Ride the Waves
ob Brickner has a remedy for
singles who are tired of the
traditional means of meeting
people — white-water rafting.
The executive director of Incen-
tive Journey Consultants, a
Southfield-based company that
creates sales incentive trips for
businesses, the 40ish Brickner said he
feels that by particpating in a fun ac-
tivity, singles can lose some • of the
stress they find trying to meet poten-
tial dates at big bashes and bars.
"It's so relaxed and people par-
ticipate in so many types of activities
they shed their inhibitions and loosen
up a bit . . . They just join in and
become part of the overall organiza-
According to Brickner, a typical
white-water rafting weekend is not all
waterbound. A "weekend fun fling?'
as Brickner calls it, includes a round-
trip party bus, accommodations,
kayaking, windsurfing, canoeing —
all with lessons — nightly entertain-
ment and for the brave of heart, sur-
vival games, all-terrain vehicle rides
and horseback riding.
On the water, each raft has a
guide and life jackets, and, joked
Brickner, "a kayaker goes along to
fish out anyone who falls in!"
No swimming ability is necessary,
however, Brickner adds that all safe-
ty precautions are taken.
Cost of a trip is about $190 — all-
inclusive — and if a cabaret night is
included, there is an additional fee.
The Ottawa River in Canada is
Brickner's destination of choice. "I
use Canada because there are more
activities in Canada than West
Virginia" another hot spot for white-
water rafting. Usually the trips leave
from a Southfield hotel.
The trips are aimed at persons
20-40. Deadheads need not apply. Ac-
cording to Brickner, it is "active type"
people who get the most out of such
A native Detroiter who was rais-
ed in Las Vegas and returned to
Michigan 20 years ago, Brickner
started in the travel industry as a
tour conductor for E.F. McDonald
Travel Incentive Co. He later was a
free-lance tour director for Sperry and
Hutchinson and sold travel for
American Express. He opened his
own company in_1978.
"I always wanted to do it (be in
the travel business)," Brickner said.
"I'm a frustrated tour director. I'm on
all my trips."
What makes his trips so attrac-
tive, he says, is that he offers more
than just "a room and a ride?' "I'm the
most creative person in the travel in-
dustry in this town?' he boasts.
In addition to corporate trips and
white-water rafting weekends,
Brickner also puts together theater
weekends and baseball trips.
Singles should be attracted to his
trips, he said, because they can feel
comfortable coming alone. He said he
feels the recreational atmosphere will
make people more relaxed to "mix
Giving people activities also helps
for making a more relaxed at-
mosphere, he asserts. "I think you can
break down barriers . . . If you give
people an activity, they can find peo-
ple with common interests."
Katie Goodwin of Southfield, who
works in disability management, said
she found one of Brickner's trips a
"real good experience."
"There were a lot of people to
meet, lots to do and no pressure. Most
of all it was fun. It was worth it?'
She said she would recommend
that others try it, adding that she met
a lot of people.
Brickner is critical of the big par-
ties and bar scene, saying people just
stand around sizing up each other.
He'd rather get singles outdoors,
because, according to Brickner, it's a
much better place to socialize.
"It's the type of setting, out in the
wilderness, (which) is a natural set-
ting for meeting people." For that
reason, Brickner hopes singles will
get cracking and get packing. ❑