My family took a full-day rafting trip on the Rogue River with some experienced adults and five inexperienced kids aged from 7 to 12. This was a GREAT first trip for kids--some exciting whitewater, but not too scary, and several calm areas where the kids (or guides!) could jump into the river and swim. There were ten in our group, and we had two rafts and two kayaks. The lead guide (Richard) was careful to give instructions to the two kayakers before we entered any rapids, especially those that were technical or difficult, but he didn't give them so much information that they couldn't figure some of it out on their own. On the two occasions one of the kayakers flipped in rough water, Richard quickly got to the person and made sure they were okay and helped them get back into their kayaks (he saved a hat too!). It's harder to get back into a kayak in fast-moving water than it looks....
Both of our guides (Richard and Sarah) were knowledgeable and entertaining, and you could tell they really loved what they do and enjoyed sharing it with others. They let the kids play with squirt guns and helped their boat's "team" get good shots at the other boat. The kids enjoyed their strategizing, especially when the target was the other boat's guide.
One thing I didn't expect was that those of us in the boats didn't have to paddle much at all. So this is a good trip for people who don't want to do much work. If you want a more interactive or hands-on experience, you should probably let your guide know that. (In fairness, it should be noted that the river was higher than usual for this time of year, so that may be why we didn't have to do much paddling.) Our kayakers, of course, got to do do a LOT of paddling! I think our kayakers, one of whom was not experience and the other who hadn't done it in many years, could have used a few more "training tips" at the beginning, but they managed just fine. One of the good things about this trip is that you can practice on easier rapids before you get to the biggest ones later in the day.
The lunch provided was good--sandwiches or wraps with fixings and apparently homemade cookies and brownies. There was lots of water and lemonade to drink.
After the trip, you have the option of purchasing photos (the best deal is to purchase all of them on a CD). There were many clear action shots to choose from where you could see all of the rafters. The pictures were much better than I expected, given how fast we seemed to be moving while the guy on the bank was taking them.
My family really enjoyed the trip. It was nice to be in a group together where we could interact between boats. Bring your sunscreen--don't forget your feet!--and prepare to get wet (warning: you'll get wetter if you give your guide a bad time!), and you'll have a lot of fun.