Whitewater Voyages' River Games

Depending on each crew's desires, Whitewater Voyages guides are always happy to spice up our trips with light hearted games and extra entertainment both on and off the river. To peak your curiosity and whet your appetite, here is a brief sampling of some of our favorites. If you would like to play some of these games on your trip please let your guide know! You – and we – will be glad you did.

By the same token, if you do not want to play, that is fine too. Our highest goal is to take extra special care of you!

Game Game Rules | Game Description
Stern Stuffing Move the entire crew into the stern compartment for spins or very wild rides through rapids. Stern stuffs should be done only with a 100% willing crew in rapids with clear, deep channels and good recovery pools where it is OK to swim.
Surfing Surfing the Silver Staircase, Lower Kern River Catch a reversal or hole so that your boat stays there for awhile.

Each surf may be short or long, and can result in the boat bucking and nose diving, filling with water and even flipping.

Surfing should only be attempted with 100% willing crews in places where it is OK to make noise and swim.
Tea Cups First, the paddlers seated on one side of the boat turn around to face the stern. Then, everyone does forward strokes to spin the boat as it floats through a mild rapid.
Trust Lean Trust Lean An entire raft crew stands around the perimeter tube holding hands leaning back out over the water.

Trust leans, of course, are only done in calms where it is OK to swim.
Upside Down Backward Spin Also called "The Foreign Planet." In a big calm or very mild section of river, everyone in the boat except the captain: first, stows their paddle; second, slides their fannies down into the boat a ways; third, wedges their feet, and last, leans back and out so their lower backs are firmly supported by the top of the perimeter tube with the tips of their heads nearly touching the water. With the crew looking out upside down, the captain then slowly spins the boat to give everyone an astonishing visual treat! The view of water above and sky below so amazes the senses that people feel almost like they are on a breathtakingly strange and beautiful foreign planet.
Flipped Raft Everyone first stands on a tarp on the ground, imagining it to be a flipped raft. The group then turns the "flipped raft" over without touching the surrounding ground. Everyone must be in contact with the tarp at all times.
Blind Run Above a rapid, everyone but the captain closes their eyes, and continues following the captain's commands down into and through the rapid. The crew keeps their eyes closed until given the all-clear to open them. When our vision, our dominant sense, is suspended for a time, people experience the temperature, motion and roar of the rapid with a fresh, amazing intensity.
River Shaman A great game to play in the course of a river trip! First, select the shaman in such a way that no one knows the shaman's identity: For instance, count out a stack of cards (including a joker) with the same number of cards as the total number of people in the group, and go around showing a different card to each person without anyone else seeing them. The person who gets the joker is the shaman.

Then, the shaman, unobtrusively, one at a time, as opportunities present themselves in the natural course of the trip, reveals him or herself to the other trip members and assigns them a "totem". Totems can be anything at all including bear, eagle, salmon, books, great Indian Chiefs, or any natural, man-made or imaginary object or concept what-so-ever. After waiting enough time to conceal the identity of the shaman – And at a time when the whole group is present – each person acts out their totem (and gives subtle hints if necessary) until the others guess what it is.

Meanwhile everyone who has not yet been assigned their totem, tries to figure out who the shaman is. To give the shaman a fair chance, no one can say out loud or hint whom they think the shaman is. Instead they may simply say, without indicating whom, that they think they know the shaman's identity. Whenever two trip members are ready to guess the shaman's identity, with the entire group present, they each first count to three, and then, on the count of four, silently, simultaneously point at whom they think the shaman is. If both point at the true shaman, they both win. If the guessers point at different people, or at someone who is not the shaman, they stay in the game, and in due course get assigned and act out their totems, but they can no longer guess or hint at the shaman's identity. The shaman wins if she or he can assign totems to everyone without being revealed.
Miwok Indian Song This authentic Miwok song was-and still is-sung by groups for extended periods to build up winning juju energy for their side in a competition:

Chiminee chiminee
Chiminee chiminee
Waya winna
Waya ha

While there is no direct translation, this song roughly means, "We are going to win! We are REALLY going to win BIG! We are good! We are SO GOOD!"
Hepwa Babba Chant An authentic African call and repeat chant having to do with feeling close to the earth. O'Battala! Is an earth god.

Hey Babba
Hepwa Babba
Hey Hepwa
Hepwa Hepwa
Babba Babba

Sango
Sango Sango
Sango Yamawa

...and so on, on and on, in whatever order feels good to you.

Conclude with:

O'Battala!
Bus Games

Make shuttles fun with this Natural History Quiz

Click Here to download a printer-friendly quiz.

Other River Trips You Might Like:

South Fork American River Fun Run
Class III-IV - 1 Day

Lower Kern River Jungle Run
Class III-IV - 1 Day

Lower Kern River Big Water
Class IV - 1 Day

Lower Kern River Southern Sierra Escape
Class III-IV - 2 Days

Upper Kern River Snap, Crackle and Pop
Class III-IV - 1/2 to 1 Day

Kings River Mega Joy Ride
Class III+ - 2 Days

Merced River Foam Dancer
Class IV - 2 Days

Kaweah River Sequoia Shooter
Class IV+ - 1 Day

Kaweah River Sequoia Gateway
Class IV+ - 2 Day

Whitewater Guide School

Group Trips

" I went on the two day rafting trip on May 15 & 16 down the North Fork of the Yuba River. I had so much fun on this trip. I didn't think that taking a ride down a river could be so much fun. I think that your staff is great and professional. Arlo was my trip leader and also my rafting guide. He was professional and very thorough with with all the rafting and safety procedures. I was a bit apprehensive about riding the Maytag Falls... Arlo was so laid back and so calming he made the ride a success. I never knew that a class V could be such a confidence booster. It is such a refreshing thing to think that there are people who enjoy doing the job that they do. The food was great and they are great entertainers as well. Can't wait to go again!! "
- Lisa Pimentel
Novato, California

" The 'Crawford Clan' of five had an awesome time on the North Fork of the American with Dan as our guide. Ian, Dan, Peter, and Glen were all excellent guides, friendly folks, and incredible people to hang out with. Our four boat posse only saw one other raft on the water all day, the water level was high and intense, and our guides took care of us while having fun right along with us. The offering of a free campsite was perfect for us city dwellers, and only added to our incredible journey. Chris, Zack, Brock, Monique, and our planner Mike all thank you kindly! "
- Chris
San Francisco, California

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Whitewater Voyages
11252 Kernville Road, Kernville, CA 93238
Call Toll Free: 800-400-7238
The Leader in California White Water Rafting Trips Since 1975

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