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What is it Like to Guide with Sunny Cove?

Let's take a short quiz.  How many of the statements below can you answer with a 'yes'?

  • I have a background in outdoor education and guiding.

  • I have a passion for the outdoors and guiding, and I'm always striving to learn more.

  • I love living in a tight knit community of hard-working, like-minded people.

  • I am prepared to work hard to earn more responsibility.

  • I love to problem solve and I can remain calm and positive under stress.

  • I am a great listener, and know how to give, and receive constructive criticism to become a stronger guide.

  • I love to challenge myself through new experiences.

  • I enjoy meeting and sharing experiences with people from all over the world.

  • I understand living and working in tight quarters requires respect, forgiveness and understanding.

  • I want to have an experience of a lifetime and want to make life-long friends.

  • I'm available from May 1st to approximately September 15th.

Can you answer 'yes' to all of the statements?  Then Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking might just be a perfect fit for you.  Working for Sunny Cove isn't a job, it's a life-style.  We're a diverse culture of kayakers who love friendship, traveling, amazing experiences, and quiet once in a lifetime moments on the water.  Keep reading to learn more!

Available Positions

Specific Requirements

The following list covers the minimum requirements to become a guide with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking. 


  • Prior Guiding Experience, Preferably in Remote Locations

  • Leadership/Outdoor Education Background

  • Current Wilderness First Responder Certification

  • Current CPR Certification

  • Top Notch Communication Skills

  • A Willingness to Learn and Continue Learning

  • Must be Able to lift 50 lb and Work in a Physically Challenging Environment.

  • Ability to Live in Communal, Co-Ed Facilities

  • ACA/BCU Certifications (preferred, not required. may be obtained during training)

Training Requirements

All prospective guiding staff members are required to attend pre-season training beginning approximately May 1st.  Th initial training period usually runs around three weeks and will cover many areas including (but not limited to) leadership skills, trip logistics, company policies, paddling technique, understanding weather and water conditions, kayak repair, risk mitigation and rescue training.  Our goal is to foster a motivated learning environment, and your full participation is key to making it all work.  Most meals are provided during training and those who satisfactorily complete training will also receive a per day stipend.  Completion of training is required to become a member of the Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking guiding team. 

Once training is completed all first year staff members begin as an Assistant Guide (AG).  As an AG you'll have opportunities to assist and shadow senior guides to learn the details of our trips and kayaking in our area.   Your motivation and willingness to learn will determine how quickly we move you into a Guide position.  A full list of requirements for promotion will be available during training. 

  • Please note: To promote from guide to lead guide with Sunny Cove requires a minimum of two years of guiding experience, including a minimum of one with Sunny Cove or Seward kayaking company as assessed by Sunny Cove management.


Sunny Cove guiding staff are generally employed from early-May through early-September.  Early and late season can be slower and may have fewer opportunities for paid trips.  However, mid-June through mid-August requires working longer stretches with few days off.  

The guiding schedule may entail any number of combinations of trips or chores. In general, during the high season guides can expect to participate in 1-3 trips per day for 5-9 days at a time. This can sometimes make for a 12 hour day with a few very short breaks in between trips. The daily schedule is extremely dynamic and each trip can change up to 30 minutes prior to trip departure.  It's common to be 'on-call' and in those cases guides are expected to be available until they've been released by cut off times or a manager.  All staff members are expected to be available for the entirety of the season including weekend and holidays.  Extended periods of time off will not be available.

Trip Opportunities

Guiding generally entails leading or assisting our many day tour opportunities.  As guides become more familiar with our paddling terrain they may graduate to more challenging trips. Guides who have obtained Lead Guide seniority are given first priority on any available multi-day trips.  However, we do our best to provide opportunities to junior staff to experience an overnight adventure as assistants or shadows.  


Sunny Cove offers free* communal, bunk house style accommodations to our full-time guides.  Space is extremely limited and requires patience, respect and the ability to work together to make housing comfortable for all types of personalities.   Guides are generally rotated between our home base at Lowell Point and our outlying base at Fox Island.  Housing consists of a communal yurt on Fox Island and a communal yurt in addition to some other facilities at Lowell Point. There are kitchen facilities at Lowell Point and there is very limited storage space for the guides.  We encourage guides to bring their 'toys' but please keep in mind space is extremely limited.   We do not allow pets of any kind in Sunny Cove housing.  Smoking is also never allowed on any of our properties, partner properties or any of our trips.  Getting along is pretty easy at SC with a few simple guidelines... 1) respect each other 2) keep your gear & body clean 3) keep the doors of communication open. Your bunk is waiting!  *there is a $100 refundable cleaning deposit due upon moving into housing.


Guides will be responsible for providing all their personal paddling gear including but not limited to paddling clothing, PFD, spray skirt, boots and gloves.  We'll provide the kayaks and paddles.  Sunny Cove will not be held responsible for any gear expenses should a prospective guide not complete training successfully.  A full gear list will be provided to those who are invited to training.

This is just a short list of information.  If we think you're the right fit for Sunny Cove and we opt to move you into the interview process we'll provide much more detailed information.