Whitewater Rafting Trips in Oregon & Idaho


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Ouzel Outfitters
Box 817
Bend, Oregon 97709

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Guiding for Ouzel Outfitters
Thanks for your interest in employment with Ouzel Outfitters.  We are always excited about the many talented people who want to join our team!   Please review our employment pages to determine if we'd be a good fit for you; if so, please take a moment to fill out an application.  We'll begin responding to applications for our 2020 season in March.  Please call if you have any questions.

Ouzel Outfitters is based in Bend, OR and has offered the highest quality in whitewater rafting adventures since 1979. To work for Ouzel Outfitters is to work for a safety-conscious, professionally-minded company that employs some of the most well trained, talentedl and experienced guides in the Northwest. Ouzel guides and office staff are dedicated individuals working as a team to provide the safest and most enjoyable rafting experiences available. Whether cleaning gear at the warehouse or managing a wilderness crew, it is essential that each of our employees have an understanding of what “customer service” means, embrace concepts of teamwork and demonstrate a strong work ethic. Every one of our employees plays a crucial role in “making it happen”. 

Why is Training Free?
Owners, Brian Sykes and Will Sharp, both began their guiding careers in the early 1990s. They both paid for a "Guide Training" or "Guide School" program. That was, and still is, the traditional model that outfitters use to find guides. The benefit of this model is the ability to select the "cream of crop" from an often overly large training program; but also has the advantage of earning revenue in the process. Brian and Will are oppossed to this "pay to play" mentality and don't feel that it's fair to potential guides. In the real world, you get hired by a company and then that company pays you while they train you. By making our training free we are not only able to pick the best from the field of applicants, but are able to shamelessly tailor our training to the skills and ethics we feel are important and to the best practices according to our traditions. Trainees who are not selected have only expended their time, and in addition, have received training that is well-regarding in the outfitting industry. That's not to say that there aren't great guide schools out there, and/or other outfitters who will hire and pay to train. This is simply the model that works best for us and we feel is fair to everyone.
About Ouzel Guides
Returning Guide Training on the Owyhee River in Southeast Oregon
With a wide variety of rivers and trips including many custom charters, it is essential for Ouzel guides to be flexible and accommodating. It is vital that each of our guides be capable of providing support to junior guides or peers in leadership roles and to appreciate the importance of responsibility when placed in leadership positions. We depend on our guides to be responsible and professional at all times. Previous experience is a plus, but not necessary. We are more interested in people who possess excellent customer service skills, have an exceptional work ethic, and are humble and committed to being a team player.

We know that our guides are our biggest asset and are the ones responsible for delivering our guests the high quality river trips that they have come to expect. Our four guiding principles at Ouzel are safety, customer service, trip quality and efficiency. We pride ourselves on our safety record and know that training and teamwork are the keys to delivering a safe river trip. We expect our guides to uphold the highest safety standards above all else. Customer service is what we are famous for; our guides love people and treat our guests with respect, always doing their best to fulfill our guest’s requests and to make them comfortable in what can sometimes be a strange environment. Our guides are also constantly looking for ways to make our trips better than they already are. While it is hard to improve on our trips, no one knows better than the guides what can be accomplished and we rely on them to always be looking for ways to make our guests experiences even better. If you are a person with the above characteristics, have a positive attitude, are interested in a job that you can come back to again and again, then you are the kind of guide we are looking for. Click HERE to meet some of our guides.

River Guide Jobs
While river guide jobs at Ouzel Outfitters are often limited, we do accept a small number of new and experienced guides each year. We receive applications from all types of people: experienced guides, retirees, high school and college summer job seekers, and part-timers who just want a fun second job. There is a place in our company for every type of guide. We select potential guides on the basis of their people skills and personalities. Our dedication to a high level of customer service requires that our guides be personable and professional in all aspects of the job. River skill and safety consciousness are no less important and are evaluated (or trained) once professional and customer service potential is identified in an applicant.
Ouzel Outfitters is committed to providing its employees with a safe and healthy work environment. We respect our guides and appreciate their varied skills and strengths and strive to support them in their other endeavors, whether that be travel in the off-season, educational endeavors, or a family life outside of guiding. Our hope is that by creating a positive and supportive company culture, paying them well, and accentuating the best of the guiding lifestyle, that we will build a staff that returns to work for us year after year.
Our Season and Needs

While our season starts in late April and can extend into late September, new and less senior guides will typically work from mid June until late August. Though we do not typically have many openings from year to year, we try our hardest not to accept more potential guides into the training process than we have work for. Again, how much work you will get between June and August depends on how motivated and available you are.

If you are interested in becoming a guide for Ouzel Outfitters, please follow the links below to learn more about the job opportunities that we offer. 

For further questions and/or information or if you are unsure if guiding is for you, feel free to call 541-385-5947 or email us ops@oregonrafting.com.  We would be happy to talk to you about guiding in general or specific opportunities at Ouzel Outfitters.




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