Sea Kayak Guide Training


Fast Facts
2016 Dates: June 13 (9am)-June 17 (mid afternoon)  book now
Price: $575 + HST
Includes: Instruction & course manual, all meals and snacks, camping.

Rental of fully equipped sea kayak: $60
In place of free camping, Rock Island Lodge B&B at reduced rate of $98/night

Prerequisites: Paddle Canada Level 1 sea kayak skills or equivalent, or better
20 days of sea kayak experience including a minimum of 10 overnights

This Naturally Superior Adventures sea kayak guide course is designed specifically for our new and returning guides as part of our annual pre-season staff training. While we do focus on company protocols and on areas where staff want further practice/experience this course is well suited for people who to play a leadership or guide role in commercial, organizational (scouts, guides, schools, churches) and self organized (friends & family) group trips by sea kayak in the Great Lakes freshwater environment.

This sea kayak guide course blends paddling and rescue techniques along with camp craft, group dynamics and leadership, risk management, nature interpretation, story telling and the guide's service mentality. In 2016, we are bringing in Bonnie Perry (BCU & ACA leader awards & experience) for approx two days of on water commercial group paddling, rescue, risk management and leadership skills training and scenarios.

It's a focused amalgamation of the Association of Eastern Canadian Sea Kayak Outfitters (AECSKO) (now defunct) program with, most appropriate features the Sea Kayak Guide's Alliance of British Columbia (SKGABC) and the Sea Kayak Guide Alliance of Canada (BC) programs.

The course is also covers the Transport Canada requirements for “Guided Excursions” which specify requirements for volunteer and paid guides/leaders on guided excursions.  Finally, the course covers guiding requirements and operating guidelines in Lake Superior Provincial Park and  Pukaskwa National Park.

You do not need to be a Paddle Canada member to participate in the Guide Course.

Instructor/Student ratio: 1:4. Instructors and Lead Guides: Participants.

Course Topics:

  • The Professional Guide: Standards, Duty of Care, Transport Canada excursion guide regulations
  • Trip group dynamics, judgment, decision making and risk management
  • Signalling and communication: Flares and VHF marine radio operators license
  • Environmental ethics: Low impact camping and nature interpretation; Parks Canada guidelines
  • The coastal environment: Weather, sea state, hazards
  • Navigation: Maps and charts, using a compass, stating your position, ranges
  • Commercial/organizational trip planning & logistics
  • Menu planning, food selection, meal preparation, trip packing
  • Making camp: Stoves, water, tents, tarps, safety gear, first aid, repair kits and sanitation
  • Group paddling skills, rescues
  • Trip incident scenarios and night paddle
  • Nature interpretation

Course Textbooks

The Lake Superior Guides' Manual and Scenarios Booklet are included with registration. Both provide a solid set of reference and study notes for course participants. Our Guides' Manual sets the standards for sea kayak leadership on the Great Lakes. We will refer to the Scenarios Booklet for case studies and based-on-a-true-story simulations.

Typical Schedule: For 2016 we plan Monday/Tuesday at Naturally Superior Adventures base with Bonnie Perry and guide leaders to cover on water group leadership, paddling, risk management and scenarios for guides. On Wednesday following trip planning/packing we head out on a two night trip for first hand group guiding practice, scenarios and skills. Completing pre-course assignments and reading materials will help you get the most from this course.

While on trip each participant will have the opportunity to lead the group through and be responsible for dealing with typical day-to-day and possible emergency scenarios encountered on typical guided sea kayak tours.

Our instructors are experienced, knowledgeable, are experienced commercial guides and certified by Paddle Canada. Sea Kayaker Magazine Reader's Choice ranked Naturally Superior Adventures among the best sea kayak schools in Canada.