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RESUME OF:       Charles C. Walbridge                                        




·         Secondary: Brooks School - Class of 1966

·         College: Bucknell University - Class of 1971; B.S. (Education)





·         CANOE AND CAMPING INSTRUCTOR: Camp Mowglis 1963-1972

·         BIOLOGY TEACHER: Stephen Decatur Junior High School 1971-1972

·         BUSINESS OWNER: Wildwater Designs Ltd. (Retail ,mail order, and wholesaling of paddling equipment) 1972-1995

·         TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE, Extrasport, Inc. 1995 – 2000

·         EASTERN OUTFITTER REPRESENTATIVE, Northwest River Supplies 1995 – Present



·         American Canoe Association: 1978 - 79

·         American Whitewater: 1992 - Present

·         Mowglis, School of the Open: 1999 – Present

·         Friends of the Cheat River: 2001- Present




·         1964-1971: Canoe Instructor, Camp Mowglis. Initiated their whitewater program. Revised award qualifications. Supervised and trained junior staff. Lead canoe trips.


·         1966-1971: Co-Founder and President, Bucknell Outing Club. Ran the canoeing program; worked with Dean of Students and Student Government for funding.


·         1971-1977: Active slalom and wildwater racer. Achieved a "top ten" ranking in each discipline.


·         1972-Present: Extensive paddling experience throughout the country. Trips to Colorado, Idaho, and California.  Regional padding throughout the East, including New England, Middle States, Southeast, and Canada. Numerous  first and second descents


·         1974-1979: River Guide and Canoe Instructor. Nantahala Outdoor Center 1974; Madawaska Kanu Camp, Canada 1975; Mountain Streams and Trails Outfitters 1976-1981. Eastern River Expeditions 1982-1984.


·         1976-Present: Member, Instruction Committee of the American Canoe Association. An Instructor-Trainer since 1977. Ongoing liaison with the American Red Cross in developing revised instruction materials. He has trained over 100 instructors and worked with numerous programs throughout the East.


·         1977 – Worked with Senator Stewart Greenleaf to arrange water releases on Tohickon Creek in Eastern PA. The event continues to this day.


·         1977-1997: Appointed Safety Chairman of the American Canoe Association. Job requires communication with the paddling community and government agencies at the state and national level. The position was eliminated during reorganization.


·         1986-1991: Appointed safety chairman of American Whitewater Affiliation. Job includes safety code revisions and a monthly column for The American Whitewater Journal. He stepped down to become a director of AWA. He remains active on the safety committee and is currently the Safety Editor for the AW Journal.





·         Throw-Line Rescue Bag (1974)

·         HiFloat PFD (1975)

·         Swiftwater Rescue Harness (1992)

·         Swiftwater Tow Tether (1995)


All are currently in commercial production and widely imitated. I work as an informal consultant to several equipment manufacturers.





·         1977-1979: Participation in river Safety Symposia in Easton, Pennsylvania. Chairman in 1978 and 1979.  Responsible for coordinating a program for 100 students in cooperation with The American Red Cross, local clubs, Park Officials, and the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.


·         1978. Member, U.S. Coast Guard Canoe Accident Study Team Representatives of three major canoeing organizations studies a full year of accident reports involving canoes to determine prevention strategies. Results showed 85% not wearing life jackets, and determined that 44% would have been saved had they done so.


·         1979: Developed a series of eight posters on canoe safety with cartoonist Dean Norman under a U.S. Coast Guard Grant. Supervised the development of the Canoesport Packet, a collection of pamphlets on basic canoe and kayak safety, distributed without charge by the American Canoe Association.


·         1979: Member, Committee on Universal River Signals, American Whitewater Affiliation. We developed a nationally recognized system of river signals for on-water communication.


·         1980 and 1981: Presenter at two River Rescue Conferences put on by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in Columbus, Ohio. Spoke on profile of accident victims and techniques for educating recreational paddlers.


·         1981: Member, Safety Review Team, Minnesota Outward Bound School. Working under National Safety Director Bob Box, I was responsible for evaluating the lake canoeing, wilderness tripping, and whitewater aspects of their program. Recommendations were made to the director of the School.


·         1981 and 1983: Speaker and Instructor, Pennsylvania Fish Commission River Rescue Symposiums in Harrisburg, Pa. and Scranton, Pa. under Chief Education Specialist Virgil Chambers.


·         1982: Co-chairman, River Rescue Symposium, Richmond, VA. Put on in cooperation with Coastal Canoeists, Richmond Bureau of Fire, Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries and Game, and the American Red Cross. I was responsible for developing and executing the instructional program for 100 firefighters. Was among those responsible for keeping the James River open to canoeing and kayaking. 


·         1984: Speaker and Instructor, Ledyard Canoe Club River Safety Workshop co-sponsored by the A-6 Ambulance District.


·         1985: Co-Chairman, River Rescue Symposium, Washington, D.C. Put on in cooperation with the National Park Service, American Red Cross, Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, and the Metropolitan DC Council of Governments. This was a most challenging event due to intense political and jurisdictional disputes following a tragic multiple drowning the year previous.


·         1986: Instructor: River Guide Training, National Park Service, New River Gorge NRA.


·         1986: Instructor and Presenter, National Conference of Collegiate Outing Programs, Davis, California. Discussed Eastern River Recreation and River Rescue.


·         1987: Chairman, American Canoe Association and Chairman, Safety Code Revision Committee of the American Whitewater Affiliation. Coordinated the input of over 50 experts to update the nation's only safety code for canoeists and kayakists. Appointed Safety Chairman of the AWA following this revision. Write a regular safety column for "American Whitewater Journal".


·         1987: Member, Safety Committee, North American Paddlesports Association, an association of canoe and kayak dealers. He helped to develop safety standards for on-water canoe and kayak demo's at the request of NAPSA’s insurance underwriter.


·         1987: Co-Chairman, Ohiopyle River Safety Symposium. Sponsored by Ohiopyle State Park, the outfitters on the Lower Youghiogheny, and the American Red Cross, this event included a full day's hands-on river work for 75 firefighters and rescue professionals.


·         1987-present: designed and ran regular summer courses in river rescue for paddlers on the Delaware River near Lambertville, NJ.


·         1987-1989: River Safety Chairman for the '89 World Championships on the Savage River near Bloomington, Md. Supervises squad of 60 volunteers covering the slalom and wildwater races. Worked with the Chairman of Volunteers on logistics issues.


·         1988-89: Member, River Safety Video Work Group, National Park Service, Upper Delaware NSRR, Narrowsburg, N.Y. Served as consultant in preparing their video. Also served as a consultant to Robert Kaufman and Russ Nichols in the preparation of "Cold, Wet, and Alive", a Coast Guard funded Hypothermia film.


·         1989: Speaker, Ohio Water Rescue Conference, Avon Lake, Ohio. The theme was "Developing National Standards for Water Rescue". This was done under the auspices of ASTM. Participated in swiftwater rescue group. Member, ASTM Committee F-32.05.030  (Water Rescue).


·         1989: Consultant, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Participated in a daylong session discussing ways to reduce river fatalities in Idaho.


·         1990: Speaker, International River Safety Symposium held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. Gave overview of boating safety in USA to an international audience.


·         1990-94: Supervised development of River Rescue Course for the American Canoe Association. Includes giving prototype courses to over 900 participants, developing curriculum, and certifying instructor-trainers.


·         1991 Speaker, America Outdoors Confluence '91. Spoke on risk management in the Rafting Industry and assisted in a river rescue workshop.


·         1993 Featured in the National Organization of Canoe Liveries and Outfitters safety video; also: the American Canoe Association's "Heads UP" River Rescue Video.


·         1993 Speaker, America Outdoors Confluence '93. Coordinated a panel of six outfitters and other safety experts discussing the best methods for coping with serious injuries and fatalities.


·         1997 Revision Consultant, American Red Cross Small Craft Safety Program.


·         1997 Participated in the 1998 AWA Safety Code Revision as the Safety Committee Vice- Chair.


·         1998-1999: Served on the Standards Technical Panel for Personal Flotation Devices run by Underwriter’s Laboratories.


·         1998-9: Scriptwriter and technical consultant for Whitewater Self Defense, a river safety and instructional video produced for Performance Vide by Kent Ford. He also appeared on camera.


·         2000-2004: Member, Safety Focus Group, Ohiopyle State Park. Chaired by park manager Doug Hoehn, we studied the circumstances surrounding three recent drownings at Dimple Rapid and made recommendations to him to improve safety in the park in general and at Dimple Rapid in particular. He also testified at the coroner’s inquest into the three deaths.


·         Safety Director, Ohiopyle Falls Race, 2000-2002


·         Chairman, Cheat Canyon Coalition, 2002-2003 supporting WV Governor Bob Wise’s efforts to purchase 5500 acres of land along the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers. Coordinated an access agreement at Jenkinsburg on the Cheat Canyon with Mountain Streams and Trails Outfitters in 2005.


·         2004: Consultant, McLaughlin Rincon Engineering, Denver, CO. They were engineers of record on a 22 million dollar project to re-water the American River at the Auburn Dam Site near Auburn, CA. I was asked to examine a hydrologic model in Colorado Springs and visit the project site before advising the Placer County Water Authority about the difficulty of the rapid that would be produced.


·         2005: Citizen’s Advisory Board, McHenry Adventure Sport Center International, McHenry, MD. This is a timed release whitewater park located on top of the Wisp Ski Resort. I have participated in scoping sessions and reviews of plans and models on a half dozen occasions and will be present when the water is turned on for the first time.


·         2006: Safety Review, Bow River Dam Modification, Calgary, Alberta 2006. I was asked to examine the site and hydrologic models of a project at the Western Headworks Weir in Calgary. They plan to replace a dangerous dam with designed whitewater rapids; I was asked to identify possible safety issues and to advise the Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, who will construct and manage the project. A 21 page report was produced.


·         2006: Safety Review. I was hired by The Western Association To Enjoy Rivers in Grand Junction, CO. They had designed a whitewater play park at the Price-Stubbs Diversion Dam on the Colorado River . I was did a safety review of their plan and an alternative plan put forward by the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the current site. I also traveled to Colorado, visited the site, and to testified at a public hearing.







·         INTERNATIONAL RESCUE CONFERENCE 1989: Held at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, NC


·         CALGARY AREA OUTDOORS COUNCIL WATER CONFERENCE 1988: Featured speaker on safety education and accident investigation.


·         EASTERN PROFESSIONAL RIVER OUTFITTERS (EPRO): 1979: Asheville, NC; 1983: Morgantown, WV; 1987


·         AMERICA OUTDOORS: Orlando, FL 1991 & 1993


·         SECOND COAST GUARD DISTRICT: St. Louis, MO 1979


·         NATIONAL WATER SAFETY CONGRESS: Washington, DC 1980






·         OHIO DIVISION OF WATERCRAFT: Columbus, OH: 1983 and 1995


·         INTERNATIONAL BOATING AND WATER SAFETY SUMMIT, Las Vegas, Nevada: “An Inside Look at Whitewater Safety” 2003








·         THE ALL-PURPOSE GUIDE TO PADDLING edited by Dean Norman, Great Lakes Living Press, 1976


·         RIVER SAFETY TASK FORCE NEWSLETTER (1979); BEST OF THE RIVER SAFETY TASK FORCE NEWSLETTER (1979) RIVER SAFETY REPORT 1983-1985 (1986); RIVER SAFETY REPORT 1986-1988 (1989); RIVER SAFETY REPORT 1989-1991 (1992); RIVER SAFETY REPORT 1992-1995 (1996) RIVER SAFETY REPORT 1996-1999 (2000) Published by the American Canoe Association.


·         BOATBUILDERS MANUAL: With Rock, Meyers, and Queitzsch. Six editions, the most recent one  published  by Menasha Ridge Press in 1987. Currently out of print.


·         APPALACHIAN WHITEWATER VOLUME I & 2:. Wrote West Virginia, some Western Maryland, and Pennsylvania descriptions. Menasha Ridge Press 1987, revised 1993 and 1998


·         WILDWATER WEST VIRGINIA; revised a book originally written by Davidson, Davidson, and Eister; Menasha Ridge Press, 1995 & 2002. It was recently revised and retitled “Canoe and Kayak Guide to West Virginia” and published in 2003


·         KNOTS FOR PADDLERS; Menasha Ridge Press, 1995


·         WHITEWATER RESCUE MANUAL with Wayne Sundmacher; Ragged Mountain Press, 1995


·         OUTFITTING YOUR KAYAK; Menasha Ridge Press, 1996


·         RIVER SAFETY ANTHOLOGY (With Jody Tinsley) Menasha Ridge Press, 1996


·         OUTFITTING YOUR CANOE; Menasha Ridge Press, 1997


·         WHITEWATER SELF DEFENSE: With Kent Ford;  Performance Video, 1998


·         Camp Mowglis Staff Manual 2001


·         American Whitewater River Stewardship Toolkit – Safety Section - 2004


Magazine articles by Charlie Walbridge have been published in American Canoeist, American Whitewater Journal, Boat Pennsylvania, Canoe & Kayak (regular issues & annuals), Downriver, Journal of Emergency Medical Services, Paddler, Pennsylvania Angler, Rescue, River Runner, River, Wilderness Camping, and Wonderful West Virginia.





·         CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION: The Ohio Division of Watercraft, Department of Natural Resources, 1980

          for help developing their river rescue program


·         REGIONAL AWARD OF MERIT: National Water Safety Congress, 1981


·         ANHEISER BUSCH "SCHOONER" AWARD for outstanding contributions to water safety, U.S. Coast Guard, 1982


·         The Howie Lebrant Award for outstanding contribution to paddlesports: 1983


·         Rescue III SRT I Instructor; SRT I & II Certification, 1991


·         Recognized as one of Paddler Magazine’s “100 paddlers of The Century” for river safety work


·         American Canoe Association “Legends of Paddling Award” 2001


·         American Whitewater “Legacy Award” 2004


·        Wilderness First Responder, 2000; renewed 2002 and 2004


·        Whitewater Hall of Fame (Advocate Category) 2005