Home » Business » Need A Summer Job? 10 Reasons You Should Become A Whitewater Rafting Guide

Need A Summer Job? 10 Reasons You Should Become A Whitewater Rafting Guide

Young people need the hands-on training that comes with a summer job. But most of all, they need mentorship, guidance, and inspiration. –Hilda Solis

Once the deep freeze of this winter subsides, spring will be on the horizon. Soon after that, it’ll finally be summer time! Are you looking for a unique summer job, something that can keep you in shape, keep you outdoors, and keep your adrenaline pumping? There are really not too many jobs that can offer all of these things at once, but fortunately there is at least one, and it’s a relatively easy job to be hired for. Becoming a whitewater rafting guide just might be up your ally, and oddly, many people don’t often consider it.

The benefits to being a rafting guide are numerous, so much so that often times the same guides return year after year. Some consider it less of a summer job and more of a summer profession. This distinction is not typical for summer employment, and is something anyone who cares to should take advantage of. In the least, it is well worth investigating into because as the rest of this article will highlight, for someone who loves the outdoors, being active, and has the adventure bug, there is no job better. So without further ado, let’s go over the top 10 reasons to become a whitewater rafting guide for your next summer job.

Reason #10: No Experience Required

Most guided rafting companies do not require any previous experience or knowledge for their raft guides. Of course if you do have experience, there are more difficult rivers you will be able to guide, and as such more opportunities will be available. But rafting companies typically provide their own training because every river is simply unique. The hardest part about guiding a river is knowing all the hazards to be mindful of and how to avoid them. This essentially means that if you’re interested, no matter how little knowledge you have, you could become a rafting guide.

Reason #9: Living Expenses are Usually Dramatically Reduced

Since many of the rivers that you will be guiding are typically further away from towns and populated centers, and you will need to be on location bright and early, rafting companies often provide housing near where the rafts set-in. They may be charged rent, but the cost is usually so low it’s barely an expense. Food is also provided for on the days you’re working. Breakfasts and lunches are usually eaten on duty, and if you are on a multi-day or overnight trip, dinner is included as well. This means the more you work, the more you save, and the more you make. Beyond that, you’ll save money on other expenses as well (entertainment, gas, etc.) since you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors, and thankfully, being in nature is free.

Reason #8: Having a Job you can Actually Enjoy

This point should be easy enough to understand. How many jobs have you had that you hate? If you’re like most, the list may be endless. Spending your days on the river, talking with customers, and providing great life experiences and memories is a little hard not to enjoy. If you love the outdoors, then really there is no better job. Fun in the sun while getting wet and wild… you can probably imagine adding that to your resume.

Reason #7: Having a Job that will keep you in Shape

Many jobs nowadays cause the worker to be idle and stationary. Whether you’re sitting behind a desk, standing beside a cash register, or stocking inventory, chances are you’re not doing much to build strength, stamina, and endurance. You wouldn’t be getting your daily cardiovascular exercise, and certainly wouldn’t be receiving your fair share of sun shine. In a sense, being a rafting guide is like manual labor, but it’s enjoyable and doesn’t feel like slave labor. Conversely, carrying endless 2x4s for your summer construction job may keep you in shape, but it’s both brainless and soul crushing. If you’re going to work hard, you should enjoy yourself in the process.

Reason #6: Any Office Window View Can’t Compare

You often hear people say, “Well my office at least has a window” or “I have an office with a view.” It is guaranteed that when your office is outdoors, no office buildings view in the world can compare to the scenes you will daily witness. Open plains, tall snow tipped peaks, craggy canyons, and sunsets which would make Bob Ross himself cry. Eagles soaring overhead, chipmunks and squirrels chirping, birds singing, and the endless babbling of the river. Again, nothing can compare.

Reason #5: Being Paid For A Unique Experience

When you’re a raft guide, you’re guiding people down the same river you yourself are enjoying. The only difference is you’re being paid to do what others are paying for. Imagine that, people will spend thousands of dollars to take friends and family members on a memorable trip, and it would be something you get paid to do every day. Everyday you’ll hear the people you’re guiding say how awesome your job must be, how much they wish they could be paid to do something similar, and all you’ll be able to do is nod and say in return, “Yeah, I bet you do.” Because in the end, who wouldn’t?

Reason #5: A Great Life Experience

Typically you hear people complain about how terrible their job is and how much they hate going to work. Chances are you will not be counted among them. Not only will you love your job, the experiences you have will be remembered for life. The stories shared, big rapids hit, and the friends you’ve made will make your time on the river beyond memorable, it will be cherished. Can you say that for any other summer job you’ve had?

Reason #4: Valuable Life Lessons Learned

There is no better setting for self-discovery, personal growing, and understanding our world better than there is out in nature. The great number of unique people you will encounter, the moments of serenity and quiet on the river, and essentially all the seemingly endless opportunities for reflection ensures that by summers end, your view of the world and perspective on life will change. You will feel alive, invigorated, and ready to tackle the rest of the year with a clear mind and clear conscience. Spending that much time on the river is nothing short of soul cleansing, and you will undoubtedly look to doing the same thing the following year.

Reason #3: Very Few Jobs Exist that are Adventurous and Exciting

When it comes down to, there are a very limited number of jobs that pay you to go on adventures every day, and do thrilling and exciting activities. Rafting many times is only part of the fun. On multi day trips, or destination oriented trips, you may be rafting out to hike a mountain or explore a cave. Maybe you’re rafting gear down so people can go rock climbing or even bird watching. Rafting itself can be the end goal, but many times it’s also the means to another end. Whether someone wants to go fly fishing, hunting, or anything else, you’ll be right there all along as at some point, you’ll have to guide them further down river to their final destination. This means your days are most likely not going to be monotonous, boring, or expected. For whitewater rafting guides, the thrill is often in the surprises that await.

Reason #2: You’ll Be Able to Wile Your Time Away in Nature

Chances are if you’d ever consider being a whitewater rafting guide, you must have some love or affinity for the outdoors. Very few jobs allow for people to even see outdoors let alone actually be out there. And being outside is one thing, being deep in the wilderness without a man-made structure for miles is something else. If you love the feel of the suns warm glow, the teasing of wind through your hair, the whimsical spray of a rivers splash, the joyous singing of birds, the babbling of brooks and swaying of trees… than you can well appreciate the opportunity presented as being a whitewater rafting guide. What other occupation allows you to wile your time away in the outdoors?

Reason #1: Being A Raft Guide Will Very Likely be The Coolest Job You’ll Ever Have

Far in the future, when you’re sitting down with your grandchildren, or perhaps as your own children are growing up, what stories of your past do believe they will remember best? Will it be the time you had that high paying desk job as a market analyst, or would it be the time you spent an entire summer outdoors guiding people through treacherous white waters? Will you remark on the beauty of your office view or the countless sunsets you witnessed masterfully painted across the sky? Point being, we only live once, and if the best you can recall of your past job is that your office was closest to the water cooler or you were paid handsomely… chances are you’ve not lived fully yet.

Hopefully this article will convince a few readers that you don’t have to work at McDonalds this summer, or walk dogs, or cut lawns. There are opportunities out there for people who simply want to be happy while they work. That doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for, and thankfully it isn’t. The hardest part for most will be to take that first step and actually inquire into a job yourself. I’ve made it clear it’s possible, achievable, and worthwhile. Hopefully you won’t settle for anything less, and perhaps I’ll see you on the river this upcoming summer.