Jul. 12, 2012
For the 62 seasonal guide staff, employment at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) can represent significant income, a thrilling experience, and a physically active lifestyle, according to Mike Logsdon, ASCI acting executive director.
“The ASCI guide team, made up of mostly high school and college age young men and women, is a critical element in the delivery of a high-quality product to
ASCI’s 11,000-plus summertime rafting guests,” said Logsdon.
“I really enjoy getting to know my guests, helping them understand the sport of rafting, and giving suggestions on places to visit while in the area,” said Kurt Gangler, a standout athlete at Southern Garrett High School and second-year ASCI guide.
“Guiding has given me a chance to practice public speaking,” said Cara Stough, a standout athlete from Northern High School and second-year ASCI guide. “Guides have to be sort of like a teacher. We have to clearly explain instructions to our guests. Their safety is in our hands, and we feel responsible for them having a great time and not getting injured.”
ASCI guides begin their training by successfully completing a multi-day course that emphasizes proper whitewater guiding technique, customer relations, and care and maintenance of rafting equipment. Each ASCI guide must also complete a first aid and CPR certification course.
“All the training and certifications come at no cost to the trainees,” said Joe Schroyer, director of ASCI operations and the administrator responsible for organizing guide training through the Adventuresports Institute at Garrett College. “This year, we seem to have an exceptional group of guides and support staff. We measure our success, to some degree, by the smiles on the faces of our guests, and we’re seeing plenty of smiles.”
An additional 18 seasonal employees work behind the scenes to take guest reservations, answer questions, match-up and schedule guides with their guests, photograph the action, and monitor the whitewater course for safety.
“It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle,” said Meredith Pagenhardt, an Oakland resident and Frostburg State University student completing her fifth summer at ASCI. “We have to balance all aspects of scheduling the guides, river guards, the conveyor operator, the photographer, and the reservationist.”
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