Learn from the Best in NOC’s Raft Guide School!

Enroll in NOC’s Raft Guide School where your classroom is the river! These fast-paced training programs provide you with the skills necessary to work as a professional river rafting guide. Work for commercial outfitters, camps, clubs, schools and more. NOC pioneered raft guide school as a place to get training from the top raft guides in the nation. You can learn to become a professional river guide at NOC’s Nantahala River headquarters, in western North Carolina.

Enroll in NOC’s Raft Guide School by calling 800.232.7238 or book it now online using the secure reservations system!

In your week of fun with NOC’s raft guide trainers, you’ll learn:

• Reading whitewater
• Maneuvering rafts
• Stroke techniques
• Knot tying
• Raft rigging
• River signals
• How to communicate with your crew
• The basic operations of a rafting trip

And crucial safety aspects of whitewater rafting like:

• Basic River Rescue
• Equipment Maintenance
• Risk Management
• Emergency River Procedures

This five-day course begins with dinner on Sunday evening and ends with dinner on Friday. Lodging in our Basecamp facility is included in the cost of the course, with check out on Saturday morning. To supplement your professional training, a Wilderness First Aid course precedes or follows most raft guide schools.

Download the 2020 Guide School Packet

Join our Team

Do well in class and you might even be asked to join the NOC guide team! Preferential consideration will be given to graduates of Guide School for summer employment at NOC. Please note: If you have already applied to work at NOC, you are not automatically enrolled in Raft Guide School. Please call or click the booking widget above to make your reservation. There will be an option for students to continue their education with NOC the weekend before or after their course by signing up for a Wilderness First Aid or CPR course (at an additional cost).

2021 Guide School Dates

  • February 28 – March 6
  • March 7–13
  • March 14–20
  • March 19–21, March 26–28
    This is a 2-part weekend course
  • March 21–27
  • March 28–April 3
  • April 4–10
  • April 9–11, April 16–18
    This is a 2-part weekend course
  • April 11–17
  • May 9–15

Best spring break ever! I want to go back...
Todd S.
If you have ever had the slightest interest in being a raft guide, SIGN UP FOR THIS CLASS!! Whether you are 18 or 50 I promise you won't regret it. It was one of the best weeks of my life and helped discover something I had a passion for. Carpe Fluvium!
Chris S.
I recommend this to anyone. This was a fantastic school taught by some great people. Best vacation you will take.
Jim K.
If you want a life changing experience, take a week and go do raft guide school. It will change your life. Best medicine ever.
J David S.
Crazy to reminisce on a moment that changed my life! I can literally see some of the moments when I first learned to raft guide in the video! So cool! Everyone should try guide school...
Francesca G.

NOC’s Core Values:
Lead by Example • Service Before Self • Do the Right Thing
Work Hard/Play Hard • Make it Happen