Really?! Whitewater Rafting Stories From Guides-In-Training

Whitewater rafting is a very cool vacation idea. But what does it mean to live it? We’ve asked a few folks from our current class of guide trainees for look into what it takes to be a white water guide out on the New and Gauley Rivers of West Virginia with ACE. One thing’s for sure: being on vacation professionally is not as easy as it sounds.

What We’ve Learned So Far …

by Jonathan Vickers

“What have you learned today!” booms Scotty-Os whitewater rafting guide voice down the aisles of the bus.

Trainees stand-up one by one explaining the most memorable moments and lessons from the day.

ACE Guide Training

“Sound off like you got a pair!” yells Scotty-O in an attempt to motivate us to project our voices.

Many trainees reflect on learning new paddle strokes and improving their boat control and others explain river features and dangers.  Some have learned about the history of the New River Gorge and a few reflect on mistakes and learnable moments such as getting oars pined under the boat or not hitting a wave square.

As the learning recap continues, Scotty-O points out Justin’s much improved voice projection.

Justin exclaims, “My balls dropped last night!” and the entire bus explodes in laughter.  Scotty-O doubles over laughing as a smile stretches across his face.

Though the trainers demand discipline, they stress the importance of enjoying the job.  River guides look out for each other, learn from each other and at the end of the day share some laughs when everyone makes it safely back to the bus.

Lesson of the day: Keep your head on a swivel to make sure other boats are OK and don’t need assistance.

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