About Employment with DVK
Thank you for your request for an employment application to become a guide with Dvorak Expeditions. We would like to give you some background and an idea of what we are about. We are a corporation established under Colorado and Utah law. The original company was owned by Partners, Inc. and started in 1969. We ran the Partners River Program for six years prior to buying it in 1984. Originally Partners was a non-profit company offering trips for youth of all types — delinquents, school groups, youth camps, scouts, etc. — and had basically expanded to some commercial trips to offset the cost of the social service trips, which was at best break-even. Since 1985 Dvorak Expeditions has maintained its connection with the youth population and has expanded its trip program to a much larger client base, now running nine rivers and 29 different canyons. We have a number of special feature trips and seminars in the program as well.
You need to understand that we sell a service, and quality delivery of that service is essential. We guarantee service for our clients through our training and orientation program for guides. One of the employee’s foremost tasks as a field guide is “selling” that personal service while providing a safe, skilled and knowledgeable level of expertise as a river guide. You as guides are our most effective representatives because you meet the people directly. In past years we have found that when people think of their Dvorak Expedition they recall the skilled and personable boatmen/women who guided and cared for them on the river; yet, they consider the company totally responsible for that experience.
The company’s success and good reputation are therefore achieved by the quality of your actions and demonstration of your skills in a professional manner. We ask that you always keep that in mind. Repeat customers make up about 60% of our clients. The cost to bring back a client is minimal compared to the thousands of dollars spent to find them originally. Your impression on the guests will carry a long way in the marketing of a successful season. Our responsibility is to provide you with the best training available to give you the tools for success.
Hiring is done on the basis of maturity, leadership qualities, “people” and boating skills as well as a compatible personality. State law also requires that you be 18 years of age and have current first aid* (advanced in Utah) and CPR certification cards valid through the length of the season (March through September)
*see First Aid Approved Courses attachment (last page)
Definition of Employee
Dvorak staff (office 6-10, field guides 18-35) works closely with each other in fulfilling all the responsibilities of organizing and running trips for Dvorak’s. The guides and instructors are responsible for the trips from most aspects: safety, food packing, vehicle maintenance, pre- and post-trip job assignments, logistical support; as well as providing an understanding of the outdoors and gaining knowledge of the interpretive fields and environments that we run trips in. The base operations staff requires communication with all field staff for marketing and trouble-free arrangements on all trips. Base operations include reservations, general office, transportation and logistics. Guides must be versatile and ready for the requirements needed for the many types of groups and individuals that participate in Dvorak Expeditions. Interns are also a viable option for those interested in college credits and with marketing internship positions as well.
•Arkansas •Colorado •Dolores• •Green •Gunnison
•North Platte •Rio Grande •San Miguel *Uncompahgre
- You must have current Advanced or Wilderness First Aid and CPR cards on arrival — originals, not copies. The certifications must be valid through September of the rafting year. A minimum of Red Cross Standard First Aid is required; however, Advance First Aid (or its equivalent that requires a minimum of 40 hours training) or E.M.T. is required for trip leaders and to run Utah Canyon trips. You cannot be hired without these required cards; do not expect to complete a course during the season! Colorado recognized courses required. Copies of original certifications must be provided with application.
- Demonstrated competency in outdoor activities or water-related sports and certifications e.g.: Advanced Lifesaving, W.S.I. Certification, experience in whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing or climbing, hiking, biking, horsemanship and other related fields.
- Experience working with youth, special populations groups, teaching skills and background are very valuable. People skills are extremely important.
- Minimum 18 years old. Experienced skilled applicants with experience maybe given preference. Don’t rule out your chances due to age or novice experience.
- Utah Boatman’s License, New Mexico Boatman’s Certification, Swift water Rescue Certification — some states require these licenses before you are able to run any commercial trips as a guide. Qualification requirements and license testing can be done after guide training or shortly thereafter. The license fees, etc., are the responsibilities of the individual.
- Valid, current driver’s license, preferably a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for driving vans / trucks with trailers. Your driving record statement will be required prior to driving any company vehicles. Age requirement 21 or 25 (depends on year and insurance coverage) for driving commercial passengers. Excellent driving skills are essential and should include trailer backing, mountain driving, and preventative maintenance skills. Vehicles included in our fleet are 15-passenger vans, 4-wheel-drive trucks, 44-passenger bus and Suburban’s. The skill to drive these types of vehicles with a trailer is necessary. A poor driving record, D.U.I. etc. eliminates you as a prospective guide. We will request a copy of your driver’s record from state of issuance agency. If you can bring or send this copy prior to the training it would be preferred.
Description of River Guide Position
Individuals are needed who have the ability to work in an outdoor-wilderness adventure-experience program. You will have the opportunity to work with and teach a variety of groups and individuals. Groups will vary from kids with every type of background and income level to upper income VIPs.
We offer trips for the physically disabled and do instructional seminars with all populations. Our whitewater trips range from daily raft excursions to 12-day expeditions, sometimes back to back. All employees, because of the nature of the business, may be called upon to work at unusual hours or times in order to meet schedules. The managers will attempt during the course of the summer to provide compensatory time. There is a tremendous amount of road travel time and a very alert and efficient crew, able to adjust under this stress is essential. You must be willing to exercise organizational skills, patience, sensitivity, guide support and backbone, depending upon the situation. A very strong communication system must be established and maintained throughout the summer. We require a commitment of three to six months. It is a seasonal position and incentive rewards are offered to individuals who return for the following season(s)
Examples of Guide Duties
- Your trip starts at the base. You will take part in any necessary pre- and post-trip preparations, i.e., packing of equipment, food packing and familiarization with menu, final vehicle check, as well as other preparation tasks as directed by the trip leader or manager. You’re on duty until you return to the base and have fully derigged your trip and debriefed the trip with manager or trip leader. You are on duty during the transport to and from the base. A full day is generally 8-5pm and not just the day rafting trip. Some warehouse time is expected each day to complete the full day on base..
- You are responsible for maintaining all equipment and preparing this equipment for scheduled trips, derigging and storing properly. Your crew must clean and repair all equipment and rental items, etc., after each trip.
- You will meet your passengers and establish rapport, be helpful, informative and display good leadership at the put-in (launch site). You will then carry on and see that guests are adequately prepared for the trip.
- Set up shelter properly each night and see that all meals are prepared in a timely manner (according to the planned menu) and served tastefully. Kitchen equipment is to be cleaned and stored properly each evening. This practice is maintained throughout the trip until your guests are on their return trip home. Hygiene is of the utmost importance. Days on the river begin early and finish when all is tied down for the night.
- Make sure your guests are adequately informed of the risks inherent in river running. They are to be given a knowledgeable reinforcement of safety rules and equipment throughout the trip and instruction on our methods of assuring the safety of all persons on the trip.
- Familiarize all participants with all equipment and supervise its use. Rental tents will be set up by guides to prevent customer aggravation and equipment damage. All rental items will be checked and maintained by your crew and breakage or loss is the responsibility of the trip leader. All guides on trip will share repair costs if the responsible party was not made aware of the problem! Be sure to check equipment before taking it out.
- To teach or inform participants of necessary camping skills and direct them in food sanitation, cooking, hygiene arrangement and guests responsibility in kitchen clean-up and camp procedures. Inform guests of their part to assist you in daily rigging and de-rigging and facilitating a participatory atmosphere for those who are willing to learn or help out.
- Conduct on the river and at camp should show a high degree of appreciation for the safety and pleasure of all passengers, crew, equipment and wilderness. Guides are required to know each river management agency’s regulations concerning permit stipulations, safety and evacuation procedures, plus river history, environmental considerations of the resource and care of the environment. Guides are further required to see that passengers understand and comply with those regulations. You will actively interpret the environment with your crew: river history, geology, archeology, flora, fauna, ecology, and educational awareness of the river and its individuality. Many books are available in our library to enhance the basic background knowledge you will receive during staff training.
- On exclusive participatory group trips, guides will be teaching river rafting and trip skills to any or all members of the raft crew, encouraging self-sufficiency in a team-building manner, while personally insuring control of the boat at all times.
- River staff is responsible for initiating and/or directing group activities off and on the river. This may include behavioral or judgment decisions, new games, hikes, morning readings (quotes), or other exercises and entertainment that may enhance the experience.
- All guides have a responsibility to respect each other, never to publicly question, disagree with or attempt to intimidate one another during circumstances where guests are present. The guests’ comfort and safety demand that any complaints, suggestions, corrections and personal disagreements be made privately with the trip leader or management staff at the conclusion of the trip.
- It is of the utmost importance that both you and your guests have safe fun. Those individuals who have the capacity to be up, active and alert and show good common sense in unfamiliar situations and be positive and show our guests an enjoyable time in the face of unforeseen circumstances will be given our strongest consideration.
- Personal appearance, hygiene and sanitation are extremely important. It is therefore imperative that all guides are neatly groomed, CLEAN clothing, tidy, and organized and aesthetically pleasing to be around for guests as well as staff! Smoking is not allowed in the buildings, vehicles or on the rafts on the river trips.
- Alcohol is not a tool of your position as a guide. We do not allow drinking in any vehicle before or after a trip. There are a number of trips with youth groups that do not have alcohol on them and guides are not to carry any. The social drink is acceptable on occasion with guests. If a guide is reported to have consumed alcohol in excess during a trip or in a vehicle pre- or post-trip, that guide will be immediately terminated! There are no second warnings for alcohol abuse!
An employee of Dvorak Expeditions enters into a contract with the company and performs duties of the position as outlined by management. Each guide is paid for the time employed and is subject to rights and privileges, limitations and restrictions set forth in the employee handbook and training manual. Dvorak Expeditions is a seasonal business and positions are for a set period of not more than six months. A 24-day month includes on-river days and 1 day for pre- and post-trip pack/unpack. Half river days count only as ½ days. Warehouse full day/half days are included in paid days.
First Year Guide / Apprentice
$950 month – 24 day month. • Over 24 days @ $45 per day
Second Year Guide
$1150 month – 24 day month • Over 24 days @ $53 per day
Third Year Guide
$1550 month – 24 day month • Over 24 days @ $65 per day
Fourth Year Guides and more are negotiable salaries
- Room and board is expected for our staff and cost is deducted from your paycheck at $12. per day that you are on base.
- Extra pay per activity will be allocated for kayak instruction, fishing guides, bike guide, hike guide, Class IV-V trips. Scale available on request.
- Additional pay for qualified trip leader days on all canyon trips NOT the Arkansas trips.
•$5 per day with Advanced First Aid certification
•$10 per day with E.M.T. certification or Wilderness EMT.
Wages will be paid bi-weekly on the 2nd and 16th (or next business day if payday falls on the weekend).
Benefits: Worker’s compensation, Social Security. Swift water I (Rescue 3) certificate training course, kayak and canoe instruction available in free time. Staff discounts available on large equipment purchases with group orders only. Retail shop discount to employees to be stated at season start. @ 25% off.
We have a limited amount of share bedrooms and living space available at the base facility, which is available on a first-come basis. We also provide some group meals for those living on base. Guides are rostered for a full day kitchen/logistical duty per month and paid for that day.
General Itinerary of Course
The two-week training will consist of a full orientation of Dvorak’s procedures and policies. You will be moving around among four to five different rivers for training. You will be running and reading rivers in paddle rafts and oar frames. Training will cover all on- and off-river related responsibilities, maintenance of all equipment and preparation of multi-day trips with pre- and post-trip briefings. The variety of rivers will open options to many situations and experiences in Class II-V water. Emphasis will be on learning to read and understand the hydrology of the river so that the knowledge gained can be transferred to any river. A three-day Whitewater Rescue Technician I course is included in the training fee (Value $370) and is scheduled for the end of the course (May) unless other course dates are pre-arranged by student. Non employment students may request upgraded Rescue 3 International level courses as additional cost. Call to arrange 719 539-6851.
Minimum impact camping and environmental education in the river ecosystem will be stressed. The training cost will cover all your food while on the river as well as training related logistical expenses during the two-week period. Spring (cold) weather and wilderness-camping situations necessitate good personal equipment during training period.
30 Days Additional Training with Salary
Following the training course participants will have a 30-day probationary apprentice salary. On completing the course and probationary month, full-time contracts will be signed and salary scaled according to qualifications and guide level status.
Application, Payment Schedule and Requirements
- Total cost $750 (two weeks training and Rescue 3 Swiftwater Certification; does not guarantee employment on completion)
- Total cost $1350 (two weeks training, not for employment with WRT-1 Training)
- Deposit required $100. Balance due 30 days prior to course start date.
- Application must be filled out completely, with optional photograph.
- Include your resume plus current river log and experience.
- Three (3) letters of recommendations sent directly to Dvorak Expeditions.
- Copy of valid First Aid and CPR certifications. Must be current through October of this year.
- Copy of current driver’s license or passport copy.
- Personal interview. Call to arrange, phone interview is acceptable with application information in our hands.
- Rescue 3 Certification (Swiftwater course cost that is INCLUDED in training but can be deducted for current valid certification @ $345. Call for new dates and additional cost for any upgraded courses Swiftwater Rescue 3 International level courses.
Make non refundable deposit (check or credit card) for $100 payable to:
Dvorak Expeditions Inc.
17921 U.S. Hwy. 285 @ Nathrop CO 81236
Course Dates: May 13-26 & River Rescue Pro: May 24-26, 2016
$100 deposit is required (non-refundable after 30 days) – Balance due by March 15th
Application closing date: March 31, 2016