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Family Vacation With Teens

My wife and I have three children.  For some odd reason, we chose to spread them five years apart.  So, when we vacation, the challenge is to find something that a teenager and a grade schooler can both do and be happy (our middle son is happy to be anywhere).  After years of experimentation and even more years of observing other families, I’ve found there is absolutely nothing better than whitewater rafting.

Family adventure vacations are unique in that they truly involve the whole family and everyone is doing the same thing.  You don’t have to constantly be splitting up the parents while one goes with the teen and the other goes with the younger kids.  Desolation Canyon on the Green River of Utah, the Main Salmon River in Idaho, or the Colorado River near Moab, Utah all offer experiences your family won’t forget.

Teenagers can paddle their own inflatable kayak or often we will put all the teens on one boat with one of our entertaining guides.  The parents appreciate the break, and the teens have a blast.  Don’t worry, our guides are carefully screened and trained and we have strict behavioral standards, so your kids are in great hands.

In camp, guides organize activities that the kids love and being on the river seems to inspire them to make their own fun.  Building sand castles, volleyball, an awesome game called Koob, or just hanging out are common.  We also find that teens like to hang out with the guides.  They’ll be gathered around the kitchen table while the guides prepare food or you’ll find them around the campfire singing songs.

Every year, we get dozens of parents who went on one of our river trips with their parents when they were teenagers and now want to share the same experience with their kids.  Come check out our many family oriented adventures.

Brian Merrill

Brian started his river career in 1984 and thought it would be a good summer job while in college. Along the way, he met his wife Dena, who also worked as a guide, tried a different career for a while, but came back to the river. His two older children have worked as river guides and his youngest is waiting his turn. Brian now serves as President and CEO of Western and is grateful, every day, for the wonderful people with whom he gets to work.

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