Wonders on the Wabash (WOW)

September 11, 12, 19, 20, 24, 25 - 2019

Volunteer Information, Responsibilities

& Sign-up

What to expect on a typical day rafting….

Before this excursion, the TCPWQ Educator will have visited each school participating in Wonders on the Wabash. The educator will have explained to students and teachers what their day on the water entails. All the students will have preformed a pre-test for this trip. All the students, parents and teachers will be aware of what the students will be learning about and tested on, and what to bring for the day. Students will be aware that they will be competing against other rafts for high test scores. This is not a race of paddling the fastest. A one-of-a kind T-shirts, will be awarded to the raft with the highest test scores.

The WOW program is part of STEM education. September is a great month to have this program, it’s early enough to where the teachers can use what the children have learned and expand upon it. Or, in some cases, the program is an expansion of what they have been studying.

  • Your day will begin when you arrive at Fort Ouiatenon, located at 3136 S River Rd, West Lafayette, IN 47906, between 8 AM and 8:30 AM to park your vehicle for the day. You will be shuttled from Fort Ouiatenon to Tapawingo Park, located at 100 Tapawingo Dr, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

  • Tapawingo Park: Please seek out the TCPWQ Educator when you arrive you at the park. The educator will provide you with your group number, your adult rafting partner, and the following items:

    • A clear baggie that will include a whistle, colored wristbands for you and your students, a cheat-sheet to make sure you have covered all the information that is to be reviewed with your students, one spiral notebook for your students to journal in, two ink pens, and hand wipes.

    • As a raft instructor, one of your responsibilities will be arming your students with the information that will be on the On-the-River test. You will receive this information via email, before your day on the water, to give you ample time for reviewing. You will also receive, via email, talking point suggestions while you’re on your raft. Other raft instructor responsibilities include;

      • Insuring the safety of your raft at all times.

      • Keeping track of your students at all times.

      • Staying with your students at all times.

      • Keeping your raft on time.

    • A large dry bag for your raft. There will be bottled water and Goldfish crackers inside the bag for a snack at the first island. This bag is large enough to fit jackets that the students may have brought.

    • A large clothes basket with your group number on it. The basket is used to hold the extra clothes the students bring. The basket will be shuttled to the Fort via land crew.

  • Once all volunteers have arrived, there will be a morning meeting regarding weather updates, agenda, approximately how many students there will be, any medical or special needs we need to be aware of and to answer any questions and/or concerns you may have about the day. We want to make sure everyone is feeling comfortable about the day.

  • This will be your last opportunity to use a restroom until we get to Fort Ouiatenon.

  • Buses will begin arriving between 9:00 and 9:30. When the students arrive, a land crew person will number the students’ hands as they exit the bus. They will be directed to find the adult with the number that matches their number. Once you have all your students, introduce yourself, then send students to get a paddle and a life jacket. If you have a few minutes before morning announcements, please take a moment with your group to go over how to paddle, assign a person to journal, and get to know each other.

  • Morning Announcements: Once everyone has their life jackets and paddles, you will gather closer to the shelter area for morning announcements. Students and teachers will be welcomed, rules will be covered, there will be a quick explanation of how to hold a paddle, and any questions and/or concerns will be addresses.

  • Launch: After morning announcements and last restroom call, we will launch. Students, equipped with life jackets and paddles, will walk down to the sandbar where all the rafts have been inflated and prepared to be launched.

  • Please be prepared to have wet feet and possibly wet clothing. You may get WET. We strongly suggest you wear old closed toe shoes, water shoes or Keens. Please do not wear Crocs or water socks. We suggest bringing a change of clothes and foot wear.

  • Arriving at Fort Ouiatenon: Once rafts have reached the boat ramp at the Fort, you and your students will be responsible to carry your raft up to the grassy area.

    • Life jackets will need to be spread out on the grass to dry.

    • Paddles will be placed in a pile near the bins.

    • You and your students will head to the shelter. Tables will be marked with your raft number. This is a great opportunity to have table conversations with your group! Ask them questions! Kids love to talk, find out what they liked about the trip.

    • If we were unable to stop at Lafayette Renew, we will be having the session at the shelter.

    • Lunch. Tables will be dismissed in an orderly fashion. Please keep your students at their table until their number is dismissed.

    • Winning raft will be announced and T-shirts passed out to the raft with the highest test scores.

Suggestions on what you should bring on your day.

  • We suggest you bring the following items:

    • A change of clothing. You MAY get WET!

    • A towel.

    • A pair of dry shoes.

    • Please leave all your extras in your vehicle.

Become a Volunteer

Click here to volunteer for the 2019 WOW rafting trip. This link will open in a new window. 

Background Check

Background form here. This form will need to be completed before you will be allowed to volunteer.  Please mail, scan and/or email this form only, to the TCPWQ. There will be no cost to you for the background check that will be ran through the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department. Thank you for your willingness to volunteer.  We look forward to seeing you on the water!

Safety Information:

  • In the event of an emergency while on the water, Emergency Personnel will be present in a motorized safety boat. They will have a first aid kit and will be able to arise.

  • The trip will only be canceled in the event of severe weather or dangerously high water levels.

  • If the day is canceled, you will be notified via text. Unfortunately, if we do have to cancel, we cannot make up that day.

Questions and Concerns

Please feel free to contact the Tippecanoe County Partenership for Water Quality (TCPWQ) with any questions and/or concerns you may have at 765-423-9228 or email Monica Christopher at

Our Route

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