River Rampage is an outdoor adventure program for young people who face significant life challenges. It's run by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, with additional support from River of Dreams, a non-profit organization. Week long trips are offered each summer under the supervision of ARS staff and volunteer mentors.
On each trip, half of the teen participants have significant disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, head injury, blindness, deafness or Down syndrome. The others are youths deemed to be at risk for reaching their full potential. Their challenges have included homelessness, poverty, histories of gang or substance abuse, and lack of family support. The trips are a model for teaching youths to appreciate diversity so each trip includes young people of various cultures, economic status and ability levels. Evaluation results have shown the dramatic benefits received by River Rampage participants.
For more information, or to request application forms for teen participants or volunteer adult support staff, please contact River Rampage staff at (602) 495-5507 (Voice), (602) 262-6713 (TTY)
I have cerebral palsy. I have a wheelchair. I learned that people's differences or backgrounds don't matter when you're out in the middle of nowhere. Everyone is on equal ground. I would like to say those were the best seven days of my life.
-Mandy H., River Rampage participant