2021 Montana OuttaSight Clinic

Earlier this month, we held our annual Montana OuttaSight clinic. This is one of the several clinics in our OuttaSight series that focuses on paddling skills and experiences for visually impaired and blind veterans. These clinics are also an opportunity for sighted veterans to gain leadership skills through attending these clinics and guiding the visually impaired and blind veterans. Usually a week long of paddling, these clinics build relationships and confidence in paddling and leading in the paddler and guide. We wanted to share some media from this clinic as well as some testimonials from some of the participants!

Check out these paddling videos on youtube: 

Lester’s T Rescue

Yankee Jim Boat Eater Rapid on the Yellowstone

Yankee Jim Big Rock Rapid

Ken Horn – VI Paddler

My experience with TRR’s Montana OuttaSight clinic exceeded my wildest expectations. Everything about this trip and TRR has been absolutely exceptional! Cynthia worked around my challenges with travel, the housing accommodations were unbelievable, and most of all the guides/instructors were exceptional professionals who were not only safety conscience, but focused on making sure we got the most out of our experience. The camaraderie was felt not only among the blind veterans that attended, but the entire team of folks that helped put this together.  Unlike so many other programs, TRR wants kayaking to be a lifelong endeavor and the community of veterans and supporters alike are a testament to their success.  It is not just a one and done trip, they have helped this visually impaired veteran find my next challenge, gave me the equipment, training and support team to meet this objective and many others down the road.  Special thanks to Bill, Kerry, Dave, Cynthia, Cel, Sho, Jessie, Scott, Debbie, Mike, The Outpost Restaurant and the communities of Pray and Chico, Montana for their love and support, it was absolutely overwhelming.  Lastly, thank you Joe and Lonnie for getting me involved and keeping me close throughout surgeries, covid and every other obstacle in-between. 

Vince Fee- VI Paddler

My name is Vince fee. I am a blinded veteran who was blessed with the fortunate opportunity to come to Montana thanks to the Blind Veterans Association and Team River Runner for communicating with me and getting me on this trip. Team River Runner is an amazing organization that brought myself and five other blind veterans on a week-long kayaking adventure on the Yellowstone River in Montana. As a blind veteran I try and challenge myself to push for more independence, this was a perfect opportunity for me to get out of my bubble and experience something new. I was a little nervous before coming but everybody embraced me. I came here with certain goals and ended up exceeding them by far. This week has really shown me all I can do despite my disability. A big thank you to Lonnie Bedwell and Kenneth Horn for encouraging me to do this trip and blessing me with the opportunity to be a part of this week. The Team River Runner staff and crew has been amazing and all the local people in Montana were extremely welcoming. And thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Very respectfully,
Vince fee

Vanessa Jones

Committe Co-Chair

Vanessa A. Jones is a dynamic force dedicated to fostering
inclusivity, encouraging discussion, and promoting a culture of
belonging in the outdoor sports community. Hailing from
Washington, DC, she brings a wealth of diverse experiences and
perspectives to her endeavors.
As a US Army veteran and ordained Chaplain with a focus on
seniors and caretakers, Vanessa is deeply committed to serving
others. Her work as a patient-caretaker advocate reflects her
passion for supporting vulnerable populations and ensuring their
voices are heard.
Currently, Vanessa is employed by a resettlement agency, where
she confronts challenges head-on with resilience and
compassion. As a single, Black woman veteran, she embraces
the unique hurdles she faces, viewing them as opportunities for
growth and empowerment.
In her downtime, she wears many hats, including that of a
missionary, spreading hope and positivity wherever she goes.
Weekends are spent paddling, immersing herself in West African
dance and finding solace and joy in nature’s embrace.
Vanessa is committed to equitable principles, ensuring that
everyone’s opinions are valued and heard. Through her
unwavering dedication and inclusive leadership, Vanessa is
paving the way for a more equitable and diverse outdoor sports