Potential guides must be at least 16 years of age and have current Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Oregon Food Handler's cards, as well as documentation proving that they have the legal right or have been granted the right to work in the U.S. (birth certificate, social security card, work visa, etc.).
The goal of each and every Ouzel staff member must be to ensure that each guest is satisfied, that their expectations are exceeded, and that they return for another trip or refer us to a friend. The standards that Ouzel Outfitters sets for its guides are strict; but if you are chosen, Ouzel is confident that you are professional, personable, enthusiastic, mature and dependable. We believe that you have the physical stamina and intelligence to succeed; - maneuver a raft, read river currents, prepare meals, interpret history and geology, problem solve, and entertain guests - for many days in succession. Ouzel staff members are expected to be self-starters who can identify what needs to be done and do it! As an Ouzel guide you are working for one of the Northwest’s most respected outfitters. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and skill. The people before you excelled and took pride in their job and the service they provided. We expect you to do the same. Our company byline is “Adventure with a splash of class”. Our professionalism, attention to detail, customer service and pride in our natural resources is what makes this motto a reality.
Guide Duties and Responsibilities
An Ouzel guide:
- Must demonstrate skilled, conservative, and safe boat handling skills in paddle rafts and/or oar rafts on Class I to Class IV whitewater insuring minimum risk to passengers and crew.
- Must always act as an enthusiastic representative of Ouzel, performing in a positive, professional, and cooperative manner in all interactions with guests, co-workers, government representatives and other outfitters.
- Must read the Ouzel Staff Manual and follow all guidelines, policies, and procedures described therein.
- Must be familiar with and follow all safety guidelines with a demonstrated commitment to insuring the health and well being of all guests.
- Must demonstrate a helpful, friendly and sensitive attitude towards all guests.
- Must demonstrate a positive attitude and proactively assist the trip leader and other crew members in trip related tasks.
- Must demonstrate the ability to acclimate to and find a place in the company culture (i.e. the “Ouzel way” of doing things)
- Must actively participate in boatmun meetings, post-trip guide debriefings and be willing to address issues that concern safety, customer satisfaction and trip quality with other guides and management.
- Must learn or have a reasonable amount of historical and ecological knowledge relevant to the river being worked and be willing to share it with Ouzel’s guests.
- Must be willing to perform lead and sweep boat duties as assigned.
- Must be able to demonstrate the ability to cook all the meals on the Ouzel menu that pertain to the type of trip you are running as well as exhibit care in the food’s presentation. Must participate in all necessary food organization, dish washing and clean up.
- Must be capable of sustained physical activity including but not limited to rowing, paddling, hiking, loading and unloading, pulling, pushing and swimming in swift current.
- Must be capable of constant lifting and carrying of up to 50 pounds. Occasional lifting/carrying of up to 100 lbs. required.
- Must be willing to engage Ouzel guests in conversation, interactive activities such as card games, and/or entertainment activities such as guitar or storytelling.
- Must be willing to lead or participate in hikes and/or other activities to enhance the guests' experience.
- Must demonstrate proficiency in rigging and de-rigging an oar raft or paddle raft, doing so in a reasonable amount of time.
- Must actively participate in the packing and unpacking of all equipment related to a trip. Unpacking after a trip includes the cleaning, drying, and the proper storage of equipment, cleaning and properly parking vans and trailers as well as cleaning the kitchen, warehouse and guide areas.
- Must complete assigned or delegated trip paperwork in a neat and timely manner. Must complete and turns in incident and/or other safety reports immediately following an incident.
- Must help to market other Ouzel offerings by directing guests to other trips that we run and informing the office of those guests that would benefit from a follow-up. Please note: Being knowledgeable and accurate concerning other Ouzel trips entails learning about ouzel pricing and trip policies using the Ouzel brochure and other training opportunities such as swamping trips.
- Must demonstrate competence in the proper use and maintenance of equipment to avoid unnecessary damage.
- Must learn and participate in the repair of damaged equipment.
- Must endeavor to keep personal problems out of the trip setting and air differences in constructive and honest ways in interaction with management and other crew members.
- Must actively participate as an equal crewmember in the work of rigging, de-rigging, packing, unpacking, setting up camp, and camp maintenance when and how the trip leader and or crew members decide.
- Must possess a valid drivers license and demonstrate competence and safety in the handling and maneuvering of the 15-passenger vans, trucks and trailers used on Ouzel trips.
- Must learn and adhere to the 15-passenger van protocols when transporting guests in an Ouzel vehicle.
- Must be willing to perform other duties as assigned.
- Must proactively work with management to keep employment documents, including copies of licenses and certifications, up to date
- Must be able to work under pressure and to work long hours for many consecutive days or weeks during peak times.
- Must be able to recognize, empathize and deal with the effects of burnout in yourself and others.
- Must own and carry all of the required equipment for guiding with Ouzel and be able to demonstrate to management how it is rigged and accessed during a trip.
- Must be willing to train on every stretch of river that Ouzel runs and proactively pursue opportunities to do so.
- Must be willing to live a guides lifestyle, i.e. sleeping in a tent, driving at odd hours, eating trip leftovers.
Trip Leader Duties and Responsibilities
In addition to the duties and responsibilities listed above, Ouzel trip leaders also:
- Must exhibit good management skills including “big picture” thinking, clear communication, decisiveness, leadership, and unbiased decision making.
- Must possess good organization skills.
- Must accurately track expenses and receipts and keep them organized by trip as well as take responsibility for the security of company credit cards and checks issued for trip expenses.
- Must act as trainer and/or training coordinator for new guides that are working or swamping on your trips.
- Must conduct river orientation meetings with guests or delegate the responsibility to another experienced crew member.
- Must coordinate food shopping and food packing tasks.
- Must coordinate trip packing tasks including the meeting time and communicate times and goals clearly with the crew.
- Must coordinate the various duties and tasks of crew members during the trip.
- Must initiate and lead pre-trip and boatmun’s meetings.
- Must complete and submit accurate and complete trip reports in a timely manner.
- Must be willing to act as an incident leader or delegate the responsibility to a competent crew member in the event of an incident.
- Must be willing to make and take responsibility for all decisions made during the course of a trip in the event that the crew cannot reach an accord. Must coordinate decision making roles if camp and guest crews are working separately during the trip.
- Must brings issues that cannot be quickly resolved concerning guides, crew dynamics, trip issues, or drainage issues to the attention of the management.
Evaluation of Performance
Guides are evaluated on their diligence in performing assigned duties as well as their attitude, punctuality, dependability, ability to operate as a team player, initiative, and mature judgment. Additionally, guides will be evaluated on the quality of their relationships with co-workers, management and guests, their flexibility and willingness to take direction and their capacity to learn and share their knowledge.
Guides report to their trip leaders while on river trips. Both guides and trip leaders report directly to the Operations manager while off the river, or to the General manager if the Operations Manager is not available.
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