Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel (http://www.oars.com/) company, O.A.R.S., has partnered up with outdoor industry leaders The Clymb, Northwest River Supply (NRS), and Teva for an online contest that gives contestants a chance to “live the dream” as a guide apprentice on an O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon rafting (http://www.oars.com/grandcanyon) trip.
The technical term for a guide apprentice is “swamper.” As a swamper, the winner will be a bonafide member of the O.A.R.S. crew, helping load boats, spending time on the oars, helping prepare meals and mingling with clients. Although this might not qualify as a true vacation, a guide slot on a Grand Canyon trip is considered a dream job (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M4iJ2FdUfA) by people in the know.
“The winner just has to show up ready to pitch in and help and be awed by what the Canyon has to offer,” said Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. spokesperson. The 14- to 18-day trip will take the winner 280 miles through one of the Seven Wonders of the World, running legendary rapids and exploring hidden side canyons on one of the most popular adventure travel experiences on the planet. The winner will also receive a guide gear package that includes a personal flotation device, apparel and footwear provided by NRS and Teva.
Just one week into the contest, more than 2000 hopeful outdoor enthusiasts from around the country have already submitted an entry. The contest runs July 15 through August 19. To enter participants must sign up via a custom app on the O.A.R.S. Facebook Page (http://bit.ly/grandcanyonrafting) by submitting their name, email address, an adventurous photo of themselves and a short essay on why they’re the best candidate for the job. Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 8, the O.A.R.S. Facebook community will cast their vote for the winner from 10 finalists selected by O.A.R.S. staff.
In addition to the grand prize, one contestant per day will be selected at random to win a copy of the book, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Though the Heart of the Grand Canyon, by Kevin Fedarko, and a weekly winner will be selected to receive a free pair of Teva Original sandals.