SWCC rafting   Youth on Water   Women on Water

Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition’s flagship program is so much more than an outdoor recreational experience!


The Future is YOW!

Youth on Water and Women on Water offers 5 programs in 5 communities in the Skeena Watershed.  Our YOW program runs for 4 days, and our WOW programs are offered as 2 day programs this year.  YOW/WOW connect youth and women to the river, their communities, and each other in adventure packed experiential, challenging, and educational days on the river. 

 YOW and WOW have been successful for over a decade in our area, a true testament to the unwavering support from our communities and the deep commitment of locals to the ongoing stewardship and care for our rivers. 

SWCC is dedicated to ensuring that YOW and WOW remain free to participants.  This is made possible through the support of our funders at: Patagonia, MakeWay, and re:Wild. 

2024 Rafting Schedule & waiver

Interested in applying? Click the SIGN UP HERE button linked below!



YOW Terrace: July 8-11

YOW Gitwangak: July 15-18

YOW Smithers: July 22-25

YOW Witset: July 29 – Aug 1

YOW Hazelton: Aug 5-8


WOW Terrace: July 12-13

WOW Gitwangak: July 19-20

WOW Witset: Aug 2-3

WOW Hazelton: Aug 9-10

EDUCATION. Participants are introduced to swift water rescue training and they get to practice their new skills on every raft trip. They youth learn river and rafting skills that not only teach the how to be sage in moving water, but also help the build their skills to gain employment in the rafting or swiftwater industry. Local experts, elders, or conservationists occasionally join the crew to teach youth about salmon, their habitat, and their importance to our ecosystem. Experienced guides and facilitators capitalize on the many learning opportunities out on the water!


CULTURE. The YOW program is developed in partnership with local communities and First Nations. Participants learn about the history and culture of this region and how we connect to the watershed and to each other.

LEADERSHIP. Our goal is that each participant makes new friends, connects with positive role models, learns new skills and becomes empowered as leaders! Can you imagine just how incredible it would feel to learn all the skills that would allow you to safely master a raft of your peers through a whitewater canyon?


CONNECTION. Learning, failing, succeeding, and reflecting together to build connection to land, culture, and each other. Healthy recreational opportunities help participants make lasting connections to the watershed. Some of the inspiring connections made through YOW have brought youth into other SWCC projects, such as CLAW (Conservation Leadership Action Workshops), and youth mentoring.


STEWARDSHIP. With the help of local fish biologists, YOW participants gain a rare glimpse into the life cycle of Skeena salmon and trout. They learn how to identify and sample fish and understand the role of salmon and wildlife in the watershed. SWCC also educates participants about ecosystem management, and how we all play a role in stewardship.

SAFETY. We believe that youth who understand river currents, hydraulics and navigation will be safer in and around the Skeena watershed. Participants learn how to read currents, recognize danger, choose the best line through rapids, and identify which skills are needed if you fall out of the raft in the rapids. Participants learn basic skills of self-rescue and how to rescue others. By the end of the program, each student comes away with real whitewater skills to apply on any river in the world and stay safe.


FUN! It’s exciting to learn and connect with tons of fun in one of North America’s most extraordinary regions while rocking on the river!


SWCC Guides are certified in Swift Water Rescue and Wilderness Advanced First Aid.  As facilitators and informal educators on the river, SWCC Guides offer meaningful and safe trips for every Youth and Women on Water participant. Our guides are previous YOW/WOW Participants and graduates of our YOW/WOW Guide training mentorship program. Our river guides reflect the diversity of communities in the Skeena Watershed, consisting of Gitxsan, Wet’suwet’en, Gitanyow, and Settler guides.


Stay tuned for our exciting 2024 Junior Guide Academy opportunity!   


Make a Donation Today

Can’t donate financially? There are many other things the program needs.

  • Equipment repair & maintenance (rafts, wetsuits, spray jackets, etc.)
  • Program organizing: helping set up gear, washing gear, putting gear away, inventory equipment, etc.
  • Be a guest speaker – do you have an area of expertise that relates to our program?  We host guests on the water who can talk about salmon, cultural history, conservation, biology, ecology, leadership, etc.
  • Email us if you have any other ideas!

Find out more about YOW & WOW

Contact SWCC for more information:


Email: [email protected]

Ph: 250-842-2494

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