880 E. 3375 S.
SLC, UT 84106
(801) 484-4128

Frequently Asked Questions

Client Questions

Donor Questions

Volunteer Questions


Client Questions Back to Top

1. What does SPLORE stand for and what does the organization do?

2. Whom does SPLORE seek to serve?

3. What type of outdoor adventure programs does SPLORE offer?

4. How much do the programs cost?

5. How do I sign up for an outdoor activity with SPLORE and who do I contact to get more information? Do you offer online reservations?

6. How many clients can attend a SPLORE activity? Is there a minimum or maximum number of clients for each program?

7. Do I need to bring my own gear for SPLORE trips or will they provide it?

8. How do I keep my belongings from getting wet on a river rafting trip?

9. Are meals provided during SPLORE trips?

10. Where do the SPLORE outdoor activities take place?

11. Does SPLORE provide transportation to activity locations?

12. What is the level of difficulty of the rapids on SPLORE river rafting trips?

13. Will there be a licensed river guide and/or volunteers on my rafting boat?

14. If I have a disability, how will I get on and off the boat?

15. Where do we sleep during the river rafting trips?

16. Will there be a private restroom facility available during rafting trips?

17. I have medication that needs to be kept cold. What can SPLORE do for me?

18. What does SPLORE do for individuals who can’t stay in the heat for long periods of time?

19. Do the boats ever flip during rafting trips? If so, what do I do?

20. I Have a disability, can I bring my friends and family along who do not have a disability?

21. Does SPLORE offer or provide care providers for clents who need them? Can a family member or friend be a care provider?

22. Is there an age requirement to go on a SPLORE activity?

Donor Questions Back to Top

1. What kind of donations does SPLORE need?

2. How will my donation be used?

3. Who do I contact about making a donation? Do you accept on line donations?

4.What percentage of your budget is administrative costs or overhead?

5. Is SPLORE a 501(c)3 organization?

6.What percentage of the budget is derived from Federal or local funding sources?

Volunteer Questions Back to Top

1. How do I find out about SPLORE volunteer opportunities? Who do I contact to get involved?

2. What type of experience do I need to volunteer with SPLORE?

3. Does SPLORE provide training for its volunteers?

4. How many volunteers can participate on a SPLORE activity?

5. Is there a cost for Agency staff to attend a SPLORE activity with an Agency's clients?

6. Is there a cost for SPLORE volunteer guides, SPLORE general support volunteers, or SPLORE volunteer care providers?

7. If I volunteer on a SPLORE river rafting trip, do I need to provide my own transportation? What do I need to bring?

8. Even if I don’t have a disability or a specialized need, can I participate in a SPLORE trip anyway?


Client Answers
1. SPLORE formerly stood for Special Populations Learning Outdoor Recreation and Education. In 2005 the acronym was changed to Special People Loving Outdoor Recreation Experiences. A non-profit organization founded in 1979, SPLORE is a leader in providing outdoor recreational adventures for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and specialized needs. Back.

2. The aim of SPLORE is to serve individuals of all abilities, disabilities and special needs. Past SPLORE participants have included children as young as 5 years to adults as old as 90 years with a wide range of specialized needs including individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. SPLORE also serves at-risk youth and those with financial hardships, as well as a variety of other circumstances. Back.

3. During the summer months, SPLORE offers single and multi day river rafting trips, and half day canoeing and rock climbing programs. Past winter programs have included cross country ski lessons and dog sledding trips. Back.

4. The cost of SPLORE programs vary on a sliding fee scale based on household income. In order to provide activities at the lowest possible costs, individuals who fall into certain income brackets can qualify for a SPLORE scholarship, which generally covers up to 70 percent of SPLORE program costs. Nearly all SPLORE participants receive some sort of a SPLORE scholarship.

To find out if you qualify for a scholarship, fill out and submit a scholarship form, and either fax or e-mail back to SPLORE. To find out about general program fees, with or without a scholarship, click here. Back.

5. Contact the SPLORE outdoor adventure office at (801) 484-4128 or e-mail splorestaff@splore.org with questions or to reserve a trip. SPLORE is not currently set up with an online reservation system. Back.

6. For Northern Utah programs, Rock Climbing and Canoeing, the minimum number of participants to book a lesson is 7 and the maximum is 12 to 16. For Southern Utah programs, Rafting and Canoeing, the minimum of participants to book a trip is normally 10 to 12, and the maximum depends of the river section - which varies from 25 to much larger. You may also be able to add on to existing trips in certain situations. Back.

7. For overnight rafting trips, participants must bring their own toiletries, a change of clothes and personal belongings, including: a sleeping bag, tent (if desired), sleeping pad and a water bottle. All other equipment is provided. If participants do not own some of these camping items, they are available to rent through SPLORE.

SPLORE provides all the necessary equipment for the canoeing and rock climbing programs. Back.

8.SPLORE provides dry bags to all participants on river rafting trips. These uniquely designed bags will keep your belongings from getting wet. Back.

9. SPLORE provides all meals for the river rafting trips starting from lunch on the first day through lunch on the final day. SPLORE takes great pride in providing gourmet meals on our rafting trips including such favorites as dutch oven lasagna. The canoeing and rock climbing programs, which run for three hours during weekday mornings and afternoons, do not come with a meal. Back.

10. Canoeing: Single day trips take place on the Jordan River or a local reservoir, and multi day trips take place at Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River.

Rock climbing: Single day lessons in the morning or afternoon hours take place in various locations in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons near Salt Lake City.

River Rafting: Overnight trips take place on various stretches of the Colorado, Green, and Yampa Rivers.

Dog Sledding: Overnight trips take place in Jackson, Wyoming.

Details about the location, duration, and specific activities of each trip can be found on the SPLORE Website, by clicking on Activities and then clicking on each individual activity. Back.

11. If program participants cannot make other arrangements, transportation is available upon request by calling the SPLORE office at (801) 484-4128. Back.

12. The level of difficulty of rapids depends on the trip. Most SPLORE river rafting trips run through gentle sections of water, with most rapids ranging from Class I to Class II. The gentle nature of these rapids is such that most trips are appropriate for children and individuals of all ability levels.

SPLORE rafting trips on Cataract Canyon and Westwater Canyon include Class III and Class IV rapids. Back.

13. Every SPLORE rafting boat will have at least one trained and licensed river guide. These individuals have experience on numerous rafting trips, as well as training in First Aid and CPR.

The number of volunteers on each rafting boat depends on the amount of participants and their ability levels. Boats carrying participants with demanding physical disabilities often have one volunteer for every participant, in addition to the river guide. Back.

14. SPLORE staff will assist individuals with transfers as needed. Transfers can be done by 2 people with interlocked arms or through a multi person sling seat set up. All transfers are done through consultation with the participant to insure that it is done safely and comfortably. Back.

15. Participants will sleep on the sandy banks of the river either in a tent or under the stars based on the desires of the participant. Back.

16. Yes. SPLORE understands the importance of providing restroom facilities during its trips, particularly for those with various physical disabilities. A special restroom facility, nick-named “the groover” is set up on each trip. The groover is a complete accessible toilet with rails around each side. It is housed in a privacy tent. See picture here. Back.

17.This is a situation SPLORE often deals with. Medication that needs to be kept cold is stored in between artificial ice packs, and then placed inside an ice chest to keep cool. Back.

18. SPLORE will attach an umbrella to your chair in the boat to keep the sun off you. Volunteers will also make sure participants are drinking enough water and have applied adequate amounts of sunscreen. Participants are also encouraged to take a swim in the river when conditions warrant. Back.

19. Boats flip very rarely on SPLORE trips. However, due to the inherent risks of river rafting, boat flips can happen. Prior to trips, SPLORE river guides and volunteers provide a safety talk for participants about what to do in case a boat flips. In addition, licensed river guides and volunteers undergo special training about what to do when a boat flips.

On the rare occasion that a boat has flipped in the past, guides and volunteers had the boat flipped right side up and the participants back inside within minutes. Participants should stay calm during these occurrences and promptly follow the directions of the guides and volunteers. Back.

20.Yes. Anybody regardless of their ability level is welcome on SPLORE trips. We encourage friends and family to accompany you on your trip. Back.

21. Yes, SPLORE can provide qualified volunteer care providers in most cases. Please check with SPLORE well in advance of your trip to make arrangements. And yes, family members or friends can also attend a trip as a client care provider. The family member or friend pays the same rate as client. Back.

22. SPLORE requires participants to be at least 5 years old and 50 pounds minimum in order to participate. Back.

Donor Answers

1. As a non-profit organization, SPLORE utilizes a variety of donations to fund its programs. Donation types range from cash and cars, to merchandise and stocks and securities.

For a full explanation of each donation type, click on the “Contribute” link on the SPLORE Web site. Back.

2. SPLORE uses donations in three main ways. First, cash and check donations are placed in the SPLORE scholarship fund to help cover program fees for participants with low incomes. Second, merchandise donations from sponsors are used as auction items and prizes at various SPLORE fund-raising events. And third, donations dealing with cars, real estate and other merchandise are auctioned off to raise money at SPLORE events. Back.

3.Contact SPLORE executive director Erik Rolstad at (801) 484-4128, or e-mail SPLORE at donations@splore.org. For on line donations, click the link on the left for “Network for Good” and it will take you to a secure site to make your donation. Back.

4. For FY 2004, the overhead was approximately 14%. Back.

5. Yes. Back.

6. Currently none. Back.

Volunteer Answers

1. SPLORE volunteer opportunities are listed on the Web site under the “Volunteer” link. Volunteer opportunities range from assisting with outdoor programs to helping coordinate and carry out fund-raising events. Please note that all program volunteers must take part in training which occurs usually in May in order to participate as a recreation program volunteer. Back.

Contact SPLORE at (801) 484-4128 or volunteer@splore.org to find out more about volunteer opportunities. Back.

2. No experience is required to volunteer with SPLORE. Volunteers with SPLORE range from all types of backgrounds.

However, SPLORE is happy to receive volunteers with expertise in any of the related outdoor activities. Individuals with extensive experience in rock climbing and those with a Utah river guide license are particularly useful. Back.

3. Yes. Training is provided for volunteers of each outdoor program. Training sessions typically take place in April and May. A one-time volunteer training fee is assessed for river rafting volunteers.

For more information about volunteer training and training session dates, click on the “Volunteer” link on the Web site, and then click on the “Volunteer training” link. Back.

4. That depends on the program - some have lots of space and some have very little. Volunteers should look at the SPLORE master calendar. There are smiley faces that indicate if volunteers are needed and/or if the main volunteer slots have already been filled. Check the calendar as soon as possible to add your name to the trips you'd like. Even if the spots have been filled, volunteers may want to consider joining the activity as a paying participant on trips where there is still space available - check with the SPLORE office for availablility & the cost if you're still interested. The most important thing for volunteers to remember is to look at the SPLORE Calendar to get a feel for the trips, and then call SPLORE to inquire about specific days / trips / opportunities / costs and to get more information. Back.

5. Agency staff pay the same rate as the client. Back.

6. There is no cost to SPLORE volunteers for Northern Utah Programs, RocK Climbing & Canoeing. For Southern Utah Programs, Rafting and Canoeing, if you are one of the volunteers who have signed up as a necessary volunteer for a particular trip, there no cost for volunteer guides and there is a only a small fee for general support volunteers and volunteer care providers to help cover the costs of meals. If all the volunteer spots have been filled, you may still attend a paying participant. Please contact the SPLORE office for volunteer fees for a particular trip, or to sign up as a paying participant. Back.

7. SPLORE volunteers are expected to provide their own transportation to the Moab area for river rafting trips. If volunteers cannot find their own ride, they should contact SPLORE for transportation. Back.

River rafting volunteers are provided with all meals and are expected to bring all their own personal belongings, including: toiletries, a change of clothes, sleeping bag, tent (if desired), sleeping pad and a water bottle. If volunteers do not own these items, they are available to rent through SPLORE.

8.Yes. Since SPLORE does not discriminate against any groups or individuals, any person who wishes to participate in a SPLORE trip may do so. Family members of those with disabilities often attend SPLORE trips. Back.