EUGENE, Ore. -- Middle and high school students in the area are spending their week learning how to enjoy the open water while being safe.
The Swift Water Safety Camp puts the students in simulated rescue scenarios and teaches them how to handle themselves in dangerous water situations.
The camp is led by professional whitewater instructors from the Eugene-Springfield area. There are 23 students participating in the camp's first year.
Instructor Chad Heidtke said he loves teaching programs like this because it’s fun to see how much the kids get into it.
"They're super enthusiastic. They have high energy. They're into it,” said Heidtke. “We're playing with all kinds of fun things in the water, and the more real we can make it, the more fun the kids have."
Student Hannah Cox said learning these skills are very important.
"I’m just scared that something is going to happen, and then I just won't know how to prepare,” said Cox. "That's why I'm here -- to learn how to prepare for that kind of stuff."
During the first three days, students learn how to kayak, safely walk in shallow water, swim in heavy currents and understand them.
On Thursday and Friday, the instructors will be leading day-long floats on the Willamette and McKenzie rivers to put their skills to the test.
To learn more about the program, you can visit their website here.