Students try rafting through program

On April 1, 15 Northern Kentucky University students embarked on an adventure that they would remember for the rest of their lives.

By participating in NKU’s Ace Adventure Program, students were able to travel to New River Gorge in Oak Hill, W.Va., and take part in exciting white water rafting. During the trip, the students were not only exposed to the cold elements, but also wrestled Class III and IV rapids.

Due to extremely high water, the students’ route was changed from New River to Lower Gulley, but that couldn’t alter the fun and lasting memories that would be created.

“The trip was awesome! It was a great experience actually going through the rapids on a raft,” said NKU student Grant Holbrook.

That same enthusiasm was a common theme among all the students who took part in the trip, despite dealing with cold temperatures, rain and even snow.

“When we finished rafting and got back to camp it started snowing, and by the time we went to bed there was already two inches of snow on the ground,” said Carrie Crutcher.

The rafting itself proved to be challenging. With the help of guides, the students traveled down fast and dangerous rapids. One boat completely tipped over, and NKU student Stephanie Steele fell into the water on the very first rapid.

“I was so scared, but my friends and guide pulled me back in,” said Steele.

When the students took a break for lunch, the reality of the cold weather set in.

“People’s hands were shaking so bad they couldn’t even get food into their mouths,” said Crutcher.

Some students tried to stay active while eating to avoid getting cold.

“There was never a worse moment in my life. I could barely hold my sandwich that I was trying to eat,” said Holbrook.

The rafting trip was organized by NKU’s campus recreation, led by coordinator Jeremy Chipman, who also went on the trip.

“I had a great time and so did the students,” said Chipman. “We can’t wait to go back.”

By signing up to participate in the trip, the students were exposed to the beautiful waterfalls and mountain ranges of West Virginia. It also allowed the students to make new friends and learn great rafting tips from the guides. Many students are already looking forward to the next trip.

“If anyone has thought about (signing up), definitely do it, because you’re missing out on a great time,” said Steele.

The Outdoor Adventure Program formed last year and has received a great response from students. The program allows students to go on a couple of trips each semester. In January, a group of students traveled to Perfect North Slopes to ski.

Anyone interested in finding out more information about the Outdoor Adventure Program should log on to or look for promotional fliers all across campus.