What happens when a songwriter and a whitewater rafting outfitter collide?


If you love adventure and music RiverSongs Retreats is for you!!!

FiftySongs, a songwriting accountability group, has partnered with Wild River Adventures, a white water rafting outfitter, to do songwriting retreats on a 4 day-3 night river rafting experience on the Salmon River in stunning Northwestern Idaho!

We procure professional musicians to be your instructors and Wild River Adventures takes care of the details!!

Keep reading to learn all about it!!

Sign up before March 1 and get a FREE RiverSongs Retreats quick-dry towel!



The thrill of writing an amazing song is, in our opinion, the same as the thrill of day of river rafting and RiverSongs Retreats is ready to provide you with both! Songwriting is at it's best when all your senses are heightened! So, join us for the most inspirational 4 days of your life on the white sandy beaches of the glorious Salmon River!

Each trip will be lead by one (or more) of our highly accomplished instructors. Songwriting instruction will happen each day during lunch and in the afternoons in camp.

There will also be time for Q&A's while you're floating down the river. Our instructors will teach various topics on songwriting including the following:

– Understanding SONG STRUCTURE

– Learn how to create CHORD PROGRESSIONS quickly

– Dissect MELODIES and learn how to transform your song

– Crack the code on unpredictable RHYMING

– Open the door on OBJECT WRITING & learn to think like a songwriter!


– Experience CO-WRITING & learn trade secrets

What about instruments?

RiverSongs Retreats will provide several small guitars (Loog brand guitars) and mini keyboards for the group to share and use throughout the trip. If you have an instrument you'd like to bring let us know and we will see if we can accommodate it. Instruments will be put in a waterproof case or cooler. Wild River Adventures knows how to secure belongings but we don't want to risk your $3,000 guitar getting damaged.

Can I bring my piano?

Nope, sorry. No upright basses, tubas, drum kits, cellos, harps, or anything larger than a uke. Also no annoying instruments such as kazoo's & cow bells...


Get on our update list!

River Rafting

You’ll never have a more creative and fun experience than this!

RiverSongs will take you down the Salmon River in glorious Western Idaho with Wild River Adventures, a world class river rafting outfit, as your guides. Located in Riggins, Idaho on the Salmon River, their guides are highly trained professionals and LIVE to be on the river every summer! They will take care of all the daily rafting and camping details pertaining to your trip while you sit back, relax and write songs!

Participants will camp on white sandy beaches for 3 nights and enjoy floating the river by day. August and September are the best times to raft the Salmon River because the weather is beautiful and the water is warm!

Here's a sample daily schedule (times are approximate):
8 am: Breakfast
9 am: Launch & ride the river!
12 pm: Lunch & songwriting instruction
1 pm: Get back on the river
4 pm: Locate beach for camp and set up camp
4:30 pm: Songwriting instruction, time to write
6 pm: Dinner & dessert
7 pm: Songwriting instruction, time to write or cowrite


There is no meal better than the ones prepared on a river! There is something magical about eating a Dutch oven cooked meal after a day of rapids, soaking in the scenery and enjoying the company of other guests. If you think I'm crazy when I say your environment makes your food taste better you should probably get yourself on a retreat so we can prove you wrong!

Special diets & food allergies will be accommodated.


Wild River Adventures will provide everything you need to have a fun and safe trip down the river including dry bags and tents. Don't own a sleeping bag? We can provide one (a small sleeping bag cleaning fee may apply).

When you sign up you will be given a detailed packing list as well as information about getting to Riggins!

You can always call Wild River Adventures with questions about the river aspects of the trip.


Not for one minute! Our experienced guides will ensure you have a safe and exhilarating trip you’ll never forget. Rafting is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day and there’s nothing like the feeling of conquering a wild river. You will have so many stories to tell when you go home!

The Salmon River is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 US originating in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. It is known for its scenic beauty, abundant wildlife, and recreational opportunities.

Personal fishing poles can be accommodated.

RiverSongs Trips and Instructors

TRIP DATES: AUG 1-4, 2024

Al van der Beek
Annelise LeCheminant

Al van der Beek

Al van der Beek is a founding member, music producer and songwriter for one of the most successful instrumental music groups in the world - The Piano Guys (www.thepianoguys.com). In 2011 they gained worldwide popularity on YouTube when they began posting piano and cello compositions combining classical, pop, film score and original music, showcased through cinematic videos. 

Their videos have surpassed over 3 billion views and their music is streamed 50 million times per month. Over the past 12 years they have released ten studio albums with Sony Music and two independent album releases. They have toured and performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls and venues all over the world including Carnegie Hall, Red Rocks and Royal Albert Hall in London. 

Al also created the highly successful Music Creator Academy where students learn to write, record and produce music on their own.

"FIVE STARS, for sure! I've been playing guitar and singing for years now but struggled to know where to start with songwriting and recording. Music Creator Acadamey's six steps to songwriting video caught my attention, and the rest is history. This course has helped me gain confidence and learn the necessary steps to being a songwriter and my own producer. Al and Tanner KNOW THEIR STUFF." - Hunter




Annelise LeCheminant

Annelise is an independent singer/songwriter and the founder of FiftySongs, a year long songwriting immersion program, and the co-founder of RiverSongs Retreats. She is also a Certified Singing Success Vocal Coach and has been coaching singers for over 13 years.

Annelise has forged her music career as an independent for over 20 years and is preparing to release her 4th album. As FiftySongs ends it's second year Annelise has coached over 30 songwriters through the process from how to write a song to producing and releasing their music. She has a systematic process that transforms the dream of being a songwriter into a reality. Her participants rave about her program.

"It's hard to put into words what FiftySongs means to me, but it's been life changing. The world is busy, and holding myself accountable for carving out time to be creative was something I needed more than I realized. Over the past year I've learned how to be a song writer, how to be vulnerable, how to engage with the process of creativity in a way that allows me to express myself, and I've made great friends along the way. Annelise showed me a dream I never knew I had! My life is very different since meeting her, and it’s been in the best way possible."
–Kate Sedler, Lead Singer of Don't Tell Kate (follow them on Instagram)


Trip Dates: AUG 12-15 &
AUG 19-22, 2024

Jeff Plankenhorn

For Jeff Plankenhorn, there's nothing quite like the feeling of bringing people together to experience the joy music brings. He's so good at it that he's been recognized with Austin Music Award nominations for Musician of the Year, Best Guitarist, and Best Misc. Instrument - for “The Plank” a hybrid lap steel guitar Jeff designed himself. In 2016-2017, he also earned Album and Song of the Year nominations for his album, SoulSlide, and the single "Trouble Find Me." Listeners quickly get that Plank loves a good groove, but he's also become quite accomplished at composing ballads, as proven by two of the album's other standouts, "Bluer Skies" and You'll Stay." These days, Plank happily finds himself on the road over 150 days a year. "I like the idea that people get uplifted at my shows; there are many ways to escape the hubbub of day-to-day living. Dancing is one of the more noble and effective, better than any drug I've tried. I like the idea that everybody who walks in — I don't care if you're a biker or a drag queen — I want you there. Music is supposed to bring people together." His music does exactly that — whether people come to listen or do a little dancing, or ideally, both! www.JeffPlankenhorn.com

“Plank skillfully and patiently mentored me toward much stronger lyrics, chord progressions, and melodies while enabling me to retain what felt like my own distinct voice. Despite the great disparity in our musical experience and skill levels, he always instilled confidence and treated me like a songwriting peer.”
– Jon Austin of Dayton, OH, Student and multiple workshop attendee

“Plank was our inaugural Austin Band Camp teaching musician and blew the room away with a wonderful combination of musicianship, storytelling, teaching and kindness. We were all lifted and thankful.”
– David True, coordinator/promoter for Austin Bandcamp



Only 18 slots per trip so don't wait!

*You will need to arrive in Riggins, ID one day prior to the trip start date. Boats launch in the morning of the first day of your trip.
Flights and hotels outside of the trip dates are not included in trip price.

Instructor: Jeff Plankenhorn

AUG 12-15, 2024

AUG 19-22, 2024

Instructors: Al van der Beek &
Annelise LeCheminant

Aug 1-4, 2024

We can't wait to take you on the most exciting songwriting retreat of your life!

No one else is doing retreats like this!!

Have questions? We're here to answer them!

Call or text 925 . 575 . 7755



Annelise LeCheminant, co-founder of RiverSongs, is the founder of FiftySongs a year long immersion songwriting group where each participant writes a song every week for 50 weeks with monthly songwriting classes taught by her and her incredible guest instructors! After participants finish their first year she coaches them through the process of recording and releasing their songs according to each individual's goals. Annelise is also an independent recording artist with three albums under her belt and her next is to be released in early 2024. She is a certified Singing Success/Brett Manning Associate Voice Coach and has been teaching voice students for over 12 years. She is also a Certified Loog Instructor.

Annelise: "Wild River adventures is owned by my brother Alan and his son Matthew (I'm his favorite aunt!). When Alan approached me about doing songwriting retreats on the river it was an immediate YES! Our family grew up running rivers all over Utah, Idaho & California with our legendary Uncle Blaine who serenaded us every morning and night in camp and instilled in us a love of adventure. We rarely pass up an opportunity to hit the rapids & revel in the glorious creations of our earth! I am so excited to combine two things I love so much, songwriting and river rafting to bring you this amazing retreat!"





Based out of Riggins, Idaho Wild River Adventures is a professional rafting outfit owned by Alan & Matthew LeCheminant, father and son, who have been running rivers most of their lives. Alan’s 40 years of guiding rivers has taken him from the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the Matanuska in Alaska, and everywhere in between. He has outfitted and guided trips with as many as 40 passengers, varying from quick half-day floats to remote multi-week excursions.

Matthew has been learning the river since he was old enough to reach the oars and is one of Wild River Adventures boatmen. As trip leaders and outfitters, they are experts in safety instruction, food planning and preparation, camp accommodations, and equipment maintenance.

Over the course of his guiding career, Alan has trained and mentored many new and experienced guides. He also has over 20 years experience mentoring and guiding Boy Scouts in multi-discipline expeditions.



"We had an awesome time with Alan and his crew at Wild River Adventures!! They were very knowledgeable about the river, professional and we all had a blast! See you next time!!!"


“I heard about FiftySongs from a friend and joined somewhat on a whim. Annelise is a great motivator - warm, accepting, knowledgeable, and helpful. From the very beginning, I felt safe to share my songs, experiment, and find my voice. This has turned into one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.”

-D. HANSEN, FiftySongs Participant