Our first set of OARLOCKs.

In July of 2013, I lead my first trip on Oregon's Wild & Scenic Rogue River.  The group was comprised of several outstanding high school students - smart, confident, curious young adults who displayed extraordinary leadership qualities.  One evening on that expedition, as the kids giggled together with several guides around the campfire, I enjoyed a conversation with our lead guide who has been rowing rivers and managing guide staffs for more than three decades.  At one point during that conversation, he looked at me, pointed to the incredible young adults we'd gotten to know and admire and said, "the greatest thing about what you're doing here is that 5 years down the line, that's your staff."  

Those words have rung in my head ever since. 

More recently, several of our older GOALS graduates have approached me about the possibility of helping to lead trips - wanting a chance to mentor kids and serve as positive role models just as someone had done for them years before.  GOALS put a few of these motivated graduates in program leadership positions last year, and the results were very positive for everyone involved.  Now, we're excited to welcome a few of our best and brightest into the GOALS guide staff by officially launching the OARLOCK award.  

You may remember the OARLOCK fundraising campaign GOALS launched at the end of 2016 to honor Arlo Tejada and turn this vision into reality.  Through the generosity of GOALS donors, we're now giving a pair of young adults the chance of a lifetime to explore and learn - then share their knowledge gained with kids in the programs they'll each be leading next year.  Since it will ultimately be their responsibility to connect, inspire, and empower people on rivers, we're connecting, inspiring, and empowering them through an exceptional opportunity to explore and grow before they begin.  In March, we'll travel together to Chile and spend 9 days exploring the famous Futaleufu River and its' tributaries - a river equally known for its’ scenery and rapids as it is for the constant battle being waged to keep it from falling to hydroelectric dams.  We'll meet with local government officials and activists to understand an much about both sides of the damming argument as we can.  We'll connect with rural school children and educators in the area to begin building partnerships that may lead to international learning opportunities for future GOALS groups.  We'll search.  We'll reflect.  We'll navigate.  I'm certain that through it all, we'll come to believe things that we can't even dream up yet. 


Two months later, in mid-May, our oARLOcks will then complete a professional guide training through Sheri Griffith Expeditions, and will begin their service commitment to GOALS of volunteering no less than 30 days over the next two years – most of which will be with hands on oars as they use their passion, knowledge, experience, and leadership to make the same profound personal growth opportunities available for younger participants that someone once did for them.


Ben Shay

My name is Ben Shay and I am proud to be one of the first recipients of the oARLOck award. My GOALS journey - and what would effectively become my life journey - began on a trip through Desolation Canyon as an 8th grader in 2009.  What would grow from that trip was a passion for anything rivers.  I returned to GOALS for an additional expedition through Cataract Canyon, and have since become involved in several facets of the river community - guiding commercially and even racing rafts on the USA Mens U23 team.  Each time I'm on the river, I reconnect to that first trip.  There's no better way to continue experiencing the magic than to share it with others.  I believe in the power of this program and I'm thrilled to continue leading GOALS trips for kids who may arrive at the same transformation I didn't know I was headed toward as I entered Desolation Canyon 8 years ago. I am honored to use my passion, talent, and experience to expand what can only be seen as a life changing program.

CamilLe Kintzele

Hi!  My name is Camille Kintzele. I grew up in Evergreen and have been involved with GOALS for the past five years - from my first Cataract Canyon expedition in Utah as a high school student in 2012 to Oregon's Rogue River and Idaho's Main Salmon - and ultimately to leading my own trip for middle school students in Desolation Canyon last summer.  Throughout my own GOALS journey, the canyon has become my classroom, my sanctuary, and a place that has shaped me into the person that I am proud to be today. It feels like a dream that I am an oARLOck winner, and will not only get to witness the transformation that takes place between the put in and the take out as kids become more aware of themselves and the world around them - I'll get to help make it happen.  I am beyond excited to be a part of the GOALS family! 


This is ridiculously exciting.  It represents so much more than a few new hires.  These aren't just interns or summer staff members.  They're integral human components that deliver our mission and shape young lives.  
The potential that lies within our oARLOck program is only beginning to be understood.  It honors Arlo's legacy, while allowing for the expansion of our programs to serve more kids who benefit from be guided by qualified and experienced role models that were once in the same spot as the kids now looking up to them as mentors.  We're very proud of the first set of oARLOcks, and can't wait to see where this leads them - and GOALS - downstream.


At GOALS, we are frequently reminded that there exists a large population of "older kids" craving the chance to go spend a few days on the river and a few nights under the stars.  We're listening, and for the first time we're offering a very limited number of adult river expeditions in 2017.  There are two objectives of these expeditions - to provide adults who are interested with an opportunity to experience the growth the comes from a GOALS program, and to raise money that will be used to support kids in our more traditional youth programs who are unable to afford the full cost.



We are excited to announce a 3-day Westwater Canyon expedition for adults from August 6 - 8, 2017 centered around an outdoor "canvas and cocktails" guided artwork/creativity theme.  This expedition will meet in Fruita, Colorado on Saturday evening, August 5th.  Those who can make it over for dinner will get to know one another over pizza at the Hot Tomato, then camp at Highline State Park before launching onto the Colorado River on the morning of Sunday, August 6th. 

Over the next three days, we'll leave the worries, hustle and bustle of our overly scheduled lives behind and tune in to "river time" - a more sane pace of life where there are three main times of day - sunrise, lunch, and the evening campfire.  Along the way, we'll enjoy the scenic beauty and relaxed, slow pace of Ruby and Horsethief Canyons for the first half of our expedition before entering the tall sandstone walls and technical rapids of Westwater Canyon - named recently by National Geographic as the best short whitewater expedition in North America.


In addition to the professional guides that provide comfort and safety on every GOALS expedition, this program will feature art instruction and guidance from the talented and passionate Michelle Allain - art teacher at Evergreen Country Day School in Evergreen, Colorado. 

Michelle hails from southeastern Massachusetts and lived in Boston for about 10 years where she earned her degrees in Sculpture and Studio Teaching. She moved to Colorado for the same reasons everyone is moving to Colorado - hiking, camping, skiing, sunshine, and a gorgeous landscape. She’s been teaching art from Kindergarten through eighth grade for 8 years, and has taught adults in continuing education printmaking courses. Her artistic loves are printmaking, painting, drawing, and ceramics. She can’t imagine anything better than combining art, the outdoors, and adventure - and can’t wait to share these experiences with others.

Michelle will lead two artistic sessions - one each afternoon/evening in the canyon, and everyone who is interested in letting their creative juices flow while creating an artistic memoir of their trip is welcome, but certainly not required, to join her.  Michelle's teaching style is encouraging - and no one is expected to arrive at this expedition as any more of an accomplished artist than they'd be if invited to the increasingly popular "cocktails-and-canvas" themed party by a friend or co-worker.  All necessary art materials will be provided.   


The minimum investment to participate in this expedition is $880.  Just as will the be the case with every GOALS adult expedition offered, a portion of your cost will go directly to a fund that is used to provide financial assistance for children and families who are unable to cover the cost of their youth expedition.  For this expedition, that minimum portion is $100.  Participants interested in contributing more may do so, and can consider any additional contribution a donation that is thereby tax-deductible.   

Applications are being accepted now - this expedition is limited to the first 15 applicants whose responses prove to be a good fit with the objectives of this program.  If you'd like to be considered, please don't wait!  



We've been blessed by the generosity of our partnering outfitters - Sheri Griffith Expeditions and ARTA - who offered GOALS more river permits than ever before.  We're working tirelessly to utilize their support, and aim to fill as many permits as we can to serve the maximum number of kids possible in 2017.

Many of our most coveted permits have limited availability remaining - offering fantastic opportunities for new, smaller groups to get involved or for individuals to join existing groups and bring a friend or two along.  There are a few early season Desolation Canyon trips with room for middle school students - featuring a scenic flight in to the put-in, big volume whitewater with roller-coaster-like waves that transport us between side hikes where we find ancient petroglyphs, outlaw hide-outs, and amazing beaches to call home for the night.  There's a high school expedition on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River that currently has 10 kids enrolled from 4 different high schools who'll get to know one another while floating on magical gin-clear green water through a coastal redwood ecosystem that's carrying them right out to the Pacific coast.  There are even a few shorter 3-day expeditions later in the season on the Colorado River through Ruby or Westwater Canyon that remain completely open - allowing the right leader to build a group of their own and integrate annual GOALS expeditions into the lives of the kids they work teach, coach, mentor, etc.  

If you're interested in being involved in any of the expeditions described above or listed below, please don't wait!  Contact the GOALS office with any questions - we're here to help!