River Guide Training
The profession of river guiding offers an unsurpassed mix of fun, excitement, camaraderie, fresh air and challenge, all in pristine outdoor settings. The hours are long and the work is demanding, but river guiding is exceptionally rewarding.
For 39 years O.R.E. has been a leader in teaching whitewater skills in a safe, supportive, and innovative manner. Our training is a hands-on experience. Dry land and on-river instruction cover a comprehensive array of skills and topics. Instructors begin by explaining the basics and teach by example. But the emphasis throughout is on learning by doing, so students will be actively involved in every learning experience. Click here for a brief overivew of our curriculum.
Cost: $25 per day.
This fee covers instruction, transportation, all needed river clothing and gear. Also included is lunch both days on weekends two (participants bring sack lunches otherwise).
The training takes place primarily on the Clackamas River, but we may move to other rivers if weather or water conditions, and/or training goals warrant the move. Each day's training session begins at 8 AM, ends between 4 and 6 PM that day, and then reconvenes the following morning.
Trainees learn quite a bit in a short time. But still, additional training is necessary after the initial, formal instruction period has ended. For this reason trainees enter an on-the-job training period after the first three weekends are complete. Trainees (at this point we call them Assistant Guides) should plan to spend at least another six days in training, and usually longer. Assistant Guides work alongside our experienced crew on our regular commercial trips. This on-the-job training is the best way to hone your skills. Assistant Guides are neither charged nor paid for the time they spend in training
Details concerning the cost of training:
- Per-day fee is waived for experienced guides who do not need to be trained to be guides, but who are in need of an introduction to O.R.E. rivers and/or company policies and procedures.
- Training fees are refunded in full to guide trainees who work 12 days for us as guides during the 2017 season.
- Why do we charge a training fee? $25 per day puts a dent in the costs we incur in training applicants to become guides, but only a small dent. We charge a fee because we feel that willingness to pay at least a small amount is indicative of your commitment to the process of becoming a guide. If we offer to train you it means that we are serious about you, and we want you to enter the training with a similar level of commitment.
- Why the refund? If you stick it out with us, complete your training, and make yourself available to guide for us when we need you, then we refund your training fees as a way to say thank you for your commitment to us. (And if things don't work out - if for instance we decide you are not a good fit for O.R.E., or you decide you don't want to stay - then you've received valuable training at a great price: most whitewater training programs tend to run $85 - $110 per day).
- In the short term we will provide you with everything you need. But once you become a guide you will need to set yourself up with lifejacket, knife, whistle, small dry-bag, throw-bag, and river-appropriate clothing. And if you plan to train or work on multi-day trips you will also need an overnight dry-bag, tent, sleeping bag and pad. (By the way, O.R.E. can assist you in locating these items on a wholesale or "pro-deal" basis to help you keep your expenses down.)