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LEAD 101G: Assistant Guides' Course

Downloadable course description (PDF)

(Previous training or experience recommended)
Dates: May 1-9, May 15-23, September 11-19, 2010
Times: Meet the night before at 5:30pm; trip ends at 3pm on last day
Departs from: Tofino
Group size: Maximum 10
Price: $1,550 CAD (+ $115 CAD for 4 nights accommodation) + GST
Instructors: Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck

Course Goal:

The goal of this course is to prepare intermediate paddlers to lead groups of kayakers in BC coastal waters. It is a prerequisite for those who wish to be certified as sea kayak guides. Our course is endorsed by the Association of Canadian Sea Kayak Guides and the Sea Kayak Guide's Alliance of BC. Participants who successfully complete the course and meet ACSKG or SKGABC requirements will be eligible for Assistant Guide certification. Successful participants will also be eligible for SKGABC Level One (Day Guide) certification.

Course Objectives:

You will learn:

  • a philosophy of safety that emphasizes seamanship, judgement, and personal responsibility.
  • a philosophy of leadership that emphasizes client care and incident prevention.
  • techniques for keeping a group together on the water.
  • kayak strokes including edging, turning, draws, and bracing.
  • paddling in tidal currents, including ferry glides and eddy turns.
  • surf zone skills including side-surfing, launching and landing.
  • navigational skills specific to coastal travel, including chart-reading, use of tide tables, interpreting marine weather forecasts, and route-finding while underway.
  • how to use a compass, and to navigate in fog.
  • 'Leave No Trace' camping techniques including site selection, camp set-up, waste disposal, and wildlife etiquette.
  • about menu planning and camp cookery.
  • natural and cultural history interpretation.


You'll spend the first three days perfecting your kayaking technique: navigation, seamanship, leadership techniques, basic and intermediate strokes, playing in tidal rapids, and surf zone skills. The first four nights you'll stay in Tofino, at the Whalers on the Point Guest House. We provide suppers while at the Guest House -- you will do your own breakfasts and lunches. We provide all meals on the out-trip.

We'll then embark on a 6-day trip into Clayoquot Sound. The trip will allow time to practice and finesse navigation and seamanship skills. You will be paired up for a day with another participant. Each team will assume all the responsibilities of group leaders for one day -- from planning the itinerary, to navigating, to cooking meals.

Register early to avoid disappointment!
Call us at 1-877-422-WILD

"Thanks again for organizing such an excellent course! On the plane back home I made a few notes on some of what we learned outside the classroom and was up to 20+ pages by the time we landed... I'd be lucky to squeeze 20 pages out of what I remember about my PhD."
    —Ron, QC