MWGO guide members are strongly encouraged to keep their first aid and CPR certification current and to periodically work to upgrade their skills as guides. To that end, MWGO sponsors ongoing Maine Guide Training Workshops offered throughout the year.

We recognize the need for guides to have access to professional development opportunities. Within the recreational guide classification, the skills required are so diverse (at least 9 different outdoor activities are in this category) that it is unlikely any type of test could adequately assess a guide's abilities. Additionally, some guides may start guiding primarily one type of activity but then diversify into another activity or season of guiding. Guide Training Workshops are an important resource for professional guides to use in order to maintain or improve their skills. Workshops are taught by experienced Guides and Master Guides (except for first aid) and are offered at very reasonable rates. Guides with special expertise are encouraged to offer workshops. For more information on how to offer a Guide Training Workshop, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coming Opportunities: 

Registered Maine Guide Training Course

Dates February 28, 2021

North Star Adventures is offering a Maine Recreational Guide Course beginning February 28, 2021 at the Waldo County Technical Center in Waldo, ME. This course is being taught in a module format which allows participants to take exactly what is needed.  Perhaps all you need is a day long navigation class, or an evening to review plant & animal ID, and regulations. If you need it all then you can register for the full class. The modules are scheduled in February, May and June and include Winter Campcraft, Rules, Regulations & Identification, Weather, Leadership & Group Management, Map & Compass, Risk, Management & Trip Planning , and an Expedition Canoeing Weekend.

The course is designed to immerse you in the environment, take on leadership roles, and teaches all aspects of trip planning, preparation, and group management.” For more information and to register, please visit the North Star Adventures  website or contact Nancy Zane at 692-3138.





Past training opportunities 

Dates: 01/10/2021 - 01/14/2021

Arrive by 6PM Sun 1/10,wrap up by 4PM Thurs 1/14
Cost: $675

This workshop is designed to cover the skills needed to safely guide in the winter. Whether you are guiding snowmobile, dogsled, ski or snowshoe/toboggan trips there are a lot of skills required of a guide that are specific to the winter environment.
The following topics will be covered in depth:
·              Hypothermia - recognition, prevention, treatment
·              Frostbite - recognition, prevention, treatment
·              Ice Reading - characteristics, formation, safe route selection
·              White-out navigation - map & compass, GPS, traditional Inuit techniques
·              Minimal Equipment - for any type of winter travel - human powered or snowmobiles
·              Snow machine Travel - off trail, freighting loads with quamotiks & toboggans, dealing with slush, the "well outfitted" snow machine, tow ropes vs. tow bars
·              Winter bivouac - Spending a night out with the clothes on your back, snow & bough shelters
·              Client Concerns - Looking after your ³sports² in the winter
·              Winter Camping Techniques - Setting up a safe, dry, warm traditional winter camp, fire building with and without matches
·              Dog & Human Powered Travel - Depending on snow/ice conditions we will also cover the basics of snowshoe and dog team use.
       Umbagog Lake area

       Kevin Slater/Polly Mahoney - 
       Mahoosuc Guide Service
       1513 Bear River Road
       Newry, ME 04261 
       (207) 824-2073     
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Wilderness First Aid
Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge, Newry, ME
Date: October 23 - 24 2020 Starts at 08:30 AM and runs through 5:00 PM
Cost $310 (commuter) or $390 (includes meals and lodgeing)
MWGO Professional members get a $50 reimbursement ,supporting members a $25 reimbursement for WFA or Recert.
Contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wilderness First Aid is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants basic a basic level of first aid training. This course goes beyond basic first aid and is tailored to first aid in the back country where dialing 911 is not an option.This course will cover:
Response and assessment
Musculoskeletal injuries
Environmental emergencies
Survival skills
Wound care
Medical conditions
This course will also recertify Wilderness First Responder or Open Recertification

WFR recert or Open recert
Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge, Newry, ME
October 23 - 25 2020

Cost: $425 (commuter), $540 (food and lodging)
MWGO Professional members get a $50 reimbursement ,supporting members a $25 reimbursement for WFA or Recert.
Contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


River Guide Training
May 12 - 17, 2020
East Branch Penobscot River
Cost: $775 ($725 MWGO Member)

The focus of the Maine River Guide Training is on how to safely lead and manage groups on technical rivers during canoe trips. Technical rivers are defined as having Class 2 and above rapids and/or mandatory portages around falls or rapids. This is not a white water skills clinic. Participants should be comfortable and competent in class 2 and above white water. You should be able to ferry, eddy out, peel out, etc. anywhere in a set of rapids in this level of difficulty. Major topic area to be covered are two fold:

•Information you, as a guide, need to cover before taking clients into a white water situation
•Information you as a guide need to have relating to group management techniques, safety considerations, protection strategies for rapids, and judgment/decision making

PRIMARY TOPICS TO BE COVERED: River safety briefing, Self rescue, Objective River hazards, Throw bags, Sample stroke lessons, Sample river maneuvers lesson, Ferries, Eddy turns, Peel outs, Eddy sets, Offensive vs. defensive paddling techniques, Sample river reading lesson, Eddies, Eddy lines, White waves, Dark waves, V's,
Info, to, have in her/his head
1. Group management skills for approaching major rapids, major portages, for easier river stretches (class 2 or below)
2. Protection systems for major rapids, timing, throw bags, boat based
3. Portage organizing, tumplines, one/two person lifts, one/two person carries
4. Lining, bridles, painter lines, canoe trim
5. Scouting from shore, from eddies
Other topics - as time and interest permits: Fly fishing, Lost clients, Map and compass, Contours and river gradients, Canoe/camping techniques, Poling upstream and snubbing, Canoe pins, avoiding, unpinning, haul systems, Knots every guide should know

Contact: Kevin or Polly at Mahoosuc
Guide Services
(207) 824-2073
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Intro to White Water Canoe - Tandem
June 19 - 21, 2015
Newry, ME
$325, $300 MWGO members

This course is designed for people with little or no white water canoeing experience. It is also highly recommended for anyone who has no formal training in white-water technique. Price includes lodging, meals and paddling equipment. A $100.00 deposit is required to hold a space. A packet will be sent out after your deposit is received. Participants are asked to arrive by 7pm Friday. The course will cover the following topics: canoe design and handling properties, white water strokes, white water equipment, safety, self rescue, group management, throw bag use, river hazards, river reading and scouting, paddle signals, maneuvers including eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, side slips, and surfing. For more information contact Kevin Slater at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 207-824-2073

River Rescue Course
June 26 - 28, 2015
$325, $300 MWGO members

This course was first developed in 1984 to train Outward Bound Instructors how to respond to a swiftwater emergency. It is designed for guides, instructors, trip leaders, and whitewater paddlers who have no formal training in modern whitewater rescue techniques. The course is experiential in nature; participants should be comfortable paddling and swimming in Class II+ whitewater.

Price includes meals, lodging, and paddling equipment. A  $100.00 deposit is required to hold a space. You will receive a joining packet after your deposit is received  Participants are asked to arrive by 7 p.m. Friday the 21st.

The Course will cover the following topics:

  • River Safety
  • River Hazards
  • Rescue Theory
  • Rescue Types: Shore, On and In Water
  • Swimming Rapids
  • Rescue Equipment
  • Strainers
  • Belayed Swimmer
  • River Entrapment
  • Boat Entrapment
  • Boat Rescues
  • Advanced Throw-bag Use
  • Conscious vs. Unconscious Swimmer
  • Unpinning Boats and Haul Systems

There will be several live accident simulations that participants will need to respond to. For more information or for a course outline, contact Kevin Slater at or 207-824-2073.


Maine Wilderness Guides Organization, Augusta, Maine

126 Western Avenue #155
Augusta, Maine 04330