Upcoming Events

No events


  • Committee Involvement

    As a volunteer run non-profit organization, we rely on our membership to get things done. Most of the actual work is done at the committee level. If you would be interested in serving on any of the following committees, please contact us, and we will put you in touch with the committee coordinator. Thanks for your help.

    Membership –  recruits new members, sends emails and snail mailings, publishes the annual newsletter, and, in general, spreads the word about MWGO.

    Hunting– meets with IF&W to discuss issues of concern to hunting guides such as the dwindling deer herd in northern and down east Maine.

    Fishing– meets with IF&W on issues related to fishing, such as protecting native brook trout fisheries.

    Fundraising – helps with identifying and soliciting grants from individual donors, companies, and foundations who believe in and want to support our work.

    Banquet– helps with the organization and planning of MWGO annual meeting, banquet, and silent auction.

    Conservation – involves tracking and supporting various conservation efforts of both state agencies and private non-profits. Often requires providing written and / or oral feedback.

    Publicity – finds ways of marketing MWGO and our members' services. Attends various sportsmen's shows, fairs, and travel shows to promote MWGO.

  • Join

    MWGO depends on membership for our annual operating budget. Before joining, we ask that you read and agree to abide by the MWGO Code of Ethics. New members are welcome; please spread the word to other conservation minded guides, camp owners and outfitters.


    • Respect the land and the landowners.
    • Provide the safest possible trips for our guests, with quality equipment and instruction.
    • Obey all fishing, hunting, boating, and camping laws and regulations.
    • Assist/help authorities, outdoorsmen/women in need.
    • Strive to maintain guiding skills and standards which are above those required by the state.
    • Educate others about natural resource issues, stewardship, and the importance of conservation.

    We ask that new members fill out the new member survey form. This provides us with important information to better serve you, our members. We are not a top down organization; we value your opinions, advice, and suggestions.

    Please follow these steps:

    1. Download the Membership Application
    2. Fill in your contact information.
    3. Mail the form with your payment to:

      Maine Wilderness Guides Organization
      126 Western Ave. #155
      Augusta, Maine 04330

    For more information e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    or call MWGO at

    Kevin 207-824-3783 May-Oct

    Greg 207-882-7323 ex 129 Nov-April


  • Maine Guide Training and Development

    MWGO guide members are strongly encouraged to keep their first aid and CPR certification current and to periodically work to upgrade their skills as guides. To that end, MWGO sponsors ongoing Maine Guide Training Workshops offered throughout the year.

    We recognize the need for guides to have access to professional development opportunities. Within the recreational guide classification, the skills required are so diverse (at least 9 different outdoor activities are in this category) that it is unlikely any type of test could adequately assess a guide's abilities. Additionally, some guides may start guiding primarily one type of activity but then diversify into another activity or season of guiding. Guide Training Workshops are an important resource for professional guides to use in order to maintain or improve their skills. Workshops are taught by experienced Guides and Master Guides (except for first aid) and are offered at very reasonable rates. Guides with special expertise are encouraged to offer workshops. For more information on how to offer a Guide Training Workshop, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Coming Opportunities: 

     River Guide Training
    May 12 - 17, 2020
    East Branch Penobscot River
    Cost: $775 ($725 MWGO Member)

    The focus of the Maine River Guide Training is on how to safely lead and manage groups on technical rivers during canoe trips. Technical rivers are defined as having Class 2 and above rapids and/or mandatory portages around falls or rapids. This is not a white water skills clinic. Participants should be comfortable and competent in class 2 and above white water. You should be able to ferry, eddy out, peel out, etc. anywhere in a set of rapids in this level of difficulty. Major topic area to be covered are two fold:
    •Information you, as a guide, need to cover before taking clients into a white water situation
    •Information you as a guide need to have relating to group management techniques, safety considerations, protection strategies for rapids, and judgment/decision making

    PRIMARY TOPICS TO BE COVERED: River safety briefing, Self rescue, Objective River hazards, Throw bags, Sample stroke lessons, Sample river maneuvers lesson, Ferries, Eddy turns, Peel outs, Eddy sets, Offensive vs. defensive paddling techniques, Sample river reading lesson, Eddies, Eddy lines, White waves, Dark waves, V's,
    Info, to, have in her/his head
    1. Group management skills for approaching major rapids, major portages, for easier river stretches (class 2 or below)
    2. Protection systems for major rapids, timing, throw bags, boat based
    3. Portage organizing, tumplines, one/two person lifts, one/two person carries
    4. Lining, bridles, painter lines, canoe trim
    5. Scouting from shore, from eddies
    Other topics - as time and interest permits: Fly fishing, Lost clients, Map and compass, Contours and river gradients, Canoe/camping techniques, Poling upstream and snubbing, Canoe pins, avoiding, unpinning, haul systems, Knots every guide should know

    Contact: Kevin or Polly at Mahoosuc
    Guide Services
    (207) 824-2073
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Intro to White Water Canoe - Tandem
    June 19 - 21, 2015
    Newry, ME
    $325, $300 MWGO members

    This course is designed for people with little or no white water canoeing experience. It is also highly recommended for anyone who has no formal training in white-water technique. Price includes lodging, meals and paddling equipment. A $100.00 deposit is required to hold a space. A packet will be sent out after your deposit is received. Participants are asked to arrive by 7pm Friday. The course will cover the following topics: canoe design and handling properties, white water strokes, white water equipment, safety, self rescue, group management, throw bag use, river hazards, river reading and scouting, paddle signals, maneuvers including eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, side slips, and surfing. For more information contact Kevin Slater at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 207-824-2073


    Past training opportunities 


    Wilderness First Aid
    Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge, Newry, ME
    Date: October 19 - 20, 2019 Starts at 08:30 AM and runs through 5:00 PM
    Cost $295 (commuter) or $375 (includes meals and lodgeing)
    Contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Wilderness First Aid is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants basic a basic level of first aid training. This course goes beyond basic first aid and is tailored to first aid in the back country where dialing 911 is not an option.This course will cover:
    Response and assessment
    Musculoskeletal injuries
    Environmental emergencies
    Survival skills
    Wound care
    Medical conditions
    This course will also recertify Wilderness First Responder or Open Recertification

    WFR recert or Open recert
    Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge, Newry, ME
    October 19 - 21, 2019
    Cost: $410 (commuter), $525 (food and lodging)
    Contact Polly or Kevin at (207) 824-2073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




    River Rescue Course
    June 26 - 28, 2015
    $325, $300 MWGO members

    This course was first developed in 1984 to train Outward Bound Instructors how to respond to a swiftwater emergency. It is designed for guides, instructors, trip leaders, and whitewater paddlers who have no formal training in modern whitewater rescue techniques. The course is experiential in nature; participants should be comfortable paddling and swimming in Class II+ whitewater.

    Price includes meals, lodging, and paddling equipment. A  $100.00 deposit is required to hold a space. You will receive a joining packet after your deposit is received  Participants are asked to arrive by 7 p.m. Friday the 21st.

    The Course will cover the following topics:

    • River Safety
    • River Hazards
    • Rescue Theory
    • Rescue Types: Shore, On and In Water
    • Swimming Rapids
    • Rescue Equipment
    • Strainers
    • Belayed Swimmer
    • River Entrapment
    • Boat Entrapment
    • Boat Rescues
    • Advanced Throw-bag Use
    • Conscious vs. Unconscious Swimmer
    • Unpinning Boats and Haul Systems

    There will be several live accident simulations that participants will need to respond to. For more information or for a course outline, contact Kevin Slater at or 207-824-2073.





    Winter Guide Training
    Mahoosuc Lodge Newry, Maine
    Dec 12 - 16, 2018
    Cost: $650 non member
    Contact: Kevin or Polly at Mahoosuc Guide Services(207) 824-2073 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    This workshop is designed to cover the skills needed to safely guide in the winter. Whether you are guiding snowmobile, dog sled, ski or snowshoe/toboggan trips there are a lot of skills required of a guide that are specific to the winter environment.
    The following topics will be covered in depth:

    Hypothermia - recognition, prevention, treatment
    Frostbite - recognition, prevention, treatment
    Ice Reading - characteristics, formation, safe route selection
    White-out navigation - map & compass, GPS, traditional Inuit techniques
    Minimal Equipment - for any type of winter travel - human powered or snowmobiles
    Snow machine Travel - off trail, freighting loads with quamotiks & toboggans, dealing with slush, the "well outfitted" snow machine, tow ropes vs. tow bars
    Winter bivouac - Spending a night out with the clothes on your back, snow & bough shelters
    Client Concerns - Looking after your ³sports² in the winter
    Winter Camping Techniques - Setting up a safe, dry, warm traditional winter camp, fire building with and without matches
    Dog & Human Powered Travel - Depending on snow/ice conditions we will also cover the basics of snowshoe and dog team use...

  • MWGO Quality Endorsement

    MWGO’S Wilderness Guide Quality EndorsementMWGO Wilderness Guide Quality Endorsement

    Download fillable Word document application

    Download PDF file application

    In an effort to maintain high guiding standards and to encourage professional guides to continually strive to improve their skills, the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization (MWGO) has created the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program. The standards to be met to receive the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement are higher than the State of Maine standards, but are standards that most professional guides would want to achieve and maintain. The Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program is voluntary – no one is required to participate. Endorsed guides may use the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement logo in their marketing and promotional materials.

    To apply for the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement, download and complete the application form and mail to the address at the bottom of the application.

    Please send all requested documentation in one packet. For additional information or questions about the Maine Wilderness Guides Quality Endorsement Program, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (207) 284-3731.

    MWGO Wilderness Guide Quality Endorsement – Summary

    A.    General Qualifications: apply to any guiding discipline recognized by the State of Maine

    a.      Must be a member in good standing with the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization

    b.     Participation is voluntary

    c.      Guides must maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications – the 16-hour Wilderness First Aid course is the minimum standard accepted

    d.     Documented ongoing Professional Development that is guiding related must be demonstrated, with a minimum of 16 hours every 3 years

    e.      Documented Public Service work in the fields of outdoor education, conservation education, or outdoor safety must be demonstrated, with a minimum of 24 hours every 3 years

    f.       Documented minimum of 5 years experience in the specific discipline for endorsement must be achieved

    g.      References – one from a guide and one from a client the applicant has guided in the past

    h.      Endorsement is valid for a 3 year period

    B.    Rationale

    a.      State of Maine standards are not high enough (i.e. no First Aid requirement for renewal)

    b.     Quality endorsement encourages a higher standard for professionalism

    c.      Quality endorsement is a marketing asset

    C.    Endorsement Process

    a.      A member of the endorsement committee will confirm receiving your application and references

    b.     After the committee reviews your application materials, they will contact you to schedule an interview either in person or by phone

    c.      The committee will notify you within a week of the interview if you have been endorsed

    d.     If you are not endorsed, the reasons will be communicated and a plan developed to work with the applicant towards endorsement

  • October 2008

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS and Member Meeting
    Monday October 20, 2008
    8:15 AM Conference Call


    David Butler, Gary Roberts, Bryan Courtois, Cathy Johnson, Greg Shute, Kevin Slater, George Libby, Ted Rodman, Lisa DeHart, Mac Davis, Bo Norris

    8:15 AM Welcome   
    Committee Updates

    Membership Comm. -Mac is the Committee chair -
    -       Contact Sporting Camp owners -                             (AI - Greg and Eric)
    -       Feed a list of new members to Ted             (AI - Membership Comm.)                   
    -       Letter to outing clubs -                                             (AI - Lisa and Gary) 
    o    College and HS - Lisa listed several clubs, mostly college, may want to add HS clubs.
    -       Gary to send out proposed letter and the list of people we intend to send it to                                                                  (AI - Gary and Lisa)
    -       Add a hook at the end as to why they want to join us
    -       Emphasis the shared approach of conserving area's in Maine that are set aside for people powered activities.
    -       get a list of club members -
    -       send hard copy letter to each club - w/brochures
    -       add membership form to PDF
    May need to develop a policy about whether and when we distribute our
     contact list -
     Generally do not distribute contact information, however we reserve the  option of revisiting on a case by case basis. 

                                                     (AI - Ted to draft policy and we will email vote)

    May want to add a membership category for Clubs and Outing Clubs - with a range of membership cost options. Money is less important then the commitment of the club being a supporting member. real benefit is the potential member. for example $100 - $250

    Need better communication about what is going on. Need to add deadlines.

    After we add this new member category need a cover letter and outreach effort to promote to these orgs - new web page - mailing                 

                                                                        (AI - Membership committee)

    Who is on the membership committee ???? - Mac, Lisa, David, Greg, Bryan

    Kevin - Board members should generate a list of potential members and send to Ted - Did not agree when or how many potential members each board member should submit

    Ted - What is the state of membership - What is the data? Membership by category

    Members that need to be contact - Membership acquisition strategy -

    Mac - rolling membership renewal will start in Dec. - info in newsletter.

    Greg -invited Ted to the membership meeting.

    Compile statistics about membership for the meeting -          (AI - Bryan)

    Development Comm. - Bo Norris report concerning the grant proposals

    o     Including update on grant proposals
    §      Jessie B Cook – Cook Family – owners of Dow Jones – deadlines mid-October – expect to hear late next week at the earliest – mid Nov email of acceptance
    §      Betterment Fund –
    o     Generate a list of individuals to focus on                           (AI - for Bo)
    Circulate list
    Need to firm up the pitch - Ted and Bo, and Exec Comm.
    put together list of things we want to focus on as a pitch - What Is the org planning In the next 3-5 years - bullet list to feed Bo and Ted - Conservation - Education - Improving Guides mission - etc.
    Becoming a voice for non-motorized outdoor recreation enthusiasts; Core appeals for the organization  

                                                                                (AI - Greg and Kevin)

                                                                 (Bo and Ted to work on letter)

    Guide Education and Policy Comm.
    o     Guide Oral Exam Board - meeting tomorrow 10/20/2008
    §   Kevin to ask for preferential treatment for MWGO as a training and Apprentice offer organization
    Also plans to ask for list of guides
    o     Guide Training - Bryan, George, Lisa, David, Kevin - interested in getting something going on this. 
    (AI - Kevin to call meeting to kick off this effort) 
    Need to develop a framework

    o     "We should own this aspect of Guiding" - Ted   
    o     LL Bean - sponsorship for sporting shows ????
    o     Still looking to get Pro Plan participation from Bean's 

    Executive Comm. - Kevin, Greg, Bo, David
    o     New Vice President
    Lani has asked to step down from the Board. 
    If you have any ideas about potential VPs please contact an Exec committee member
    o     MWGO is pursuing 501(c) status - Need to make this a priority - need a time line and some urgency to making this transition

    Advocacy Comm. -
    o     Cathy Johnson - acquisitions along the Allagash - some interest
    o     LURC and BPL interested in carry trails (Kevin put a list of 5 priority trails)
    §      Sam Hodding ??? contact as a potential private sponsor -
    o     Comp Land Use Plan - currently being revised
    §   Need to get our membership out to these meetings
    o     Informal group Rec Info and Access forum - met last week and talked about ecological reserves. Non-motorized use on public lands - Update of rec uses on state land - New person Rex Turner that is responsible from DOC - Greg suggested that we have a meeting - Greg will follow-up AI - Kevin suggested meeting with Rex as an add on to next meeting
    o     Plum Creek - Accepted the LURC changes - next 3 months those changes will be incorporated into the plan
    o     May want to keep In mind that IF&W may be combined with Marine Resources. How this affects MWGO Is not clear. 

    Financial and Legal Comm.
    -       Kevin looking into some of the more immediate liability insurance for the board, etc.

    Newsletter Comm.- Mac -
    §  Profile of Blaine Miller
    §  Profile of Sporting Camp - need to get Peirce Pond Camps as a member - OR find another camp to profile
    o     Kevin suggested approaching Eric about being profiled
    §  Profile of Supporting member -
    §  Gary will have his article by the end of this week
    §  Articles due by end of month Oct 30th
    §  Greg to do first draft of Presidents letter
    §  Ted sent Mac potential newsletter format for consideration

    Teens To Trails Winter Workshop
    -       Last weekend in January (1/31/2009)
    -       Skill development for Outdoor Leaders
    -       Greg to pursue sponsorship opportunity (AI Greg)
    -       Ted suggested providing discount for new membership
    -       Need to find out who could lead workshops and how to reach out to MWGO membership - perhaps 10 meeting
    -       Provide MWGO membership info to participants and follow-up as the event goes through
    -       Lisa willing to host the MWGO booth at the T2T Winter Workshop

    Website - Desire to upgrade website to search for a guide by various criteria
    Goal is to provide better marketing of our member guides

                                                                             (AI - David to contact Nancy)

    Mac - provide contact info Ken Pooly(???) -we pay $200 / year for web hosting

    Next Meeting - November 17th. 9 - Noon - Greg willplace TBD - in Augusta area


    Kevin voted to adjourn the meeting

    Mac second

    Unanimous vote to adjourn

    Meeting adjourned - 12:27pm

Maine Wilderness Guides Organization, Augusta, Maine


126 Western Avenue #155
Augusta, Maine 04330