Years Active: 1958-1980
Home Base: USA
- Developed a whitewater canoeing curriculum which became the foundation for the American Red Cross (ARC) Canoeing Curriculum, documented in ARC’s Canoe Manual.
- Influenced the canoeing curriculum at many of the more prominent summer camps in the southeastern United States first in water safety in general and later in developing whitewater skills and trips
- Red Cross representative and principal negotiator with the North Vietnamese for the release of POW’s and MIA’s for the United States.
Ramon (Ray) Eaton was an outstanding leader of networking among paddlers from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. As Vice President of the American Red Cross, his knowledge and expertise in whitewater instruction and safety influenced ARC’s role and involvement in whitewater canoeing and safety. He was an inspiring and pivotal leader throughout the southeastern United States in regards to the early establishment of prominent canoe clubs as well as instructional programs for a range of summer camps which produced many U.S. whitewater competitors. Canoe instruction across a comprehensive curriculum was also a metaphor for Eaton’s life where canoeing skills reflected and taught life skills. His influence and impact was felt very personally among many paddlers in the Southeast. Eaton became the elder statesman for Nantahala Outdoor Center during its formative years.