The other day I was invited to be a part of a panel with Go Breck to have the opportunity to pitch to property managers and the Breckenridge Info Center staff on our outfitter. The panel was made up of primarily outfitters that provided services on the water. There were 4 rafting companies, one touring kayak company, a random human size rolling ball company and us. The moderator asked a question of all us. “What do you look for in your employees at the time of hiring?” The answers began on the other side of the panel and I was grateful for the time to reflect on that answer. Being in the outdoor industry for 16 years, I have seen them all. I have seen the muscle head, the stoner, the trustifarian, the college kid, the jock, the hippie, the pretty boy, the princess, the seasoned guide, the jedi, the boaster, the egomaniac and the true riverman/riverwoman.
I have trained guides since 2002. When it comes down to it, the best features that you find in the best of the best are what we call the intangibles. Some things are innate to a person. When I think of guiding, I think of 2 things, Heart and Humility. Someone with heart will never give up or back down. They will take very seriously the care that is being entrusted to them with the lives of the guests. They will push through when they are tired, cold and worn out. When the time comes to go out again, they will rally. The humble person, never sees themselves above a person or the medium. A humble person realizes that the tour or the experience that is being provided is not for themselves but rather the other. They will meet the patron and customer where they are and create the best environment and experience possible.
When starting SUPCO 7 years ago, I always wanted to create the type of outfitter that I always wanted to work for. I feel like I take from all the companies I have been exposed to and worked for. The evolution that has become SUPCO puts its guests, the environment and the family we have created first. We strive to be an example by creating the type of inclusive and instructional experiences we offer. At the very core of what we do, there is the guide. When we hire we look for the usual things that everyone else does and aside from a personality that is divinely and uniquely theirs, we look for those 2 things that round them off perfectly to be a part of our ever evolving team.
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