Working at Amnicon is unlike anything else.
It’s challenge, spending a whole summer working in service to others. It’s physically challenging, because you’re working out all day, canoeing, setting up camp, gathering firewood, etc… It’s emotionally challenging, because you continuously put others before yourself. It’s spiritually challenging, because you’re regularly engaging in genuine, deep, thoughtful conversations about God. It’s socially challenging because you get little time to yourself. But it’s also incredibly rewarding.
At the end of the summer you will have learned so many things. Leadership, communication, resourcefulness, wilderness survival…just to name a few. You will be amazed at all the things you never knew you could do.
To give you an idea about what working at Amnicon is like, we reached out to Sian, a former Wilderness Guide of ours, to get her take on it.
What does a “typical” week look like for a guide?
Every week is a little bit different, and it’s important to stay flexible because things often change last minute. But usually the week starts on Sunday. The staff team gathers in the morning for First Word (a brief devotion), breakfast, and then a staff meeting. At staff meeting we learn about the group we’re going to be guiding that week, and then we have until mid-afternoon to get ready for campers to arrive with our co-guide. Once campers show up, then we have several pre-trip orientation things we have to do with them to get them ready to go, like What to Expect on the trip, How to Pack, Health & Safety, and a swim assessment. Usually orientation takes us right up until dinner on Sunday, and then after dinner we head down to the beach on Lake Superior for a campfire.
Monday morning we start the day with First Word, breakfast, and then getting on the road as quick as possible! This is when it feels like the trip really starts, and everyone is excited. You camp with the group for the next three nights, paddling to a new campsite every day. Some days you spend your whole day paddling, and there’s a big feeling of accomplishment with that. Other days you have a short paddling day, and there’s a lot more time to relax, play, swim, and hang out. We cook breakfasts and dinners over fires for the group, and end each evening with a Bible Study/Devotion/Meaningful Conversation around the fire.
Thursday is usually the day we get picked up and brought back to camp. There’s some clean-up and chores to do when we get back into base, and then after dinner we head back down to the beach on Lake Superior for one last campfire. We sleep under the stars that night on the beach if the weather is good, which is always a really cool experience for the campers. Come Friday, we pretty much just eat breakfast, and help the kids get ready to head home. They leave by lunch, and then we sit down with a director to discuss how the week went, and finish cleaning up. Friday evening is a time when the staff like to hang out and share stories from the week, and unwind from the week. Saturday is usually a day off to rest. And then Sunday comes back around and we do it all over again.
What’s one thing you learned about yourself from working at Amnicon?
That I can do hard things, I can do things that I didn’t believe I could do, things that scare me. At the beginning of staff training I didn’t think I could ever get the hang of canoeing let alone teach kids to canoe and take them down rapids but I did do it and I came to love it. I am capable.
Would you recommend guiding?
Yes, I absolutely loved it. Being able to go out into the wilderness, to paddle down the rivers among nature all summer and to be able to introduce kids to the beauty of God’s creation and to be able to teach them new skills and watch them grow over the week and be able to overcome something they were scared of at the beginning or didn’t they could do. To be able to take kids away from the chaos of the world and show them Gods love and to show them that they are special and important. It’s amazing.
What was the hardest part of being a guide?
What was the best part?
How have the things you learned at Amnicon helped you after Amnicon?
So there you have it!
The hardest job you’ll ever love. You’ll be sad when the summer is over, but satisfied knowing that you made a difference in the world for so many people. Are you sold? Click the link to check out what positions we have available for next summer, and to apply online!