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1 Apr 2024

Water Raft Guide

Adventures Without Limits – Posted by Emmaf Forest Grove, Oregon, United States

Job Description

Employment period: Summer Seasonal: June – August, 2024

Hours: Full Time, Part time

Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

Pay: $16-$19/hr DOE ($128 to $266 per day!)

Experience: Intermediate


Adventures Without Limits (AWL) is a small non-profit with a big mission! Our team is passionate about providing opportunity and adventure to all people, regardless of ability level, socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, or age.

AWL adventures are inclusive, adaptive, and community-oriented! We believe that everyone should have access to the mental, physical, and social benefits of time spent outdoors. Our programs aim to inspire personal growth, instill confidence, develop peer relationships, and enhance awareness of the natural environment through whitewater rafting, flatwater kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, backpacking, climbing, and camping trips. Our community is wide and diverse; we work with individuals with disabilities, seniors, youth, school groups, people experiencing poverty, nonprofit partners, and corporate groups alike from Forest Grove and the greater Portland Metro area. At AWL, we value an inclusive atmosphere that encourages shared growth and learning among both staff and participants.


Raft Guides are responsible for the delivery of engaging, safe, and instructional white water rafting trips to a range of diverse participants including but not limited to: individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, school groups, seniors, corporate groups, and more. As part of this position, you will uphold our culture of inclusivity, mutual support, growth, and learning. Applicants should be able to safely lead class I-III white water rafting trips using a paddle and/or oar raft system. Raft Guides will be expected to oversee the safety of each participant and the overall success of the trips. Raft Guides will work with accompanying guides to teach necessary skills and facilitate meaningful outdoor adventures while managing risk and social group dynamics for every trip.

As part of this application process, we will fill several positions for summer guides. Depending on experience and availability, applicants may serve as a Seasonal Guide or Part-time Guide. As such, duties, responsibilities, and pay will vary depending on your role. Seasonal guides tend to work “full-time” hours for the season they are hired for, and should expect to be on trips 3-4 days a week, including weekends, working roughly 8-12 hour days. Part-time Guides work “part-time” hours. Hours for both Seasonal and Part-time guides depend on the individual guide’s interest, experience, and availability, as well as the needs of the organization.

Guides should expect to work 8-12+ hour days which includes packing, unpacking, and driving to the trip location which is typically 1-2 hours from the warehouse. Raft Guides will be asked to fill in on other programs such as flatwater paddling or rock climbing, depending on skill level and scheduling. Those who will be most successful in this position are fueled by our mission, are passionate about sharing outdoor experiences with underserved communities, and are excited by a dynamic workplace.


Provide fun, safe, educational white water rafting programs ranging from 1-3 days long
Oversee the safety of the participants and ensure the overall success of the program
Work as a team to provide fun, safe, educational outdoor recreation trips
Work with participants experiencing a range of disabilities and think critically to meet their needs by leveraging adaptive equipment, behavioral support, or other creative solutions
Load, unload, and manage relevant equipment and gear
Lead youth programs, including summer camps and/or after-school programs
Transport equipment and passengers to and from activity locations in a 15-passenger van with a trailer
Manage risk and respond to emergencies when necessary
Maintain knowledge of, demonstrate, and practice Leave No Trace principles
Work 8-12 hour days in a variety of outdoor settings under a range of weather conditions
Be available and willing to work other programs which may include the following activities: flatwater kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, rock climbing, hiking, camping
Be an ambassador for Adventures Without Limits and uphold and model the community values of the organization


Ability to safely navigate oar and/or paddle rafts down Class I – III+ rivers on programs lasting 1-3 days
Professional experience with one or several of the following activities (ranked in order of priority): 1) whitewater rafting, 2) flatwater paddling (kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding), 3) rock climbing, 4) outdoor rec (hiking, camping, backpacking, etc).
Experience working in recreational guiding services, outdoor education, camps, or similar settings
Experience working with diverse populations including at-risk youth, people with disabilities, seniors, and people of diverse cultural backgrounds
Ability to adapt to changing situations while also prioritizing safety and upholding a quality experience
Strong interpersonal and facilitation skills
Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification or higher (or ability to obtain upon hire) – Mandatory
Swiftwater Rescue certified (or ability to attend our River Safety & Rescue Course during our Whitewater Week) – Mandatory
Must be able to pass a background check and complete required training
Must comply with our COVID-19 staff policy which requires a COVID-19 vaccination unless an exemption is authorized.
Must be available to work between the months of June- August 30, 2024, including weekdays and weekends
Clean driving record for applicants over the age of 23 to qualify as a driver
Physically capable of lifting large, heavy equipment, kneeling, swimming, and reaching overhead.


Previous experience working as a professional white water rafting guide
Completion of a raft guide training school
Experience with multi-day rafting programs, camping and outdoor cooking
Bachelor’s degree, or working towards a Bachelor’s degree, or 2+ years of field experience in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Wilderness Therapy, Outdoor Leadership, or relevant field
Certifications in outdoor recreation (ACA, LNT, SRT-1, SPI, or similar)
Experience working in adaptive recreation programs and with people with disabilities Bi- or Multi-lingual, particularly with Spanish or American Sign Language.


Must be available to work between the months of June-August 2024 including weekdays and weekends
Required Onboarding Training Week: June 10-14th, 2024
Whitewater week: June 1st-6th, 2024. Attendance for these days will be prioritized for incoming raft guides, and those likely to work rafting trips.

Please note: We will be holding an in-house River Safety & Rescue Course and Raft Guide School during Whitewater Week. These trainings are no-cost, no-pay, meaning we will not charge for the courses, and attendees will not receive pay. Hirees are also welcome to register to attend a SWR or Guide School elsewhere.


Diversity, inclusion, and authenticity are core values at AWL. We welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and candidates living with a disability are highly encouraged to apply. No matter who you are, if you are excited about adaptive and inclusive recreation, we want to hear from you!


Pay range is $16 – $19 hourly rate depending on experience, certifications, and performance ($128 to $266 per day!)
Access to kayaks, rafts, camping, and other outdoor equipment for personal use
Professional development and skill-building training opportunities
Access to Pro Deals
Experience with a non-profit that partners with several leaders in the outdoor industry

How to Apply

Please email a resume, cover letter, references, and relevant trip logs to:, with “Raft Guide Application” in the subject line. Please include if you are interested in seasonal or part-time guiding. Priority deadline: April 7th, 2024 by 11:59 pm PST Interviews: Scheduled on a rolling basis Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY Adventures Without Limits is an equal-opportunity employer. Diversity and inclusion are core values at AWL, and applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives are highly encouraged to apply. We are prepared to provide an interpreter for the interview process. Additional accommodations may be arranged as needed.

Job Categories: Seasonal. Job Types: Water. Job Tags: adventure, Disabilities, guide, inclusive, Oregon, and raft.

Job expires in 49 days.

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