What is the Volunteer Assistant Guide Program?


The Volunteer Assistant Guide (VAG) is a designated volunteer who participates in a regularly scheduled guided hike and who is available to assist the Guide in managing a medical injury or other contingency that occurs during the hike. The VAG will assist by carrying out instructions from the guide that pertain to safety, comfort and well-being of the hiking clients.

Who can participate in the Volunteer Assistant Guide Program?

A mature person who possesses a valid First Aid Certificate, is in good physical condition and is familiar with hiking in the Rocky Mountains may participate in the Volunteer Assistant Guide Program.

What duties are required of the Volunteer Assistant Guide?

Guided hiking groups to the Walcott Quarry and Mt Stephen Fossil Beds are limited to 12 guests, plus the guide and optionally one volunteer assistant guide. The Guide is the leader of the group. The Volunteer Assistant Guide takes up the last position in the group and must:

  • Possess a valid First Aid Certificate
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Follow the instructions directed from the Guide
  • Be prepared to turn back, if necessary, should a hiker become unable to continue; prepared to sit out and wait with a client and while the rest of the hiking group continues to the fossil site
  • Be familiar with hiking and looking after oneself in the Rocky Mountains
  • Help to keep the group together
  • Assist the Guide with administering First Aid if required

Volunteers play an important role and can make a long and difficult hike a successful and memorable occasion for the client at the back of the group. Don't underestimate the lift that your presence and attention gives.

When can a person participate in the Volunteer Assistant Guide Program?

Volunteer Assistant Guides are welcome to participate in any of the regularly scheduled guided hikes throughout the season. Prior approval by the Manager of the Foundation is required.

How can a person participate in the Volunteer Assistant Guide Program?

In order to participate as a VAG, the applicant must contact the office of the Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation and submit a completed Application Form. Proof of valid First Aid certification must accompany the application.