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.