Crab Apple Whitewater Rafting Family: Our Story


Crab Apple Whitewater Rafting Family: Our Story

You have probably read, “Family Owned and Operated” on so many marketing materials that you have become immune to the phrase. But unlike most companies, when we say it, we mean it. Our family founded Crab Apple in 1983 and we continue to run its day-to-day operations. Here’s our story:

The Beginnings

At the core of the Crab Apple family are Chuck and Sharyn Peabody. It was their dream over 30 years ago that made it all happen. After deciding to leave jobs that were anything but inspiring, they decided to pack up their two kids, Jennifer and Robert, and move from Hingham, Massachusetts to The Forks, Maine. At the time, this small town only had a population of 30 people. Chuck served as the raft guide (he taught himself), Sharyn ran Crab Apple Acres Inn, and Jennifer and Robert loved their new life surrounded by the great outdoors.

Growing Up Crab Apple

To say that whitewater rafting became a passion for the entire family is an understatement. We lived for whitewater rafting and getting to share it with others was the best job anyone could ask for. Jennifer spent her summers training for her kayak racing competitions and she spent seven years on a US kayak team. She also developed a knack for photography and loved taking pictures of the whitewater rafting trips and mailing them out to the guests. Since Robert was only seven when his family moved to Maine, he thought of the outdoors as his home. He also honed his photography skills and would hike to the river every morning to determine the ideal angles for every rapid. He wanted to capture the thrills of whitewater rafting in the best possible way.

Expanding the Family

When Jennifer and Robert grew up, they both married, and luckily, both of their spouses were just as excited to join the Crab Apple family as we were to have them. Jennifer married Frank and they joined forces to oversee our Deerfield, Massachusetts operation. Robert married Carrie and together they focused on the Maine location, expanding it to add on a restaurant and pub. They even upped the ante on the lodging in Maine so that people could spend more time with Crab Apple. Carrie’s mom, Sharon, then joined the team to assist Sharyn Peabody with the thousands of behind-the-scene tasks that are involved in creating an unforgettable experience for our guests.

Crab Apple Today

Today, the Crab Apple team includes the aforementioned seven core family members, as well as a few full-time extended family and some extremely talented seasonal staff. When you complete your whitewater rafting trip with Crab Apple, you will come into contact with most of our family members. If you raft the Kennebec River in Maine, Robert will probably be your guide, Chuck will likely be driving the bus and cooking steaks, and Sharon, Sharyn, or Carrie will be greeting you at the front desk to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. In Massachusetts, you will get the pleasure of having Jennifer or Frank as your river guide. At Crab Apple, we eat, breathe, and sleep whitewater rafting. We live for the action of the rapids and we are all about working hands on with our guests. So when we say “Family Owned and Operated” we mean you will literally interact with our family during every part of your whitewater rafting adventure. Come on down, we can’t wait to introduce ourselves!

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