“My son just got back from a backpacking trip and I can’t say enough good things about his experience! George is masterful with kids and has so much knowledge about the natural world that just being around him is an education.” 
Parent of Trip Participant, 2018 Season
Basic Trip Info:
  • 2019 Trip Schedule:
    • 3 Days/2 Nights- Ages 9-14, August 13th-15th, 2019, $380
    • 7 Days/6 Nights- Ages 15-18, August 5th-11th, $960
  • Drop-Off and Pick-up at RRC Headquarters 8-8:30 AM Drop-Off on Day 1 and 4:00 to 4:30 PM Pick-Up on last day.
To register please follow the steps below:
  1. Read full program information below.
  2. Click Here to fill out Online Registration Form.
  3. Click Here to pay $150 deposit to secure place.
  4. Pay full cost of trip by May 1st (Details will be emailed)

3 day 2 night Backpacking Trip  

These trips are intended to give your child a taste of living out of a backpack and what it’s like to be part of a team surviving in the great outdoors! During these introductory trips, participants will be responsible for all aspects of backcountry living: tent set up and break down, food preparation, staying warm and dry, fire building, cooking, cleaning, and following Leave No Trace principles. Participants will learn to work in a group toward a common goal, for example, navigating a map or making critical decisions about the weather. By the end of the trip, participants will have learned how to live self-sufficiently in the wild. The cost is $380.


7 day 6 night Backpacking Trip 

These trips are intended to build on the skills and practices introduced during our 3 day trips, and backpacking experience is a prerequisite. The 7 day trips are more physically and mentally challenging, simply because the time spend in the backcountry is greater.  Participants will gain a more in-depth understanding of local ecology as they cross over many different types of Virginia ecosystems. We believe that the longer you spend in the backcountry, the greater the benefits you will earn. Our 7 day trips will build your child’s self-confidence and independence, and allow your child to develop the strongest possible connection with nature and their peers. The cost is $960. 

About Watershed Adventures

Watershed Adventures is the Rivanna River Company’s outdoor exploration program for young people. The program is directed by local educator George Mackaronis, who co-founder Watershed Adventures along with Gabe and Sonya Silver in 2017. This leadership team designs and administers the program. George, RRC paddling guides, and assistant counselors staff the camps.

George has been an avid backpacker and climber for over 10 years, and he has taught those skills in various guide and teaching positions since 2011. George taught Physical and Environmental Education  at Free Union Country School from 2012-2018. He also developed Free Union’s Naturalist curriculum and led nature and sports camps in the summer. Currently, George is the Assistant Director of Advancement and Special Programs and teaches 11th grade English at The Blue Ridge School in St. George, Virginia.  He received a BA in psychology from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and has held a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification since 2012.