kayaker going vertical while rafting

learning from mistakes can be fun!

Education is a big thing at Rock-N-Water. From learning how to set up the rappel for campers, to how to best help kids find gold through placer mining, we’re learning how to do new things from day one. And we continue to learn throughout our entire season at Rock-N-Water as we improve upon the things we learned when we first arrived. We spend a bit of time each week learning, growing, and refining our skills (in addition to the occasional learning by error). When our seasonal staff head home for the “off season” we want the learning to continue. And so we have a Rock-N-Water Reading Plan.

The reading plan itself is actually pretty simple (read X book, and we’ll pay you Y), but it’s not those logistics that I’m wanting to talk about. Today I want to introduce you to the general idea, and in future posts we’ll look at each book along the way. But don’t worry, these won’t be some Cliff Notes book report on each book. Rather, I’ll hit upon a few highlights from each book – just enough to whet your appetite and to help you decide if maybe its worth a deeper read.

Basic Categories

We’ve broken the books down into five main categories, mostly focused on the applicability of a given book to the hands on application of a given job at Rock-N-Water.

  • Everyone – Books that could be of benefit to all of our staff from their first day till their 80th year.
  • Guides – Staff whose primary job is the hands on application of everything Rock-N-Water is all about, “infecting young people with the joy of God’s living word, so that they might come to know Jesus and pass on God’s love with excitement.” These tend to be books that help us grow in our interpersonal skills, and in better identifying within ourselves exactly what we mean when we say that we are a follower of Christ.
  • backpacking-boys-friends-campfireTrip Leaders – These guides take on the added responsibility of a youth group or school as a whole. They will also often lead the campfire devotionals, and so books for them tend to focus on leadership and communication.
  • Managers – Call them managers or leaders or some new buzz word, these guides have taken on added responsibilities in overseeing the behind the scenes details of an area so that the guides using that area can focus more on the campers and less on the equipment breaking down.
  • Ezers – Named from the same Hebrew word used to refer both to Eve as a helper, and to God as the protector of Israel (more on that later), these guides oversee the adventure of the day. Coordinating a mix of groups with varying needs and wants, into a well thought out day that makes the best of all the resources at hand to best meet the objectives of the groups.All while maintaining a fun and relatively safe environment to play in. These books tend to focus on group dynamics and understanding how people think.


Today we just wanted to introduce what will be an ongoing series about books that might be of interest. But if education is what we’re talking about then let’s get into some learning… The Hebrew word ezer is first used to refer to Eve as Adam’s “helper” or “help mate”.  Following that, it’s almost exclusively used to refer to God himself as the savior or protector of Israel.

Maybe “help mate” isn’t quite as soft of a term as our western culture has come to think of it.