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Mansfield Magazine

North Texas River Runners Splash Together Fun & Environmental Impact

Jul 08, 2016 04:46PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Photo courtesy of Charley Kemp.

Getting outdoors in a creative way can become a challenge for any adventure-lover. However, if you have yet to tackle the exciting hobby of a paddle sport, the North Texas River Runners Meetup Club has got it covered. 

With over 750 members on the Meetup page alone, this group of experts and beginners alike take on both mellow and rapid rivers.
Charley Kemp,
voted Paddler of the Year


We were lucky enough to get in touch with Charley Kemp, one of the current organizers  and President of the group, and hear more about the club and their mission to get onto the water. She is an ACA certified Level 4 white-water instructor.

Tell me a little bit about the North Texas River Runners Meetup group. How did it get started? How many people are a part of the group?

The North Texas River Runners Meetup is an offshoot of the North Texas River Runners Club (NTRR), which is a chapter of the larger Arkansas Canoe Club. The Arkansas Canoe Club is a recreational organization consisting of over 600 member households representing seven chapters in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. 

The North Texas River Runners chapter was organized in 1985 as a group of like-minded people who wanted to get together to kayak, canoe, and raft the waterways of the world. The Meetup group currently has 752 members, but not all of them are paid members of the parent club.

What kind of activities does the group focus on? 

We focus on paddle sports of all kinds, trips, classes, tours etc. Our members do both white water and flat water events. But we also focus on environmental awareness through river and lake clean-ups, educational programs, and leave-no-trace training. Responsible stewardship of the environment is a part of all our outdoor events.  We also do skills training such as our monthly roll practice.

What is the mission of the group? 

We are about helping our members develop their kayaking skills while discovering the joys of outdoor water adventures. 

How can people join in? How often does the group meet?

The Meetup group is free to join through; however, to join the club and participate beyond the introductory events requires paying dues of $25 per year to the Arkansas Canoe Club. 

NTRR holds a monthly meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at Richard Simpson Park, 6300 W. Arkansas Lane, Arlington Texas 76016.

To join go to and choose North Texas River Runners as your chapter.

We also join with the city of Grand Prairie once a month to sponsor a skills practice at a Grand Prairie pool. 

What is your most memorable Meetup moment or trip? 

Every paddle trip has adventures involved and memories are made.  The friendships that are formed in this sport are priceless. 

Anything else we should know about you, or the group?  

Regardless of whether you are new to canoeing, kayaking or rafting or if you are a veteran, you will be among friends in the Arkansas Canoe Club and the chapter of the North Texas River Runners.

We are dedicated to participating in and promoting the sport of paddling by holding paddling schools and clinics, whitewater rescue courses, river cleanups and being active in conservation and river access issues. But most of all WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN!!

Photos and answers courtesy of Charley Kemp. 

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