Ocoee Guide Training

Guiding for Outdoor Adventures Rafting requires more than just the ability to get a raft safely down the river. While good whitewater skills form the foundation of your training, the ultimate goal is to teach you how to develop into a great whitewater entertainer. This requires a level of technical skill far beyond what most other training programs demand.

The training program covers all technical whitewater skills and river rescue skills needed to guide professionally on any commercially rafted river in the world. The program also includes: how to work as a team, how to run all our other activities including kayaking, alpine tower, low ropes course, paintball, adventure races, tubing trips, rock climbing, and rappelling. Training is self-paced, so progress will vary depending on the individual. Training is divided into several stages. You must pass knowledge and skills tests to progress to the next stage.

Because the training is self paced, you can miss training days if you need to. This means that if you can’t begin training on April 23rd you can begin any subsequent weekend (please let us know your schedule ahead of time). Keep in mind, trainees who train consistently and consecutively tend to require fewer training days to master guiding and begin running their own trips.

Training at OAR is free.  However, OAR requires all guides to hold current Wilderness First Responder, Advanced Swiftwater Rescue, and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certifications. OAR provides these certifications to trainees for a total cost of $350. Scholarships and financing is available. If you already have current certifications (equivalent or higher), fees are waived. Your first training weekend is free. If you decide to continue, you must pay your certification fees in full or make arrangements for financing or a scholarship. The fee is non refundable if you decide to quit. You do not have to get your certifications through OAR. If you find the courses cheaper somewhere else, or another course fits your schedule better, don’t hesitate to take the course outside of OAR.

Guide housing is available during training. Full time guides will get individual rooms. Part time guides will share rooms in guide housing. Permanent, first year guide housing is allotted at the time you check out as a guide. The best housing options usually go to the trainees who check out first.

Weekend guide training sessions begin on Saturday April 28 at 9:00 AM. Every training day after April 29 begins at 7:00 AM. We train only on weekends in April and the first 2 weeks of May. During weekend training sessions, we will train all day on Saturdays and until approximately 2:00 PM on Sundays to allow those of you in school to get some studying done. Beginning May 19, we will train 6 days/week.

OAR’s Wilderness First Responder and Professional CPR courses will be held from May 21 to May 25. Advanced Swiftwater Rescue will be on May 27 and May 28. If you are unable to attend these classes, please contact us so we can make alternate arrangements.

If you are interested in becoming a guide at OAR or have any questions, please call Rob Paden at 800-627-7636. You can also email Rob at rpaden@ocoee.com. 

For directions to OAR please click here: https://www.ocoee.com/directions/

Also, be sure to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OARafting/