While it’s still no substitute for getting out there and pushing rubber, a new video series from OARS called “Guide School” is designed to help make the process a little easier for newbie raft guides.
The five-episode series, supported by NRS, pulls back the curtain to show just how much hard work and focus goes into becoming a guide, the friendships that are formed, as well as the monumental role that company culture and mentorship places into what type of guide they will become… and answers the age-old question, “Why would someone want to be a river guide?”
While it doesn’t necessarily go into such guide commonalities as how to get rid of foot fungus, how to make dashboard burritos and slice watermelon boats, how to get the perfect Teva tan and even the art of landing tips, it does cover just about everything else, giving those starting out and even veterans a leg up on the coming season.
OARS’ in-person/on-water Guide School was first established in 1979 and has help set the industry standard for raft guide training programs. Each year, OARS, together with the Pam & George Wendt Foundation, also offers a fully-sponsored, need-based Guide School Scholarship to help individuals with limited resources attend guide training programs and improve access for anyone interested in a career in the whitewater rafting industry.
Guide School Testimonial
“The instructors were truly the highlight for me. Not only were they clearly very experienced, but they also created a welcoming, down to earth environment that was really fun to learn in. Interacting with the instructors for a week and getting a glimpse into what the community in OARS was like was my main motivation for wanting to work for OARS. After spending a summer with them, I can confidently say no other company in the area has guides quite like OARS does.” —Aashna Shah, 2022 Pam & George Wendt Scholarship recipient and OARS American River guide
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