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LEAP offers multi-day whitewater kayaking programs each summer on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho for groups of youth and adults who are supported in on-going services with our partner communities (please read about the groups we work with). We hire and cultivate a positive, engaged, and supportive team of 6-8 guides each summer to facilitate our programs along with our Program Director. Each week there are 12-18 participants and 2-5 specialized staff from our partner organizations who join our team on the river. Our guides have the opportunity and responsibility to lead, teach, and support participants in their whitewater experience as well as in camp — when participants come to the river for a LEAP experience, they are most often stepping way out of their comfort zone and choosing to challenge their personal edges physically, socially, and introspectively. Our guide team has the honor and responsibility to care for that experience on and off the water for each individual and group.

We strive for our guide team to strike the essential balance between technical river and wilderness skills, leadership, risk management and problem solving, and human empathy, sensitivity, curiosity, and engagement.

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I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I grew a lot as a person, I now am more self aware and open to letting strangers into my life. I’ve also learned to embrace people that are different than me because similarity is not always what is important in relationships. This program is like no other. If anyone is considering going, just go. It’ll never be something that I will forget and I would came back every day if I could.
Thank you to LEAP for making this a possibility for me and the others on my group. Especially to the guides on the water who were amazing at keeping us safe, excited, focused, and fed. I loved this trip and the work that LEAP does for many different groups of people out there.
— OHSU participant, 2018
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Summer Guide Positions

Job Description:

The guide team at LEAP is our most valuable asset. We expect our guides to work hard and be exceptional 100% of the time they are leading a program. As a guide at LEAP your job is deeply dimensional. We are looking for guides who are passionate and eager to:

  • Work hard to acquire and refine the necessary technical skills to row a raft, guide groups in inflatable kayaks, navigate class II-IV whitewater, exemplify expedition mentality, rig boats, pack food, set up camp, and learn all aspects of our operation.

  • Express authentic curiosity and interest in participants on every program. Each week, we are facilitating the experience of a lifetime, and the guide team is essential in creating a positive community and environment for each group.

  • Be engaged with participants on and off the water. Guides are expected to lead with confidence and kindness on the water, lead games and activities in camp, share a love of the river and places we travel through, teach and support participants in camp set up and management, and participate in evening meetings.

Minimum Requirements:

  • At least 18 years old, over 21 preferred

  • Current (or ability to obtain) Wilderness First Responder & CPR certifications

  • Enthusiasm and interest in working with youth and adults in a wilderness context

  • Ability and enthusiasm to work a physical job for up to a 3-month period with minimal time off and limited personal time

  • Ability to diligently comply with our zero-substance use policy while facilitating programs

  • Ability to attend pre-season training and orientation in Oregon and Idaho

Ideal Candidates:

  • Solid experience working with youth in wilderness settings

  • Experienced whitewater kayak or raft guide/instructor, preferably multi-day excursions

  • Ability to connect with people of various ages and diverse backgrounds

  • Professional and/or personal multi-day backcountry excursions

  • Background in therapeutic wilderness programs

  • Interest or experience in providing trauma-informed programs

  • Clean driving record

  • Expertise in Leave No Trace practices and principles


  • Opportunity to be a role model, mentor, and guide to specific and under-served communities

  • Professional Development: whitewater guide training, orientation and trauma-informed training for leading wilderness programs, specific to the populations we serve

  • Competitive field instructor salary

  • Spend your summer on the glorious Salmon River

  • Dynamic work environment

  • Professional purchase discounts

Guide positions are OPEN for the 2019 season

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