After 30 minutes of safety training, members of the Charlotte alumni chapter were ready to test their skills on the rapids at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC), a multi-channel, recirculating whitewater river. They geared up in helmets and life preservers, piled into two large rubber rafts and began the 90-minute journey down the river.
“The raft with six of our people onboard never capsized, and nobody fell out during the entire exercise, and we actually rescued a guide who had fallen out of another raft,” says Tricia Staggers, president of the Charlotte chapter. “The other raft did capsize, though, and all of them ended up as swimmers, or as they phrased it at the center, ‘Members of the USNWC swim team.’ ”
The Charlotte chapter often gets together for basketball viewings, baseball games or happy hours, but Staggers says she wanted to plan an event that would appeal to the younger alumni in the Charlotte area and serve as a team-building exercise. “When I first learned of this new facility, I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to bring together the Charlotte alumni in an alternative and adventurous setting,” she says. “Everyone who attended enjoyed this event and suggested doing it again.”