How to Become a Maine Rafting Guide

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Naturally, we understand why anyone would envy a rafting guide.  What Maine rafting guides consider their summer work is vacation for Northeast Whitewater rafting guests.  Rafting guides are story tellers and fun to spend a day on the river with.  Rafting guides take life one day at a time, just like each rapid they enter; it’s about enjoying the moment, living wild and free and even when whitewater chaos ensues a Maine rafting guide takes what comes ready to navigate the whitewater ahead and does it all with a smile.  Interested in finding out how to become a Maine rafting guide?  Here’s six tips that will help to point you in the right direction.

  1. Go White Water Rafting: If you haven’t already been whitewater rafting, you should go on a guided whitewater rafting trip.  What better opportunity to see first hand what a day on the river for a whitewater rafting guide is like, than experiencing first hand what a day is like on the river.  Take the time to ask your rafting guide questions about the Maine rafting guide whitewater-rafting-mainejob.  Your rafting guide can tell you first hand about the Maine river rapids, lifestyle of a Maine rafting guide and who knows you might just find that at the end of the day’s whitewater rafting trip, you want to ask for an application to join the Northeast Whitewater family for the next rafting season.
  2. Sign up for Maine Whitewater Rafting Guide Training: In Maine, river guides must be licensed rafting guides through Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.  Northeast Whitewater is a commercial whitewater rafting training company and offers a Maine rafting guide training every spring, typically in late May.  The 2016 whitewater raft guide training at Northeast Whitewater is May 27 – June 6.  Raft guide training is structured around the instruction of technical strokes, maneuvers, river knowledge, river safety and group leadership achieved through on-the-water whitewater skills, which prepares Maine rafting guide trainees to pass the State of Maine written exam and earn the honor of becoming a Maine whitewater rafting guide.  If you don’t already have first aid, you must get it.  Wilderness First Aid is a great start, but anyone who already has Advanced first aid or a Wilderness First Responder certification, always looks good on the raft guide job application.
  3. Start working out: Go swim. Go run. Go climb the longest set of stairs on campus or at work until you can’t feel your legs anymore.  Nothing sets you apart from the rest of the pack of rafting guides than being in good shape with a healthy, positive outlook about each day.  Kick up the cardio training, take a yoga class and get your shoulders and arms in shape. Training is very physically demanding, but to keep the level of energy and stamina high, while others are beat is to get yourself in good shape.  Enough said.
  4. Raft a day in my sandals: Once you are hired on to guide rafts for Northeast Whitewater, a Maine rafting guide can expect for each day to start early with prepping the guests rafting day river lunch, making sure the rafts and whitewater rafting equipment are safely prepared for the days whitewater river trip. Rafting guides meet and greet the Northeast Whitewater guests as they arrive, brief guests on what to expect for their Maine rafting trip, and make sure guests are informed of the whitewater safety speech. Other typical duties for rafting guides often include helping at the Northeast Whitewater basecamp office, making brownies, organizing and selling rafting retail and trip photos. Maine rafting guides may also help guests find the best local place to eat, enjoy a brew, point guests in the right direction of where to stay or set up a volleyball court where guests can play and visit after the rafting trip.
  5. Perks of becoming a Maine rafting guide: For those of us that love the river, who wouldn’t want to get paid to go on the river every day?  Whether it’s a day of guiding whitewater rafting guests, playing on the whitewater with other rafting guides, or a day of kayaking, every day on the river is a good day to be alive.  Rafting guides meet people from all over the world each day.  Maine rafting guides spend time getting to know guests from Connecticut to California, Austria to Israel, Pennsylvania to Perth and everywhere in between.  The guests are great, but needless to say the Maine rafting guides you spend the summer with are super awesome, too.                                           OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. Wear that smile: There are days as a rafting guide that won’t always go as planned.  The days can be long and you may feel tired, but nothing in life is easy and working as a Maine rafting guide is a dream job.  The more you put into your Maine rafting guide job, the more rewarding it will be.  Keep that positive spirit, zest for life and enthusiasm and always wear that smile.   Your rafting guests will appreciate it, the staff at Northeast Whitewater will notice it and you’ll feel great no matter the day, challenging or chill, by staying positive and upbeat as the waves roll.

If these tips have helped to sway you into participating in our spring rafting guide training program, contact Northeast Whitewater to sign up!  We are seeking enthusiastic, positive, fun, full of life personalities to join our Maine rafting guide team.  Contact us for more information at 207-695-0151 or info@northeastwhitewater.com.