Whitewater river guide!?! In Ohiopyle!?! The wind is blowing and the patches of black ice are waiting to ambush the unwary and your mind is drifting towards the coming spring. If you are imagining sore muscles, swimming in cold rivers, feeling equal parts fear and excitement, it may be you are a candidate for whitewater river guide training with Wilderness Voyageurs. Make sure you check out the guide letter on the employment page link.
2014 is going to be a special year here at Wilderness Voyageurs. We will be celebrating our 50th year in operation and I invite you to throw your helmet in the ring for a chance to join the pantheon of river guides who have enjoyed a well earned beverage, sitting in the sun in Ohiopyle, remembering a day on the water, and looking forward to another one tomorrow.
Being a river guide is not a job for the faint of heart, nor is the training. It is more than a sexy life jacket tan. At its core, river guiding is about taking a complete novice from point A to point B, making sure they aren’t killed in the process, while keeping a smile plastered on their faces. It is responsibility not to be taken lightly. More importantly, you are a gatekeeper to a wonderful world, a world of wild things! Everyday you are given a chance to take someone through that gateway, out of their comfort zone and introduce them to a world where the wild things are. That is a privilege, one that Wilderness Voyageurs does not take lightly, and it is reflected in our river guide training.
After you send in your exhaustive paperwork; cover letter, resume, application, and photocopies of your driver’s license and first aid and cpr cards, we will go through and call your former/current employers and references. Then we go all “big brother” and look you up on Google and Facebook, so please be responsible and make sure your social media is cleaned up. After all that is said and done we will send out the invitations to join us for river guide training. If you accept, get ready for a time you will remember for the rest of your life.
The training will be led by head instructors, Rich Rostauscher
and Josh Lawrey.
They will take you under their wings, and put you through the paces, breaking you down and then rebuilding you into a whitewater machine. Helping you to create the skills that will pay the bills. Enabling you to safely escort the guests down the river, showing them a great time, and helping them escape for a few hours and reconnect to where the wild things are.
Josh and Rich will take you from the basics of how to hold a paddle (remember, it is not an oar. You find those on street corners late at night) to how to paddle a raft all by yourself (the J-Stroke), to how to set up a Z-Drag to unpin a stuck raft, to how to swim through a strainer (They’ll even tell you what a strainer is). Day one will begin with a little meet and greet and be followed up by a nice introduction trip to the river; a little paddling, a little splashing. Day two and until the end of training, this formula will take over; You will meet in the morning for a little classroom time, then you will get wet, you will be uncomfortable, you will be tired, you may even get to “raft dance,” and you will either be chomping at the bit for more, or you will be ready to hang up your life jacket. If you feel like hanging up your life jacket, give it a couple days. Being a river guide is a doorway to whole new world.
Besides becoming a complete whitewater badass, another plus of training with Wilderness Voyageurs is that you will travel!! This area of the Appalachians is teeming with quality whitewater, and you will be exposed to as much as we can expose you too. From the Casselman and Indian Creek here in our back yard, to the Stoney Creek to the north, and the Mighty Cheat and the Big Sandy to the south,not to mention even more rivers, you will be able to tick off a number of classics before you are even a river guide!
Training starts with on our kick off weekend of April fifth and sixth, then runs through the weekend of May 17th and 18th. There will be a break for Easter. To get a better idea of what to expect and what you need to bring, just click here: I wanna work in Ohiopyle!! And remember, you don’t have to be a river guide to work with us. We are always hiring good people to work in our Ohiopyle outfitter store, at our reservations desks, in Falls City Pub and Restaurant, or driving a bus. Looking forward to seeing some new smiling faces on the water with spring!
Benjamin Scoville is the operations manager here in Ohiopyle. He is the guy that has the power of the pencil as we say.. He does all of the scheduling and overseeing rafts & trucks.