Guide School

Dear Potential Team Big Bear Member:

Whether you are a seasoned professional river runner or a complete novice, there are guiding opportunities at Big Bear Rafting. From the rush of springtime’s big water on the Upper Pigeon to the relaxed scenic Lower Pigeon, our guides lead the way into some of the most magnificent landscapes in East Tennessee. Since 2013, Big Bear has set the standard for adventure travel vacations and our ongoing pursuit of excellence is based on providing superior service to our guests.

Guiding for Big Bear Rafting is not an easy job. It is the rare, dynamic individual who can really do it well. Big Bear guides combine a passion for the outdoors with compassion for our guests, a desire to learn with the talent to teach and a flexible attitude with a steadfast commitment to conservation. Big Bear guides deliver the highest levels of service because we love what we do, we love the undeniably special places we visit and we love having a positive impact on the lives of others.

Requirements for All Positions:
  • Currently, we can only accept applicants who can legally work in the United States.
  • Guides in Training must be able to attend a 7 day training class in mid-May.
  • New applicants must be available to work during the summer.
Guide Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Safely navigate rafts
  • Seek to provide our guests with the best outdoor experience of their lives
  • Present facts about the region’s natural and human history
  • Provide a positive role model for children and facilitate kid-friendly activities
  • Care for Big Bear Rafting’s equipment
Guide Qualifications:
  • CPR and First-Aid Certified (WFR/SWR are a plus)
  • Customer service experience or superb people skills
  • Experience or willingness to work with young children and adolescents
  • Capable of working long hours
  • Physically fit
  • Team player
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluent English
  • Creative approach to problem solving

Though applications may be submitted at any time, most hiring will be done prior to May 1st.

An example of our 7 day whitewater guide school training course content:
  • Fundamentals of hydrology, river terminology
  • Reading whitewater
  • Maneuvering rafts
  • Various stroke techniques
  • Knot tying
  • Raft rigging
  • River signals
  • Proper river etiquette
  • How to communicate with your crew
  • Guest service, logistics, and dynamics of a commercial (or private) river trip
  • 1st Aid/CPR training
  • Swiftwater Rescue Techniques
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Risk Management
  • Emergency River Procedures

Apply Now