Kayak Guide

Position Title: Kayak Guide (Seasonal/Part-Time)
Accountability: Kayak Guides report to the Engagement Manager

Responsibilities: Kayak Guides (Guides) are responsible for various on-the-water guided programs. They are the public face of the Riverkeeper. Their responsibilities include executing kayak programs from set-up to wrap-up while delivering high quality service through program preparation, activity instruction, and program content along with sharing the mission of Catawba Riverkeeper while maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment for all guests and support staff. There may be cross-over opportunities to support Education programs as available. 

Day to Day Duties:

  • Lead all aspects of the kayak program from set-up to wrap-up in accordance with the program’s standard operating procedure
  • Coordinate and oversee all trip logistics for the program
  • Welcome guests and manage check-in, payment, and paperwork
  • Communicate kayak program overview consistent with the program’s standard operating procedure
  • Engage guests about the area’s local waterways, Catawba Riverkeeper’s mission and current activities of the organization
  • Lead basic to intermediate kayak instruction and basic water safety
  • Ensure that each guest feels comfortable getting on and actively paddling in the water and continue to monitor each guest’s experience during the program
  • Oversee and conduct guest water launches and possible on-water retrievals
  • Handle all emergencies during the program with your staff team as needed
  • Facilitate equipment loading and unloading
  • Responsible for maintaining and cleaning equipment as needed
  • Facilitate any and all duties of Kayak Techs if needed
  • Assist Kayak Operations Manager on Duty and Kayak Guides as needed 


  • 18+ years of age
  • Comfortable paddling in Class I – III water
  • Pass on-water proficiency test to ensure proper river navigation and safety skills
  • ACA Swiftwater Rescue certification preferred
  • Passionate about educating, entertaining, and sharing the work and mission of the Catawba Riverkeeper organization to the community
  • Comfortable speaking to a wide range of people and customizing communication accordingly
  • Time management skills: committed to a two-week schedule notice and consistent attendance
  • Ability to maintain an organized and detailed workflow with changing variables
  • Ability to make quick and authoritative decisions and remain calm in potentially tense and/or chaotic situations
  • Comfortable working autonomously as well as working in a team environment


  • Mandatory 3-day staff training hosted in March, June or as hired that includes,
    • Detailed information about Catawba Riverkeeper
    • Group facilitation activities
    • Department and job specific training
    • Cross-training in Education
    • Riverkeeper specific CPR/AED/First Aid Certification
    • Cost $40 for overall training program
  • Must provide personal kayak, skirt, paddle, PFD
  • Available to work weekends: shifts primarily occur on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Available to work seasonally: April through September
  • Ability to work in outdoor settings under various weather conditions
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license at all times
  • Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds with frequency throughout the day

How to Apply
Applicants should email their resume and cover letter to Engagement Manager, Greg Nance, at greg@catawbariverkeeper.org. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, as applications are received.