Raft Guide Program & Intensive Training 2022

Professional raft guiding, the ultimate job! Live and work outdoors and share good times with people from around the world.

A Guide License is a Ticket to Travel

Many of our guides travel the world working as a whitewater rafting guide during our winter months, in destinations such as New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Nepal, Austria, and Africa.

REO's high standards will prepare you to guide almost anywhere in the world.

British Columbia Rivers Require Exceptional Guide Standards

British Columbia has over 100 rafting rivers, many of which are located in remote wilderness settings where operating and safety standards must be high. Our rivers change daily, unlike many popular dam-controlled rivers around the world. Training on BC rivers prepares you with strong and diverse guiding skills.

REO offers one of the most comprehensive raft training programs in North America. Our instructors are focused and committed to your success. Each REO instructor is a rafting expert, certified as a Swiftwater Rescue Technician. Bryan Fogelman, REO's President, sets course standards, selects and monitors instructors and handpicks program participants. You will train on rivers that are among the steepest and most technical that are rafted commercially in Canada. If you want to be a professional river guide or raft serious Class 4 whitewater, REO offers 2 programs.

Raft Guide Intensive Training

This includes 9 days of full-on guide training with senior REO training trip leaders including river familiarization and an introduction to swiftwater rescue.
Course Fees: $2400 + tax/fees
Deposit: $400; Balance due June 1, 2022
Dates: June 7-9; June 14-16; June 21-23, 2022
Partial Modules: Intro to Oars & Paddle Guiding June 7-9; Intermediate Rafting & Intro to Swiftwater Rescue June 14-16; and Advanced Guiding & Rescue Techniques June 21-23, 2022. $899 per person per module + tax/fees
Inclusions: Camping in own tent, all meals with beverages, snacks, access to our onsite yoga program and resort amenities. Private lodging, in our river's edge Glamping tents, add $89 per night + tax/fees.
Previous Rafting & River Experience: Please include river log.
Visa Requirements (non-Canadians): A working holiday visa is recommended.
Raft Guiding in Canada You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or hold a valid working holiday visa to work as a professional raft guide in Canada. We recommend you apply for a working holiday visa 2-3 months prior to your arrival in Canada.

2022 REO Raft Guide Apprenticeship Program

Our raft guide apprenticeship program will take place primarily on the Nahatlatch (on Class 3-4+ sections), but we may use other rivers to complement our training such as the Fraser, Chehalis, Coquihalla & Nicola. This comprehensive program will provide excellent guide training on both oar & paddle rafts. You will learn how to run rivers safely using the best judgment possible at extreme high to low water levels and get a broad introduction to swiftwater rescue skills. The Apprenticeship Program will select a max of 4 individuals from our many applications who will be offered a position based on their skill match with our resort job openings. 

Application Deadline: April 1, 2022
Application Fee
: $100 non-refundable fee due upon acceptance into program + volunteer agreement (see below)
Dates: May 30-July 17 2022
Shared cabin tent lodging (single bed), 140 meals, min 9 high-intensity training days with a low teacher to student ration (usually 2-3 students per instructor) + 6 additional training and self-directed familiarization trips with professional guide mentoring.
BCROA guide exam: Included on select dates in late June and July
Non-Resident Apprentices: Non-Canadian applicants must obtain an approved working holiday visa for Canada by June 1.
Employment after July 17: REO is providing training and experience for our apprentices so that they can play a valuable role in our company both on and off the river. Apprentices that meet our standards and pass the BCROA exam will be offered a contract effective July 18. If more training time is required (training extension) then apprentices may be eligible for a contract starting on August.
Application Process:  If you would like to apply, please email 1-2 page resume + cover letter to Bryan. We will contact you to set up a Skype or FaceTime interview and get key employment or education references. If approved, you will need to confirm your seat right away.
Prerequisites: Physically fit, swimming ability, an outgoing personality, a good work ethic, able to communicate in English, and the desire to learn and live outdoors. Minimum age: 16.
Previous Rafting & River Experience: Please provide river log.
Camping Gear: Students will need their own tents, sleeping bags and personal gear for travel days.
River Gear: Apprentices must provide their own river shoes, wetsuit, helmet, river knife, and whistle no later than June 1. REO offers access to wholesale rates on all equipment.
Text Book: The Complete White-Water Rafter by Jeff Bennett. Please try to obtain a copy prior to the start of the program it can be hard to find so start looking early.

NOTE: REO training program and the REO Resort are smoke-free, including vaping.
Applicants must meet this requirement to be accepted into the program.

Details of Volunteer Apprenticeship Component

Canadians and international travelers with a Canadian working holiday visa will need to arrive one week prior to the course start date (or earlier). Your apprenticeship will start on your first day of volunteer and end July 17 or whenever the volunteer hours are completed.  The volunteer component will  offset your training and living allowance costs (meals, lodging, WIFI, resort amenities, etc). You will be scheduled for 27 full days of volunteer time over the 7-week training period (total of 216 hours).

Volunteer days per week will vary depending on the training schedule. In general, trainees will volunteer 4 days per week on average at specific duties that match your skills and our needs. Intensive and self-directed training time per week will range from 1-3 days per week.  THIS IS AN INTENSIVE TRAINING & VOLUNTEER program with little time off. Volunteer assignments may include:
  • Construction (carpentry, plumbing, general building)
  • Mechanical maintenance (vehicles, power systems, equipment)
  • Building and infrastructure maintenance including painting/staining
  • Housekeeping, general resort clean-up, landscaping and grounds maintenance
  • Kitchen and meal preparation, dish washing and serving
  • Guest services and activity leader for resort programming

Training Extension (After July 17 & Prior to Full Guide Endorsement)

Like any highly skilled trade, becoming a raft professional takes time and learning curves vary. Some trainees need more training and experience to get a full endorsement from REO on Class 3 - 4+ whitewater.

Post-apprenticeship training extensions for up to one month after the main guide training program are available on a case-by-case basis.

Each 1-week extension includes 1 day guide training with a Senior Trip Leader and 1 day training development time on commercial rafting trips. At least two supervised endorsement runs with a Senior Trip Leader are offered when the trainee is ready for check-out runs.

All meals, beverages, equipment and lodging at REO is included. Each 1-week extension has a 4-day volunteer assignment per week.

Custom Whitewater Training
(1 - 6 days)

REO provides custom whitewater training for a diverse market including Fisheries, Search and Rescue staff, Department of Defence, private boaters (preparing for an expedition trip), as well as corporate team-building, cadets, and student groups. REO will organize a custom program that provides key training take-aways including learning to row oar rafts, an intro to paddle raft guiding, rescue & swiftwater training, safety & risk management & whitewater dynamics.

Sample 3 day/2 Night with 2 Training Days, 6 Meals, 2-Nights Shared Lodging:

  • 3 day/2-night program with 2 full days of training, 2 nights shared cabin tent lodging and 6 meals
  • $799 per person, Mon-Fri.
  • Price based on a minimum of 4 trainees.
Dept of Fisheries and Govt rate: $699 per person, min of 8 (all-inclusive of training, equipment, meals, lodging).
Deposit: 50% pp non-refundable deposit - balance due 7 days prior to start date.
Instructor/Student Ratio: 1 instructor per 4 students.
Taxes: All fees plus 5% GST.
Book: Call 604-941-9777 or 1-800-736-7238 or email bookings@reorafting.com