Sea Kayaking Guides & Paddling Instructors
Summer Seasonal with Internships Available
2024 Positions Available
The Ideal Guide
Is someone who loves to educate about nature and culture, strives to change lives for the better, enjoys entertaining, creating happiness and community, and who thinks getting paid to explore the natural world with others is pretty awesome!
Already have sea kayaking experience? Great! If not, we offer training to get you up to speed. To start, we offer an intensive 4 days of sea kayaking instruction that includes an American Canoe Association level 3 skills assessment. We also offer Wilderness First Aid if you aren't already certified. Once you pass first aid and the level 3 assessment you are invited to join our New Guide Training which includes sea kayaking leadership and group management, learning all about kayak repairs, driving 15 passenger vans, food preparation and the natural and cultural history of our amazing location. At the end of this training period new guides are on their way to becoming an American Canoe Association 'Trip Leader'. Continuing education opportunities are offered throughout the summer season. Returning guides and those with prior experience have opportunities to further advance their skills and gain ACA Instructor certifications.
Guides lead half day, full day, and multi-day sea kayak camping trips, as well as teach safety and instructional courses in kayak and stand up paddle boarding. Guides may also drive shuttles, fix boats, and have other work opportunities around the shop. This job requires you to work with people of all backgrounds, while being able to lift kayaks, work long hours, and be out in all types of weather. All staff need to be able to communicate well and work as a team, be in good shape, and be willing to learn. You can expect a positive work environment and a lot of opportunities for fun and personal growth.
Our Guide Structure
Guide Candidates - A requirement for being hired as a guide is sea kayaking skills (ACA level 3 assessed or the equivalent) and Wilderness First Aid (Or higher) and CPR certifications. We accept those who do not yet possess these skills as 'Candidates', and offer these courses for free prior to hiring at Level 1.
Level 1: Apprentice Guides - After meeting sea kayaking skill and first aid certification requirements you are hired at Level 1: Apprentice Guide. This level is paid a stipend as you take further training. This period of New Guide Training lasts about a week.
Level 2: Assistant Guides - After passing New Guide Training you will be assisting on trips and skills classes as you develop on-water leadership experience and hone your paddling skills. As an Assistant Guide you are in the process of 'checking out' to lead trips on your own. This stage lasts for one pay period for most new guides.
Levels 3-5: Lead & Mentor Guides - Once approved to lead day trips on your own you are considered a Lead Guide. Now you are working toward leading overnight trips, assisting senior guides as you get out in to the islands! Leading overnight trips requires an increasing ability to facilitate group experiences and handle rough water rescue situations, as well as the ability to cook tasty meals and teach natural and cultural history. Levels 4 and 5 are considered Mentor guides who have committed several seasons to outdoor education work, and have gained advanced certifications.
Qualifications & Responsibilities
Timely and able to work early and late hours.
Good communication skills.
Sense of humor
Friendly, people-centered attitude
Desire to work with a diverse clientele
Confident problem-solving ability
Fantastic judgment (Or ability and motivation to learn it)
Own transportation to and from work
Love of the outdoors and sharing that love with others
Other desired skills: Ability to do minor repairs, grace under pressure, paddling skills, leadership and teaching experience.
Compensation & Benefits
We have a 5-level system, with paddling skill, time in the field, and leadership experience bringing commensurate increases in pay. Substantial increases are given to guides for gaining certifications, returning for following seasons, and for previous experience. We also offer up to $1000 as an end of season bonus based on days in the field and work quality.
With a full time, full summer season contract completed, first season guides can expect to average $18/hr including the contract completion/end of season bonus. Tips will add another 15-25%. Average pay is based upon days in the field, quality of work, etc.
Guides also have free personal use of equipment (or are paid for having your own) and access to our employee equipment purchase program offering up to 50% off retail prices on boats and other gear.
Our New Guide training process begins after Memorial Day at the end of May. We give hiring preference to those who can stay through Labor Day, though flexibility with ending date is possible. Staff staying into September can expect laid-back shoulder season work with opportunities for taking personal trips around the area that we work.