Raft Guide Program & Intensive Training

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.

REO 12-day Raft Guide Intensive Training

This includes a min of 6 days of full-on guide training with senior REO trip leaders, 6 river familiarization trips (1 trip = half day) and an intro to basic swiftwater rescue and training techniques.

Course Fees: $2500
Deposit: $1000 no later than March 1, 2019; Balance due June 1, 2019
Inclusions: Shared cabin tent lodging (single bed), all meals with beverages.
BCROA Guide Exam: Not included fees apply.
Previous Rafting & River Experience: Please include river log.
Visa Requirements (non-Canadians): Many of our participants arrive from outside Canada. A work visa is not required to attend this training program.
Work with REO or volunteer in Canada for more than 4 weeks, we recommend you apply for a working holiday visa prior to arrival (allow 90 days for completion).

REO Raft Guide Apprenticeship Program

Our raft guide apprenticeship program will take place primarily on the Nahatlatch (on Class 3-4+ sections), but we use other rivers to complement our training such as the Chehalis, Coquihalla, Stein & 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 4 individuals from our many applications who will be offered a position based on their skill match with our resort job openings. 

Application Deadline: February 15, 2019
Application Fee
: $500 non-refundable fee due upon acceptance into program
Inclusions: Shared cabin tent lodging (single bed), 180+ meals, min 12 days on-river training & 12 familiarization trips
BCROA guide exam: $50 fee for certificate, 2019 dates June 19 or 26 subject to river levels may run earlier or later.
Non-Resident Apprentices: Non-Canadian applicants must obtain an approved working holiday visa for Canada by May 1.  This is not required for the 12-day Intensive Program.
Employment after June 30: 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 1. If more training time is required (training extension) then apprentices may be eligible for a contract starting on August 1.
Application Process:  You may apply Nov 15 - Feb 15 or until all 4 positions are filled. 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 have 2 weeks to book online and confirm your seat.
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 travellers with a Canadian working holiday visa will need to arrive at REO by May 1, 2019 (plus or minus one week depending on logistics). You will be scheduled for 32 days of volunteer time over the 2 month training period (average of 16 days per month).

Volunteer days per week will vary depending on the training schedule. In general, trainees will volunteer 4.5 days per week at specific duties that match your skills and our needs.  On average, you will get 1.5 days of river time per week (1 day of intensive guide training + one river familiarization trip).  This leaves 1 day off per week to relax & enjoy our unique river's edge setting. Only four positions are open for guide trainees with skills and experience in:

  • Construction (carpentry, plumbing, general building) and resort maintenance (buildings, vehicles, power systems, etc)
  • Housekeeping (hotel/resort/camp) & general resort clean-up
  • Marketing, Reservations & Social Media:  REO office position at Port Moody available PT Jan-April; at REO Resort available PT May-Sept

Training Extension (After June 30 & 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 two 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, 7 Meals, 2-Nights Shared Lodging:

  • 3 day/2-night program with 2 full days of training, 2 nights shared cabin tent lodging and 7 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