raft guide is an opportunity to stay active, contribute to the Peterson community and foster Airmen well-being while experiencing features unique to Colorado. 

Questions about raft guide training can be directed to Peterson.Outdoor.Rec@us.af.mil

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