05 Feb Maine Whitewater Guide Training
The dates are out. Maine Whitewater Guide Training with Northern Outdoors begins May 23 for our 2021 class, and we’re looking to fill a few coveted full and part time spots for Summer 2021 and beyond. Why apply, you ask? Well let me tell you a little something about guide training with Northern Outdoors…
Scouting Magic Hole with trainer Greg Caruso. Greg is known for throwing rocks to identify rapids, a highly-skilled technique he passed on to current manager and trainer Zach Davis
Photo by Christopher Harrison
The powerful experience of guide training is echoed across Northern Outdoors’ employees, past and present. Excitement, exhaustion, fear, and adrenaline all mesh together to form the foundation of some of the most memorable relationships in your life. The people you train and work with, if you continue on to guide for Northern Outdoors, become part of your extended family. The river family, we’ll call it. You depend on each other, you trust each other, you look out for one another.
Northern Outdoors guide staff “professional development” trip to
New York’s Hudson and Black Rivers, 2013
Todd and Alex had countless Penobscot River adventures together, including sharing shirts…
These relationships with other guides and your guests are incredibly important, but not the only relationship you build as a guide. Each day, the majestic, graceful, and powerful river shares itself with you. Each day it both nurtures and challenges you. It excites and humbles you. Each day is different; the river is as dynamic as the people in your raft. You will learn something new about the river every time you venture into its waters, and as any raft guide will tell you, the day you don’t learn something means it’s time to hang up your paddle.
Autumn Morning in the Kennebec River Gorge
Northern Outdoors Staff Photo through the years: 1992 vs 2016
Guiding at Northern Outdoors builds relationships with others, the river, and possibly most importantly, with yourself. During training and as a guide, you will confront fears, overcome obstacles, and push yourself to the limit physically and mentally. You will reconnect with nature, and disconnect from the outside world. You will self reflect as you make mistakes, stumble, and get back up on your feet again. Rest assured, you will come out of a summer of guiding with improved communication, leadership skills, and confidence. These are skills you can take with you anywhere, whatever your “big kid” job may be after rafting.
Northern Outdoors river guides past and present pictured with their families
Left to Right: Zach Davis (Guide Class of 2011), Emily Yearwood (2006), Suzie Hockmeyer (Owner, 1976), Stephanie Koetzle (1999), Kyle Hockmeyer (1995), Brooks Sanborn (1997), Michelle Sanborn (reservation staff 2003), Andy Ferran (1999), Shannon Ferran (2000) and kiddos.
But if you have plans to stay just “a year or two” keep in mind, it’s hard to leave. “I got sucked into the vortex” some say, after 10 years of guiding at Northern Outdoors. If that’s the case, let it take you, go with the flow. Maybe whitewater rafting IS your big kid job. Or maybe growing up isn’t so cool after all…
See you out there.
Emily, Guide Class of 2006
So, are you into it? Read more of the details on Maine whitewater guide training with Northern Outdoors.We’ll see you down river…
Join the Facebook group for 2020 Guide Training.
More photos from Christopher Harrison, photographer during guide class 2011…
Raft barn logistics meeting
The well-known Dam Road; the route to the river
Pushing (or carrying) rubber is what we do.
Rafts floating at the base of Harris Station at low water
Training group running Magic Hole
Flip day on the Kennebec River
Calm sections do exist on the Kennebec River, giving trainees a chance to catch their breath and listen to the stories and advice of the trainers