Nantahala Outdoor Center

Lake Guide

Job Locations US-NC-Bryson City
Job ID
Job Classification



For 40+ years NOC has led the outdoor industry, taking more guests whitewater rafting and teaching more paddlers than any other outdoor recreation company. NOC also provides top-quality aerial and trail-based adventures, wilderness medicine as well as providing unmatched retail service, foodservice, lodging, and trip planning services. Behind NOC's rapid growth are our staff’s commitment to our five core values: lead by example, service before self, do the right thing, work hard/play hard and make it happen. These core values unite a community of leaders and pioneers in an exciting, fun and always changing work environment.


NOC career opportunities offer prospects rare opportunities to work in beautiful locations, to grow their skills and to share a passion for active outdoor recreation. Ideal candidates are leaders in the work place that wish to join a unique, values-driven organization. They aspire to excellence in their fields and disciplines and they demonstrate a commitment to the service of others. Above all, they want to provide visitors with unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, we hope you'll apply to join the NOC team.



Job Summary: 

Spend the summer working on and enjoying beautiful Lake Fontana. Lake Fontana is a short walk from NOC's main campus and allows our guests and Guides a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of our main campus. Our guest and Guides alike, will enjoy the tranquility of the lake and also the opportunity to spot and watch wildlife including bald eagles, fish and turtles. Due to the nature of this position, there are periods of down time where we encourage our Guides to hop on a paddleboard or kayak or relax in their hammock while remaining attuned to any guests needs. 


Lake Guide applicants must be at least 18 years of age prior to their start date and have current CPR and First Aid certifications.



  • Guide trips on Lake Fontana with participants of varying size, age and number; understanding and implementing risk-reduction in navigation, communication, and decision-making
  • Communicate with guests about local area information, other NOC activities and offerings, river and trip information, and providing general entertainment
  • Provide top-notch guest service to all guests, before, after, and during their trip
  • Participate in off-the-water tasks, including moving all the stand up paddleboards and kayaks at the beginning and end of the day, ensure that all boats and boards are properly stored, assist guests with gear, deliver instructional talks, and wash and organize gear and equipment
  • Other tasks, such as driving vehicles, repair and maintenance of gear or facilities, guest check-in, and assisting other NOC departments, as qualified and as assigned


Applicants for a Lake Guide position at NOC should have:

  • Great communication skills
  • Strong sense of guest service
  • Enthusiasm about teaching and sharing outdoor activities with others

Lake Guide applicants must be physically capable of handling their own kayak or standup paddleboard and helping carry boats to and from the water, and be comfortable working outside in varying weather conditions. Applicants should expect to work in a teamwork-based environment, and be able to take direction well and exhibit good judgment in decision-making.


Applicants must be able to bend, stoop, twist and sit and stand for long periods of time. Applicants must also be able to speak clearly and concisely. 



Preferred Training:

Basic First Aid & CPR are required prior to beginning work; Wilderness First Aid or higher is encouraged.  Online First Aid & CPR are not acceptable as per our permit agreements.


The above noted job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned but rather to provide a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of this position. As the nature of business demands change, so too may the essential functions of this position.

The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in any and all terms, conditions or privileges of employment including hiring, promotions, termination, training and compensation. The NOC does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic condition or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable. Furthermore, the NOC is committed to a work environment free of discrimination and harassment through respecting and valuing the diversity among employees and all those with whom the NOC does business.


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