Guide Development and Leadership Training Course

Are you seeking a change?  Looking to connect with the natural world?  A new challenge?  An unforgettable adventure?  Training and Certifications? Then take the opportunity to become part of our MHO Adventures community through our River Roots Program.

Application opens Sept. 15th, 2021 !!!!

We will interview and fill the program (max 12) with suitable candidates in the order of applications received.  

"The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living, hands on, exploring, in an active relationship with life - Vince Gowman"

River Roots Program

The goal of our River Roots Program is to create a learning opportunity for students to become well rounded outdoor professionals.  Those who graduate from the program will be hard working, growth oriented leaders that have the skills, experience, and certifications to manage risk, make decisions, be environmental stewards, and inspire others.

Your end goal may be to enter a career in outdoor education or backcountry guiding, to seek personal growth, to gain certifications and experience, to go on an epic adventure AND have memories and stories that will last a lifetime. 

By fully immersing yourself for 42 days with a focus on white water canoeing expeditions, you will;

  • Earn Certifications
  • Learn to manage risk
  • Travel through remote locations
  • Become Environmental Stewards 
  • Develop Leadership Skills
  • Work within a small team environment

Gaining these skills will come from intense training blocks in the first three weeks of the program that will involve learning from a number of different industry professionals with a vast array of personal and professional experiences.  Woven throughout various trainings and expeditions, we will have a variety of lessons on topics such as;

  • Leadership
  • Risk Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Facilitation 
  • Decision Making
  • Indigenous Relationships

The second 21 days of the program will involve a river expedition that will be on either the Missinaibi or Harricanaw River finishing in Moosonee / Moose Factory on the James Bay Coast.  On this expedition students will have the opportunity to practice and develop the skills gained in the first half of the program.  Practice will happen through lived experience, simulation training, feedback, debriefs and leader of the day opportunities.

River Roots is an incredible experience where students must be ready and willing to learn experientially, be pushed to the edge of their comfort zone everyday, challenge their physical and emotional being and be fully present for 42 days.



Start & Finish Location: Huntsville, ON Duration: 42 day(s) Date: 01/05/2022 Price: $8,195 CAD + HST
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    Upcoming Course Dates...

    From To Notes
    1st May 2022 11th June 2022 Maximum 12 students

    Food & Lodging »

    We will live, work, and learn together for the duration with the program. The home base for the program will be the MHO Barn which sits on 20 acres of mostly forest land just 15 mins south of Huntsville.  When here, participants will take turns preparing meals in our outdoor kitchen and tent camp onsite.  There is an indoor space for meetings, classes and preparing for expeditions.  Throughout the program participants will travel (in MHO vehicles and/or chartered buses) to a number of different locations for various courses and expeditions where we will also tent camp.

    Food is included in the cost of this program for the entire 42 days.  It will be the responsibility of the participants to pack and prepare meals as a group everyday.  This will look different depending on the locations.  Some meals will be backcountry over the fire, others may be in some sort of a kitchen and in some cases will be catered for students. 


    Who Is This Program For »

    • Those looking for entry level positions as an outdoor guide or instructor
    • Those looking for a career change
    • Gap year students
    • Camp Staff needing certification and skills to become a canoe trip leader
    • Anyone looking for a break, or an escape
    • Someone seeking an opportunity for personal challenge and/or growth
    • Those looking to develop transferable leadership skills
    • Individuals interested in taking friends and family into the backcountry in a comfortable and safe way
    • Post-Secondary Students wanting to gain extra college or university credits
    • Anyone over the age of 18 looking for an adventure

    Prerequisites »

    The goal of this program is to teach and give the opportunity to learn and practice new skills.  Therefore, extensive backcountry experience and high level of fitness are NOT necessary to be accepted into the program

    We are seeking those individuals that are excited to learn and be outside, willing to be challenged physically and emotionally, and ready to be a part of a small community for the duration of the program.


    • At least 18 years old
    • Have some previous camping experience
    • Able to engage in moderate physical activity for the duration of the day with little down time
    • Ability to swim 250m without a lifejacket
    • Agree to course rules and expectations
    • 80 hr WFR (Wilderness First Responder) – MHO has a scheduled course April 25-29th, 2022 as an ‘add on’ with a 40% discount for RR participants ($575)1

    Certifications Included »


    Application Process »

    Step One:  Fill out the online Application 

    Step Two:  An interview with the MHO Program Coordinator

    Step Three: If you are accepted into the program we will notify you with a acceptance letter and a request for a $2000 deposit. 

    Step Four:  Once we have received your deposit you will have a secured spot on the course and will receive the Course Welcome Package.

    Step Five: Complete all the Pre-course work (30-40 hours)

    Gallery »

    Notes »

    As part of the program package students will have the opportunity to go on an MHO trip in the summer, depending on personal goals and an interview with our guide manager to make sure it would be a good fit.

    This program is eligible for college or university credits. Please email us for more information.

    If you are currently enrolled in post secondary education and you are able to gain credits through this course you may also be eligible for OSAP or able to use RESP’s.