Freelance outdoor jobs with Otter Adventures

Otter Adventures is a small multi-activity adventure tourism provider based in Strontian specialising in slow adventure experiences. The area is remote, diverse and beautiful, but not part of the typical tourist trails in the Scottish Highlands. Most of its guests (ranging from two to 80+ years of age) are holidaying on the peninsulas and looking to explore and better understand the region while also being outdoors and physically active.

A growing number of guests are repeat visitors to the region and to Otter Adventures. They come back to us as we offer a small-group personalised experience that is rarely available from commercial operations. Our ‘family-friendly’, personalised experiences are more about the environment, landscape and wildlife than the activity itself.

Due principally to continued growth and expansion of the business, I am now seeking qualified and experienced freelance guides to meet anticipated demand in 2020 and beyond. There are two opportunities available this year:

Principally I am looking for:

  • one person with multi-discipline (open canoe and sea kayak) paddle sports qualifications to work three days a week during summer;
  • freelance guides in a range of disciplines (e.g cycling, walking, scrambling, snorkelling, wild swimming, etc.) so I can offer work as and when it becomes available. You do not need to hold qualifications in multiple disciplines.

What you need for both roles is a passion and enthusiasm for your adventure sport(s) and a proven ability to lead a wide range of ages in the outdoors. I am especially keen to hear from local people with leadership qualifications in similar outdoor activities and people who wish to develop adventure sports tourism with the fastest growing activity provider on the West Highland Peninsulas.


Paddle Sports Leader/Guide

Due principally to continued growth and expansion of the business, I am now seeking qualified and experienced freelance guides to meet anticipated demand in 2020 and beyond. This specific role is for a specialist in paddle spots who will safely guide open canoe and sea kayak adventures on tidal and open waters during the summer holidays.

If you are able to offer additional activities and help with the expansion and provision of activities available through Otter Adventures, then additional days’ work may also be available.

Core Responsibilities

Your principle responsibility will be to guide safely a range of half-day and full-day open canoe and sea kayak trips. The right candidate may also be asked to take ownership of and lead weekend wild camping adventures. Additional work before the stated dates may be available along with additional dates during the stated period.

On a typical day, you will be expected to start between 09:00 and 09:30 and can expect to finish between 16:30 and 17:30. This will vary depending upon the timings of trips (e.g. full-day or half-day). By their nature, expeditions require evening work and overnight responsibilities.

This freelance opportunity will run from Wednesday 1st July to Monday 31st August (inclusive) and be three days per working week (Monday to Sunday). You will need to be reasonably flexible over these days in order to meet demand from guests. The role commences mid-week and prior to the summer holidays in order to allow for a paid induction and familiarisation period. No training is offered beyond the initial orientation days.

As this is a part-time and seasonal role, no accommodation is implied or offered.

During your time with Otter Adventures, you will be responsible to the owner of Otter Adventures who is also the principle guide.

Day-to-day Responsibilities

  • You will be responsible for the physical safety and emotional well-being of all clients in your groups
  • Emotional empathy, experience and the ability to adapt to the needs of clients and environmental conditions is as important as paddling knowledge and skills
  • It will be your responsibility to ensure all guests in your care leave having had a positive experience and have developed relevant skills and knowledge
  • You will be expected to work largely autonomously, so having the experience, ability and maturity to tailor trips you lead to the client’s needs and changing environmental conditions while staying within Otter Adventures’ broad Operating Procedures and Risk Assessments is essential
  • You will be expected to take responsibility for the day-to-day care for all equipment used
  • The preservation of the natural environment around us and our relationships with the local community and suppliers is of significant importance to Otter Adventures and to our guests. You will be expected to actively demonstrate care for these in your everyday work
  • Driving a car and trailer will be part of your everyday work
  • Any other jobs as appropriate to the role and pay

Qualifications & Experience

The following is an aid in identifying the requirements of the freelance outdoor job:

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • BC Moderate Water SK Leader
  • BC Moderate Water OC Leader
  • Valid and relevant First Aid certificate
  • Clean Driving License (Category BE may be sufficient) for manual vehicles

DESIREABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • BC Open Water OC Coach
  • BC Advanced Water Leader in OC and/or SK
  • Bushcraft, expedition or guiding qualifications
  • Additional outdoor leadership or guiding qualifications (e.g. cycling, walking, swimming, snorkelling)
  • Appropriate outdoor food hygiene certificate
  • ‘Leave No Trace’ training

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE

  • Driving cars with trailers
  • Knowledge and understanding of the environment, wildlife and culture on the West Highland Peninsulas
  • Minimum 30 days guiding since completion of a leadership award

DESIREABLE EXPERIENCE

  • Leading overnight/multi-day expeditions
  • Cooking in remote locations

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Emotional maturity to be able to relate to a wide range of ages and abilities
  • Experience of tailoring guided trips to client needs and environmental factors
  • Commitment to slow adventure experiences
  • Desire to be a part of the growth of Otter Adventures in future years

Casual Outdoor Leaders/Guides

Due principally to continued growth and expansion of the business, I am now seeking qualified and experienced freelance guides to meet anticipated demand in 2020 and beyond. There is no specific activity stipulated (a separate application is available for a Paddle Sports guide) and you do not need to have multiple leadership qualifications. What you do need is a passion and enthusiasm for your adventure sport(s), a proven ability to lead a wide range of ages in the outdoors.

I am especially keen to hear from people with leadership qualifications in any of the following, but this is not an exhaustive list. If you are able to offer multiple-activities, please make it clear which ones you are keen to offer through Otter Adventures.

  • Cycling
  • Walking & scrambling
  • Snorkelling
  • Wild Swimming

Core Responsibilities

Your principle responsibility will be to safely guide half-day and full-day adventures and to help develop the activity and products within the Otter Adventures ethos and values.

On a typical day, you will be expected to start between 09:00 and 09:30 and can expect to finish between 16:30 and 17:30. This will vary depending upon the timings of trips (e.g. full-day or half-day).

Work will be on a freelance basis and will be available between Easter and October depending upon activity, demand and how much you are prepared to contribute to developing products.

During your time with Otter Adventures, you will be responsible to the owner of Otter Adventures, who is also the principle guide, and will develop the products offered with you.

Day-to-day Responsibilities

  • You will be responsible for the physical safety and emotional well-being of all clients in your groups
  • Emotional empathy, experience and the ability to adapt to the needs of clients and environmental conditions is as important as paddling knowledge and skills
  • It will be your responsibility to ensure all guests in your care leave having had a positive experience and have developed relevant skills and knowledge
  • You will be expected to work largely autonomously, so having the experience, ability and maturity to tailor trips you lead to the client’s needs and changing environmental conditions while staying within Otter Adventures’ broad Operating Procedures and Risk Assessments is essential
  • You will be expected to take responsibility for the day-to-day care for all equipment used
  • The preservation of the natural environment around us and our relationships with the local community and suppliers is of significant importance to Otter Adventures and to our guests. You will be expected to actively demonstrate care for these in your everyday work
  • You may be asked to drive a car with trailer, subject to holding the relevant driving license endorsements
  • Any other jobs as appropriate to the role and pay

Qulaifications & Experience

The following is an aid in identifying the requirements of the freelance outdoor job:

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Leadership awards in an appropriate adventurous activity
  • Valid relevant First Aid certificate
  • Clean driving license (Category B) for manual vehicles

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Advanced leaderships or coaching awards
  • Leadership awards in multiple activities
  • ‘Leave No Trace’ training

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE

  • Knowledge and understanding of the environment, wildlife and culture on the West Highland Peninsulas
  • Minimum 30 days guiding since completion of a leadership award

DESIREABLE EXPERIENCE

  • Driving cars with trailers

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Emotional maturity to be able to relate to a wide range of ages and abilities
  • Experience of tailoring guided trips to client needs and environmental factors
  • Commitment to slow adventure experiences
  • Desire to be a part of the growth of Otter Adventures in future years

Pay

You will be paid on a freelance basis (i.e. you invoice Otter Adventures at an agreed rate for each day you work) at a rate in line with your level of qualifications and experience. This is expected to be between £100 and £150 per day.

If leading multi-day trips or full-day adventures where you will be expected to cook for guests, your food will be included in addition to your pay.

You must be registered as self-employed prior to commencing work with Otter Adventures as you will be responsible for your own tax and National Insurance payments. Evidence of self-employed status will need to be shown prior to the offer of any work with Otter Adventures.


Application Process

To learn more about the company and to gain an idea as to the range of trips currently offered, please visit the website (www.otter-adventures.co.uk). For an informal chat about the role, please telephone Karl, the owner, on 07521 676274. If you would like to visit Otter Adventures before applying, please call and arrange to do so.

Applications should be by email to admin@otter-adventures.co.uk and must include the following:

  • Your current CV
  • A short statement detailing how you meet or exceed the essential job criteria and what you will bring to Otter Adventures as its first team member
  • The rate of pay you anticipate receiving

If applying for the Paddle Sports Leader/Guide role, please let me know if you are happy for your details to be retained as a casual freelance guide should you not be successful.

Applications must be received before 17:00 on Friday 10th April.