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Club Activities, Events, and Benefits

Monthly Club Meeting

Meeting open to the public - learn about the club - meet club members - hear club news and issues - bring up or vote on proposals - sometimes a guest presenter - hear trip reports.

Any new business items should be sent ahead of time to the club president.

Check calendar for location.
(Watch for meetings at Elkhorn Acres randomly Spring - Fall)

2nd Tuesday of every month

7:30PM (come earlier if eating)

Pool Roll Sessions

Learn to roll your canoe or kayak or keep your roll in shape!

New in the sport and need to learn how to roll your canoe, kayak, or C-1?. The Bluegrass Wildwater Association can help you. Each winter & summer BWA members volunteer their skills to help paddlers lean how to roll their boat when they flip. This is a must learn skill if you paddle whitewater.

Everyone is welcome...even if you have never paddled before. Roll sessions are informal with shared BWA member's boats and equipment available on a first come first served basis. For assured equipment bring your own gear. Experienced BWA paddlers will be volunteering their time to help you get started.

Tell your friends and neighbors...come on out and learn to be a safer boater.

Are you new to pool roll sessions? Check out some prerequisites here. Wash your boat inside and out before coming to the session.

Winter 2018

Pinnacle Pool, 621 Southpoint Dr, Lexington

Most Fridays through April

Check the forum weekly

8:00PM- 10:00PM

$5 Members
$10 Non-Members

Discounts for children and first time ever attending a roll session (see event on calendar for current pricing)

National Paddling Film Festival

For 31 years, the volunteers of the NPFF, a lot of BWA members among them, have strived to make your film, photo presentation and viewing experience the very best possible. Thanks to the suggestions by you, filmmakers, photographers and sponsors the festival continues to be the best and most recognized film competition supporting river conservation in the world.

Films and photos are just the beginning with the NPFF. Its really a big party with people involved with whitewater from everywhere. Plenty of food, entertainment, a guest speaker, gear, and non-NPFF activities make this a must attend event. All excess funds also go to support river conservation locally and nationally.

For more information, visit the NPFF web site.

Volunteer sign-ups are on the forum in early February.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Feb. 16-17, 2018

$25 for non-volunteers over age 11
$10 for volunteer workers

Spring Beginner's Clinic

Over 30 years ago, the Bluegrass Wildwater Association began an Annual Spring tradition of hosting a weekend long Beginnerís Swiftwater Clinic for Kayak, Canoe and C-1 (decked canoe) paddlers. The tradition continues today!!

This year, we will once again venture to the Russell Fork River, on the Kentucky/Virginia border, where a wide selection of whitewater sections offer a variety of opportunities for boaters of differing skill levels. All classes are led by Paddlerís whoís years of experience total in the hundreds when totaled together. Classes are formed according to responses of the questions asked on the application. Being informed of a studentís previous experience allows us to appropriately place students with other students of similar skills therefore providing the opportunity to share their learning experiences as well as benefit from the experience of the instructors.

Accommodations: The clinic will be held at Ratliff Hole Campground [map]. The cost of camping is included in your registration fee. More refined accomodations (rooms, RV hookups) can be reserved on your own at Breaks Interstate Park.

Food: Three meals are included in the price of registration: Saturday & Sunday breakfast & Saturday dinner. Friday dinner & lunch on the river for Saturday & Sunday is the responsibility of the student. Please refer to the student literature for recommendations .

Entertainment: Weather permitting, Friday night will be a movie night hosted by the National Paddling Film Festival. Saturday night will feature the Infamous Clinic talent show. Prizes to be announced, so dust off your hidden performance skills and join in the fun. Class Awards will be given out by the Instructors as well .

Non-students: If you want to bring along a non-paddling friend, significant other, or entire family to enjoy the weekend, that's okay. There are plenty of other things to do in the Elkhorn City/Breaks Interstate Park area and, for a small additional fee ($20), they can get in on the BWA group camping discount and meal plan. This is done on the Honor System! Have some Honor and make sure you pay for your camping and food if you are not a Student.

Ratliff Hole Campground, Elkhorn City, KY on the Russell Fork River

May 18th - 20th, 2018

Clinic Coordinator

$95 non-members
$85 members

$110 Late Registration

$20 Non-students / Volunteers

Application Forms:
Adult Application
Minor Application

Swift Water Rescue Class

Course Objectives: To teach effective skills for swift water rescue, including self rescue techniques, rope handling skills and approaches for dealing with boat pinning and entrapments. Special attention is given to teaching simple, effective skills that use the limited gear that most whitewater paddlers carry.

Safety: Students will be taught that rescue, like river running, requires good judgment. Participation in the exercises is voluntary, depending on the students own self assessment.

The course will use in the water simulations to help the student develop an effective response to commonly encountered problems on the river. Each exercise will utilize techniques to protect the rescuers and provide safety backup.

Prerequisites: Any adult BWA member can attend. The Student should be at least an intermediate paddler capable of ferrying and catching eddies in Class II water. You should have decent swimming skills, not be afraid to go underwater, and be in decent physical condition. You should dress for swimming and prolong immersion. A farmer john or neoprene paddling pants are recommended for warmth and protection from bumps, cuts and bruises. Closed toed shoes, booties and sandals are not appropriate.

This is not a paddling weekend, but you do need to bring a boat. You do need helmet, PFD and all other appropriate river gear, including a paddle. The paddle will be treated roughly, so leave the Silver Creek at home. You will need a throwbag, 12’to 15’ of tubular webbing, two locking carabiners, and two 6’ lengths of 4mm (preferred) to 6mm accessory cord.

Not Currently Scheduled.

For info, see forum post.

Red River Clean-up Volunteering

Join fellow river enthusiasts for a Clean Sweep of one of our local streams. Help draw attention to one of our precious resources. We will be working to remove unsightly trash along the river banks and send it to the landfill where it belongs! Boats and volunteers are needed, non-metal canoes or duckies preferred. So, don't be shy! Get involved in your creek!

Not a club sponsored event, although many members volunteer and evening meal is provided (or subsidized).

Red River Gorge, parking area next to Concrete Bridge (below Sky Bridge)

Not Scheduled


On the forum

Conservation Officer


Wilderness First Aid Class

Course Overview: The Wilderness and Remote First Aid 16-hour course is consistent with guidelines established for and by the Boy Scouts of America and is adaptable to meet the needs for such training for youth-serving organizations, adult participants in outdoor recreational activities, as well as employees working in various wilderness and remote settings where EMS response to the site of an incident is more than 60 minutes. It complies with Federal OSHA regulatory requirements for employee training. Major portions are designed to be taught in an outdoor environment. Topics covered include:

Head (Brain), Neck and Spinal Injuries
Allergies and Anaphylaxis
Bone and Joint Injuries
Wounds and Wound Infection
Heat-Related Emergencies
Altitude-Related Illness
And more...

Prerequisites: A current Adult CPR/AED certificate from the American Red Cross or a recognized training agency within one year of issue, or you must obtain one within a year, and a minimum age of 14. Each participant who successfully completes the Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid course receives a certificate for successful completion. This certificate meets current wilderness first aid training requirements for a variety of organizations, including Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, American Camp Association, and American Canoe Association.

Length: 8+ hours for two days depending on scenario length, but expect 8am to 6pm at a minimum.

Wear: Outdoor clothing you don’t mind getting muddy or dirty. Dress for weather, we will be outdoors.

Bring: Water, lunch, and pack your typical backpack or bring what you would normally have with you in the outdoors.

Not scheduled



CPR Training Course

This course provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and provide basic care for breathing and cardiac emergencies for adults. Special emphasis will be placed on the first aid portion of the class, specifically regarding what issues a boating group is likely to encounter in a white water, wilderness situation

Possible Objectives (may change year to year):
» Explain the three emergency action steps to follow in an emergency.
» Learn the four life-threatening conditions for which you should check
» Recognize the signals of a heart attack.
» Learn the cardiac chain of survival for a victim of cardiac arrest.
» Learn the precautions for using and AED.
» Demonstrate how to use basic precautions when caring for victims of breathing and cardiac emergencies.
» Demonstrate how to check an unconscious adult.
» Demonstrate how to care for a conscious and an unconscious choking adult.
» Demonstrate how to give CPR to an adult.
» Demonstrate how to use an AED for an adult in cardiac arrest.

Length: Approximately 4 hours

Certificate Validity: 1 year

Beaumont Public Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way, Lexington, Kentucky


Sign-up and Contact:
Safety Officer

US Military Veteran Support

BWA members helped out with Team River Runner until the local chapter disolved. Now the BWA has 5 scholarships for beginners who are members and Veterans to attend the Spring Clinic.


Summer Party

A new event that we hope will become a classic. The Summer Party is a co-production with our sister club the Viking Canoe Club out of Louisville. A big potluck meal, camping, and a lot of boating are in store. Special entertainment will be provided. Camping and entrees are provided by or subsidized by the clubs.


Not scheduled.


Annual Fall Reunion

Each year for over 20 years we have had an annual weekend gathering near one of the river systems we paddle. It gives us both a chance to run a river we all enjoy and to visit with each other and past members who may have moved away from the Lexington area. We have a big pot luck meal on Saturday night. We then gather around the campfire to tell stories, musically talented members play music and we catch up on our visiting with each other.

Larimore's property

Not scheduled at this time.

Potluck side or dessert.

Club Christmas Party

We have a holiday get-together in December every year at a bar & grill type establishment. Usually we have a canned food drive or some other charitable benefit at the event and some type of holiday activity for your entertainment.


None scheduled.


Informal Boating Trips and Mentoring

Join other members on boating trips all around the region, country, and world. Though not sponsored or sanctioned by the club itself, these trips are usually arranged privately between club members. They occur on almost every weekend and occationally during the week on almost every class of whitewater. There is always a large contingent of BWA members at GaulyFest and Russell Fork release weekends.

This is an excellent opportunity for members to learn new rivers or lines and paddling techniques and pick up additional information about safety and equipment. Experienced members at every level are paying this forward by mentoring less experienced members. Its also a lot of fun, both on and off the river.

Not club sponsored - these are private trips.

Check the Forums, attend meetings, get involved, make contacts.

Elkhorn Creek Put-in Parking Permit

Parking at the Elkhorn Campground Put-in for Elkhorn Creek is normally several dollars per person per day. We have a Parking Permit for BWA members that allows for free parking - a great club benefit. Display on your dash at all times while parked there. Permits are mailed around Aug.1 to members in good standing for which we have a valid address on file. Otherwise, try getting one in person from a steering committee member, or make a request to the Membership Coordinator.

Valid at the Elkhorn Campground parking area right off of US 460

Outfitter Discounts

Many local and area outfitters give BWA members 5-10% discounts on some or all of their merchandise. Several of these have Facebook pages that you make want to "Like" to see sales and other promotions.

Canoe Kentucky - Frankfort

J&H Outdoors - Lexington

Conservation and Civic Organization Support

We donate time and/or money to support worthy organizations whose missions align with the interests of the BWA, or in memory of someone who was close to the BWA.

These include:

For the maintenance and support of Elkhorn Acres.

Town Branch Trail fund

Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council

Ecuadorian Rivers Institute


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