Employment Opportunities

Adventure and Ecotourism have become some of the fastest growing industries on Vancouver Island with strong growth predicted in the future. Island Pacific Adventures Ltd. is proudly celebrating 29 years of  providing quality outdoor education and amazing cave tours at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, located on Central Vancouver Island between Courtenay and Nanaimo.

Our company operates a Provincial Cave Park and runs Outdoor Education & Adventure-Based Learning programs. We are always on the lookout for inspired individuals to apply their knowledge and skills in a job that is fun and challenging.

Join an excellent team of guides and naturalists to help make our park operations a success! If the outdoors is your lifestyle and you are willing to take a step toward a career on Vancouver Island, then check this out!

PLUS All the rock climbing, cave exploring, camping and outdoor living you can handle. Legendary staff events, super people, and great experience in a spectacular work environment. Free staff camp site at Horne Lake just 1km from work!

Learn More

Thank you for your interest in employment at our provincial park. We would like to offer you some more information about our operations and encourage you to submit an online application.

Read on for details about the work environment at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park.

Island Pacific Adventures Ltd. began guiding operations back in 1988. The company now operates 12 months a year within a British Columbia Provincial Park.

Our vision is to use the park as an outdoor classroom to provide outstanding recreational and educational opportunities to park visitors as a direct way to increase understanding and raise awareness about conservation. It is a very busy place for 6 months (Spring & Summer) with thousands of park visitors signing up for scheduled hourly cave tours, school and group education programs and multi-day camp programs. We see literally thousands of school children every season and we are the largest cave tour facility in Canada !

EARLY STAGES

Generally, applicants start with a phone discussion, usually followed by a personal interview onsite prior to training.  Potential employees must successfully complete the Cave Guide certification course (4 days in early May) followed by a successful “Checkride” in order to complete the certification and begin employment. This certification includes some Park Ranger training. After certification, another 2 days of training are conducted for cave guides to become familiar with other Outdoor Centre programs: Rock Climbing /Rappelling, Team-building Challenges, etc. Total employment-related training runs about 6 days. In addition, several times per season we run additional training in BC Cave Rescue, emergency procedures, etc. There are absolutely no course fees involved for participating staff.

MORE ADVANCED OPPORTUNITIES

IF you have at least 2 years logged climbing experience, you may be recommended for certification as a “Vertical” Cave Guide. Applicants must be recommended by the Lead Guide as suitable for the Vertical Certification process. Prerequisites are:

1) Horizontal Cave Guide Certified (initial certification)

2) Submission of a written log detailing personal climbing, caving, canyoning, mountaineering and other related rope work experience.

3) Qualify and work as an Outdoor Rock Instructor (in-house training)

4) BC Cave Rescue Course (official BC SAR course offered at our site)

5) Advanced Wilderness or OFA3 first aid

At that point, qualified applicants can enter the Vertical Certification process involving demonstration of rescue skills, written exam, tour shadowing and finally, a practical exam. Not many applicants can tackle all of this in their first season and although it is possible, it is much better done in a guide’s second year. However, if you are prepared for taking on the additional vertical guiding & rope rescue training (approx. 4 days) in late May, you can earn yourself an additional $3 per hour while running Vertical Cave Tours or instructing Rock/Rappel programs.

Our company’s focus is to use outdoor activities as a vehicle to teach “life skills” such as trust, cooperation, teamwork and confidence building. We run the cave tours every hour, seven days a week in the summer, and at the same time operate our outdoor centre as well as offer overnight camp programs. So being crazy busy is normal around here.

Our season runs in 4 phases:

1) Spring is heavy on training and a very busy school season from May to the end of June. During this period we have 2 intakes of new staff.   6 guides will be employed and trained at the beginning of May, and 3 others will join the roster for training in mid June. During the BC Cave Guide Certification Course, employees earn a probationary pay wage ($85/day) until they are fully certified.

2) Summer (July to Labour Day) sees the operation add another 6 “Assistant Guides” to the staff. The schedule becomes more complex with Cave Tours now running 7 days a week, every hour on the hour. During summer, our camp programs continue with large groups participating in team building and rock/rappelling courses as well as caving.

3) Fall begins as we say good-bye to summer student staff and reduce our crew to 8 staff again. This is a beautiful season and represents our “pinnacle of programming excellence” as we deliver some of our best outdoor education with schools returning for another 4-6 weeks. The majority of our programs close down on Thanksgiving Weekend.

4) Winter Overnight programming is finished until spring but we continue with day trips for schools and the “Wet & Wild Cave Adventure” which runs a couple of times a week (like canyoning but in the dark!).

Some more details:

• To become excellent in this role, all employees must make a strong commitment to a high standard of professional park operations.

• ALL guide/instructor certification is paid on a day-rate basis until you have passed the Cave Guide certification course and are ready to lead the activities. Regular cave guides / instructors generally spend a total of 3 – 5 days of training time in their first season becoming certified to instruct the different programs.

• Guiding wages are paid on an hourly basis with premium pay supplement for qualifications in advanced first-aid, rescue or leadership skills and ranges from  $14.00 – $18.00 per hr. for guiding / instructing.

• Our facility is located about a half hour north of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, 13 km up a dirt road and the park is “off the grid” for power & phones. Like most provincial parks, we DO NOT have a staff housing building or a cafeteria. A kilometer down the road is a campground where a staff camp site  is available, however, employees would be responsible for their own shelter (tent, camper, van, etc.) and meal prep.

• Scheduling during the summer has guides work 6 days on, 3 days off.

• Must have valid First Aid and annual CPR recert.

• Must have a valid driver’s license and own transportation.

• Must obtain clean Criminal Records Check

Horne Lake is a very dynamic and rewarding place to work, if you are strong enough. Committed to excellence, our employees are “top-shelf” and our company represents one of the best Park Operations in the province. There are plenty of new experiences and challenging situations for staff and clients alike. Over 30,000 diverse park visitors come through our facility annually and EVERY part of their experience is created by a small but dedicated team of outdoor professionals.

We hope this information is helpful. Our company is dedicated to excellence and strives to create an amazing work experience for our staff. In order to expect excellence every day, it must be a WIN-WIN for both of us. We look for a great, fun fit. We have to be very selective when it comes to hiring. Our reputation is based upon staff excellence and therefore we can only afford to hire the best and brightest.

We look forward to hearing more from you. The next step is to fill out the online application accessed below. We always appreciate your response however, due to the volume of applicants, only short-listed employees will be contacted for further interviews.

Horne Lake Cave Guide Manual

Cheers, Myles  leadguide@hornelake.com

Our

Current Positions

Cave Guide / Park Facility Operator

Full time June to Sept.  $14 – $16 / hr

More Info

Safely lead groups on 1hr, 2hr, and 3hr tours through the 4 caves within the park. Guides will receive the training to run school cave-geology programs and teambuilding activities with an emphasis on habitat and environmental protection / restoration.  Park Facility Operator duties include enforcing the Park Act and involvement in a wide spectrum of park maintenance tasks. Applicants must possess a basic first aid certification and the ability to confidently provide first aid and emergency response if required. The successful candidates must pass our BC Cave Guide Certification Course.

Vertical Cave Guide & Rock Instructor

Full time May to Sept. $17 to $18 / hr

More Info

Competent in all regular cave guide duties (above) but also leads 4 & 5 hour expeditions beyond the crawlways of Riverbend Cave and belays clients as they rock climb and rappel vertical pitches as high as 21 meters. Instruct outdoor climbing and rappelling clinics for groups and families.  Applicants must provide documented experience/training in rope rescue, rock climbing or caving and possess an advanced first aid certification (OFA3 or Adv. Wilderness – 80hrs min). Successful candidates must participate in our additional BC Cave Rescue Training Program, and BC Vertical Guide Certification course.

Visitor Centre / Reservations

May to Sept. $14 – $15 / hr

More Info

Operate the provincial park Visitor / Interpretive Centre and Canada’s only Cave Theater. Promote tourism through our information centre and museum. Coordinate all guided tour scheduling. Greet and inform park visitors including summer camp and school groups about Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park and surrounding area. Collect payment for tours, equipment rentals, retail sales, and recording stats. Liaison with BC Parks, guiding staff, and park volunteers. Minor park maintenance and Park Act enforcement. Provide first aid and emergency response when required.

Our

Volunteer Opportunities

WORK EXPERIENCE PRACTICUMS FOR ASSISTANT GUIDE & LEADERSHIP TRAINING

Our organization is under contract to the B.C. Government to operate and maintain HORNE LAKE CAVES PROVINCIAL PARK, which includes providing Park Rangers and Guides. We conduct a variety of Cave Tour Programs including  Family Cavern Tours as well as longer, more adventurous 4 and 5 hour expeditions that provide vertical rope instruction in a wild cave environment. In addition, we operate an Outdoor Education Centre with educational programs that take place in and around the Provincial Park. Courses in Rock Rappelling, Team-building and Cave Rescue build skills and confidence in the outdoor world.

Island Pacific Adventures Ltd. conducts Work Experience Practicums (WEX) for students seeking leadership training and practical hands-on experience. Work with and learn from some of the best guides in the industry. This program will develop valuable skills working as an Assistant Guide and keeping up with the day to day operations. A limited number of spaces are available through the WEX Program. Students are responsible for their own transportation or are welcome to camp at the nearby Horne Lake Regional Park but must make their own arrangements with the Campground Operators and supply their own camping gear and food. To participate, students must be in good health, speak fluent English and come equipped with an unsinkable attitude.

If you are interested in applying for the WEX Program, send us your resume and a bit about why you are interested to the Park Manager, Charlene Forrest at: caves@hornelake.com.