River Advocacy Training School

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    River R.A.T.S.
    FOR’s River Advocacy Training School

    FOR's River Advocacy Training School

    FOR is building a more powerful grassroots base by launching a new River Advocacy Training School, River RATS. This semester-long program will train and empower the next wave of advocates (that’s you), to be leaders in river protection and sustainable water policy in California. Specifically, we are recruiting talented college students, community activists, and staff from other river-related organizations in California to join this select team.

    River RATS will learn about water policy, grassroots organizing, river ecology, and natural history from experts in the field (meet the trainers) through a 4-day training at Camp Lotus along the beautiful American River and gain valuable hands-on experience by organizing events and activities to engage people in the river protection movement. With this field organizing under their belts, River RATS return to the American River to attend FOR’s Guide School to become a whitewater rafting guide or canoeist.

    Smith River 4By the end of the program, fellows will:

    Be leaders who inspire and motivate others to get involved and make a difference.
    Understand policymaking processes and how to be a legislative advocate.
    Have real-world experience in community organizing, education, and outreach
    Learn how to be a whitewater rafting or flatwater canoe guide.

    There couldn’t be a more important time for this program. The historic drought demonstrates just how limited and precious water is in California. With climate change we will face even more severe and prolonged droughts within the century. The River RATS program will cultivate a new generation of advocates for rivers and sustainable water solutions to ensure we have a reliable water supply along with healthy and vibrant waterways.


    A love for the natural environment and passion to protect it.
    Creative, resourceful, and able to manage multiple moving parts.
    Demonstrated ability to be organized, responsible, and self-motivated.
    Past volunteer or paid experience in the environmental or related field.
    Excellent verbal and written communication skills with experience working in teams.
    Social media, website, and video editing skills a plus.

    Key Dates:Eric at Capitol.cropped.png

    Applications due—December 1, 2015
    Training—January 8 – 11, 2016
    Field and Campus Organizing—January-May. Each fellow plans, promotes and leads events in their community (campus, community or non-profit). (The average time commitment is 12 hours/week.)
    Paddle to the Capitol & California Rivers Day in Sacramento—May 16th
    Whitewater Rafting Guide or Canoe Instructor School—June (Dates TBA)

    Expectations and Compensation (see application for more details)

    Campus Organizer (if currently enrolled in a college or university)
    – 3 events/activities and the California Rivers Day
    – $500/month after successful completion of January Training

    Community Organizer (local community member)
    – 2 events/activities and the California Rivers Day
    – Event organizing expenses reimbursed.
    – Community Organizers are eligible for $500 community grants after completing this program.

    Non-profit Organizer (currently work at a water-focused non-profit in California)
    – 1 opinion leader outing/trip, 1 outreach event connected to current campaigns and the California Rivers Day.
    – Professional development and increased organizational capacity.

    To apply (December 1st deadline)

    Please submit your application, cover letter, resume, and two references in addition to completing your application by November 23, 2015 by email to info@friendsoftheriver.org. Please be sure to clearly state if you are applying as a campus, community or non-profit organizer.

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