2018 Raft Guide Apprenticeship Program & Training

Why not learn with the best raft guide training company in Canada!

Professional raft guiding, the ultimate job! Few jobs can compare. Where else can you get an incredible adrenaline rush, live and work outdoors, and share good times with guests from around the world? Guests will often ask, "You get PAID to do this?"

A guide license is a ticket to travel. Many of our guides travel the world working as a whitewater rafting guide during our winter months, in destinations such as New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Nepal, Austria, and Africa. REO's high standards will prepare you to guide almost anywhere in the world.                            

British Columbia Rivers Require Exceptional Guide Standards

British Columbia is a whitewater gold mine with over 100 rafting rivers. Many of these are in remote wilderness settings where operating and safety standards must be high due to time and distance from assistance. Our rivers change daily, unlike many popular dam-controlled rivers around the world. Training on BC rivers prepares you with strong and diverse guiding skills.

REO offers one of the most comprehensive raft training programs in North America. Our instructors are focused & committed to your success. Each REO instructor is a rafting expert, certified as a Swiftwater Rescue Technician. They are confident, friendly and easy-going. Bryan Fogelman, REO President and Founder, sets course standards, selects and monitors instructors, and handpicks program participants.

Your Classroom is the Great Outdoors

Our mission is to prepare trainees for excellence in guiding and to teach professional standards of customer care and service. Specific goals are to provide skills training, on-river experience, and practical knowledge to safely guide rafts thru Class 3 & 4 rapids (moderate - advanced). All apprentices get practical hands-on experience at our adventure resort in housekeeping, meal prep, construction, landscaping & guest services. These skills will help you find work with rafting companies around the world.

REO Raft Guide Apprenticeship Program: May 1 - June 30, 2018

Kayaking Nahatlatch CanyonIf you want to be a professional river guide or raft serious Class 4 whitewater, this is your program. The REO Guide Apprenticeship Program introduces you to a wide range of river-running challenges. You will train on rivers that are among the steepest and most technical that are rafted commercially in Canada.

Our 2018 training will take place primarily on the Nahatlatch (on Class 3-4+ sections), but we use other rivers to complement our training such as the Chehalis, Coquihalla, Stein & Nicola Rivers. 

This intensive program will provide excellent guide training on both oar & paddle rafts. You will learn how to run rivers safely using the best judgment possible at extreme high to low water levels and get a broad introduction to swiftwater rescue skills. 

The Apprenticeship Program will select 4 individuals from our many applications who will be offered a position based on their skill match with our resort job openings. 

Program Fee: $200 non-refundable fee upon approval by Bryan
Apprenticeship Agreement: 4 volunteer days per week in exchange for lodging, meals & snacks, training  and familiarization trips provided over a 2-month period (May & June) 
Inclusions:  Shared cabin tent lodging (twin bed), 180+ meals, beverages, min 12 days on-river training & 12 fam trips
BCROA guide exam: June 28 or July 3, 2018
Non-Resident Apprentices: Non-Canadian applicants must obtain an approved working holiday visa for Canada by June 1, 2018.  This is not required for the 10-day Intensive Program (see below).
Application Process: Please note, early applicants have a huge advantage since only 4 seats are available. You may apply Nov 15, 2017 - March 15, 2018 or until all positions are filled. If you would like to apply, please email 1-2 page resume + cover letter to Bryan. Bryan will contact you to set up a Skype or FaceTime interview and get key employment or education references. If approved, you have 2 weeks to book online and confirm your seat. 

Nahatlatch canyon kayakingDetails of Volunteer Component

All apprentices will be scheduled for 32 days of volunteer time over the 2 month training period (average of 16 days per month). In exchange, you receive lodging, all of your meals & snacks, 12 days guide training with a senior trip leader, 12 river fam trips (each trip = 1/2 day), and the BCROA guide examination. 

Volunteer days per week will vary depending on the training schedule. In general, trainees will volunteer 4.5 days per week at specific duties that match your skills and our needs.  On average, you will get 1.5 days on river time per week (1 day of intensive guide training + one river familiarization trip).  This leaves 1 day off per week to relax & enjoy our unique river's edge setting. Four apprenticeship positions are open for guide trainees with skills and experience in:
  • Nahatlatch canyon rafting 8Construction (carpentry, plumbing, general building)
  • Housekeeping (hotel/resort/camp)
  • Kitchen (assisting chef, dishwashing, meal prep and clean up)
  • Repair & Maintenance (resort buildings, lands, vehicles, power systems, equip)
  • Marketing & Social Media (March & April 2018; REO office position; program details vary)

Training Extension (After June 30 & Prior to Full Guide Endorsement)

Nahatlatch rafting 20Like any highly skilled trade, becoming a raft professional takes time and learning curves vary. Some trainees need more training and experience to get a full endorsement from REO on Class 3 - 4+ whitewater.

Post-apprenticeship training extensions for up to one month after the main guide training program are available on a case-by-case basis.

Coquihalla 5Each 1-week extension includes 1 day intensive guide training with a Senior Trip Leader and two commercial rafting trips as a training guide. At least two supervised endorsement runs with a Senior Trip Leader are offered when the trainee is ready for check-out runs.

All meals, beverages, equipment and lodging at REO is included. Each 1-week extension has a 4-day volunteer assignment per week.

Application & Details for Raft Guide Apprenticeship Program

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to Bryan. We will contact you for a Skype interview.

Physically fit, swimming ability, an outgoing personality, a good work ethic, able to communicate in English, and the desire to learn and live outdoors. Minimum age: 16.
Smoke Free: REO Guide School is a smoke-free environment.
Instructor Ratio: Our Instructor/student ratio is typically 5:1 or better to optimize your learning.
Meals: Meals, beverages and snacks are included. Trainees with special dietary needs must contact us; we cannot guarantee that our meal program will fit all special diets.
Camping Gear: Students will need their own tents for travel days, sleeping bags and personal gear.
River Gear: Apprentices must provide their own river shoes, wetsuit, helmet, river knife, and whistle no later than June 1, 2018. REO offers access to wholesale rates on all equipment.
Text Book: The Complete White-Water Rafter by Jeff Bennett
. Please try to obtain a copy prior to the start of the program - it can be hard to find so start looking early.
Previous Rafting & River Experience: If you have river guiding experience, please include river log. 
Employment after June 30: REO is providing training and experience for our apprentices so that they can play a valuable role in our company both on and off the river. Apprentices that meet our standards and pass the BCROA exam will be offered a contract effective July 1. If more training time is required (training extension) then apprentices may be eligible for a contract starting on August 1.

10-Day Intensive: Raft Guide Training Program (June 20-29, 2018)

Nahatlatch rafting 8If our Apprenticeship Program is full or you are not interested in the volunteer component, you can sign up for our 10-day Raft Guide Training Intensive Program. This includes a min of 6 days of full-on guide training with senior REO trip leaders, 6 river familiarization trips (1 trip = half day) and an intro to basic swiftwater rescue and training techniques (10 days training).
Course Fees: $2100 CDN /$1650 USD + 10% taxes
Volunteer: 1 day volunteer experience June 23 or June 30, 2018
Inclusions: Shared cabin tent lodging, 30 meals, beverages, snacks. BCROA exam is not included.
Visa Requirements (non-Canadians): Many of our 10-day Intensive participants arrive from outside Canada. A work visa is not required to attend this training program. However, if you wish to work with REO or to volunteer in Canada for more than 4 weeks, we recommend you apply for a working holiday visa prior to arriving in Canada (allow 90 days for completion).


Custom Whitewater Training (1 - 6 days)

stein raft 22REO provides custom whitewater training for a diverse market including Fisheries, Search and Rescue staff, Department of Defence, private boaters (preparing for an expedition trip), as well as corporate team-building, cadets, and student groups. REO will organize a custom program that provides key training take-aways including learning to row oar rafts, an intro to paddle raft guiding, rescue & swiftwater training, safety & risk management & whitewater dynamics.

Sample 3 day/2 Night with 2 Training Days, 7 Meals, 2-Nights Shared Lodging:

3 day/2-night program with 2 full days of training, 2 nights shared cabin tent lodging and 7 meals: $750 CDN ($600 USD) per person, Mon-Fri. Price based on a minimum of 4 trainees.
Dept of Fisheries and Govt rate:
$675 CDN per person, min of 6 (all-inclusive of training, equipment, meals, lodging).
Deposit: 50% pp non-refundable deposit - balance due 7 days prior to start date.
Instructor/Student Ratio: 1 instructor per 4 students.
Taxes: All fees plus 5% GST.
Book: Call 604-941-9777 or 1-800-736-7238 or email bookings@reorafting.com