Guide Training FAQ

What does it cost, and what does that cost include?

We offer a sliding scale fro $0 to $450 for instruction, camping, instructional materials, equipment or food. We have calculated that the actual cost to Project GO to run this 9-day program is $450 per person, but are dedicated to making the opportunity available for all. If you will commit to volunteering on a certain number of days, have a lot to offer and/or do not have the ability to pay, we’ll find a way to make it work for you.


Is there anything I might need or want that is not included?

You’ll need your own camping gear: sleeping bag, pad and a tent if you don’t like to sleep under the stars. We do have a limited amount of this gear to loan… it’s available on a first come basis… so ask if you need it! On most days, we’ll use our own vehicles to shuttle ourselves and gear to and from different locations. Trainers and trainees participate alike. If you have a truck or van, it may be used more than other vehicles, in which case we’ll help pay for gas. In the Spring, or if in the Summer the weather is unseasonably cold or the water unexpectedly high, we may require that participants wear a wetsuit or drysuit: you’d need to come up with that on your own, though we can help you find places that rent them. We don’t provide any alcohol. If you wish to drink after instruction and our time on the river, BYO.


Do I have to be there every day?

Yes. Instruction is dense: there is a great deal to cover, and missing a day means missing something important.


Do I have to camp with you, or can I go home at night?

If you live close by, and won’t be late for our 8:00 AM starts every morning, you are welcome to sleep in your own bed. Be aware though, that our planned activities sometimes go into the evening, and incidents on the river could make days significantly longer than planned.


Can my friends hang out?

If you wish, you may bring a reasonable number of guests. They will be asked to contribute to the shared cost of the endeavor: that’ll be $15-$25/day depending on what meals they attend and whether they camp. There are, however, days and activities where guests are not allowed. If you’re accepted to training you’ll get specific details on how that works.


Can I bring my kids?

In order to paddle with us, your kids would need to be at least 14 years old, they probably would not be in a boat with you, and their participation on the river would be subject to the approval of the head guide on the day or days when they’re there. If your kids aren’t eligible to paddle with us, please be aware that we don’t have any way to provide supervision to children who are in camp when you are not, or when you are busy with class or camp duty.


How about my dog?

Camp Lotus has a strict “no dogs” policy. We’re just as disappointed about that as you are.


I’m under 18. Can I participate?

With parental consent, we may allow participants under 18. It depends on the individual and the circumstance, and we’d request a face-to-face meeting between a Project GO representative, a guardian and the potential trainee.


What happens after training?

After training, all participants are granted the status of “assistant guide,” which means that they can guide a boat so long as a senior guide is also in the boat. Becoming a full-fledged “guide” requires letters of recommendation from at least two Project GO Senior or Head Guides plus a few administrative requirements. We are committed to providing ongoing practice and training and many (but not all) become guides in the their first year. Everyone who completes the training will be invited on a shared-cost 5-day expedition trip the following spring, either on the Rogue, Klamath or some other similar river.


Do I have to make a commitment to volunteer if I take the training?

There is no specific schedule  or required number of days that you must volunteer, but as we are making a considerable investment in time, energy and money, we expect that those who complete the training will be active volunteers and participate regularly in our client group outings . We have outings that require volunteers on just about every summer weekend, and on many thursdays and fridays as well. you would not be expected to participate on all of them, but we’re looking for people willing to help with a lot of them. 

What makes PGO guide training different from a commercial guide training?

We are an educational organization so we focus on teaching and learning and we’re really good at that. A significant amount of time is devoted to teaching hard and soft skills related to the populations we serve, as well as facilitation and the philosophy of experiential education. That said, there are things a commercial guide training may offer that we do not, or rather choose not to. Most commercial schools are geared towards employment as a guide, so instruction is directed towards that outfitter’s policies and procedures. Many outfitters will let you work off some of the cost of guide school, provided you make the grade. Many commercial guide schools spend time traveling and on other, more difficult rivers.

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