Outdoor Academy - Summer Activities Training Program

The Outdoor Academy offers a unique and broadly diversified pathway to become an outdoor guide in one of Europe’s most spectacular Regions in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Famous for its endless opportunities for outdoor activities, the Interlaken region is the epicentre of commercial adventures and hosts the biggest community of outdoor guides in central Europe.

The summer activities training program is designed to provide you with comprehensive training and practical experience in the exciting fields of canyoning, river rafting and rope activities. You will learn from very experienced instructors and will have the opportunity to finish the training with the following valuable and industry-recognized certifications:

  • SOA Riverrafting Guide 1
  • SOA Canyoning Guide 1
  • SOA Seilpark Operateur
  • Rescue3 WRT-PRO

The Swiss Outdoor Association SOA is the national body for all certifications in the various outdoor activities and the representing association for the outdoor industry in Switzerland. In many cases, a SOA certification is necessary to work as a guide and the certifications representing a high international standard in the different activities. Rescue 3 is an international Organisation and their certifications are highly recognized and accepted worldwide.

It is also possible for you to engage in further training in the 2nd year to qualify for the higher levels like SOA canyoning and rafting guide 2, SOA Seilspezialist and the SOA Tripleader as well as further Rescue 3 training.

With the program, you will learn the skills and knowledge required to succeed in these thrilling industries, providing a lifetime of opportunities and real-life experience. Learning complex techniques, performing under pressure, leading customers and developping self awareness are not just important steps on the way to become an outdoor guide, but important assets to bring into any challenging situation in further life.

Course Details

Program structure

As a first step, you will learn the basic techniques in the starting modules of the various activities to then advance to implement and solidify the learned skills in a practical and real life environment. With enough on-the-job training and the completion of all training days and course modules, you will be allowed to enter the assessment courses to have the chance to finish off the program with different national guiding licences.

The duration of the training program is middle of June through August, a total of 10 weeks in the middle of the peak summer season.

The training program will contain the three following main elements:

  • Training courses/modules
  • Practical experience and training trips in a variety of activities
  • Exams/Assessments 

1. Basic Rafting Course

  • Duration: 7 days (plus 3 days Rescue 3)
  • Content: Basic raft techniques/manouevres, paddle techniques, safety talk, commands, planning and preparation, equipment, emergency training, rescue techniques, signals

2. Practical Work Experience

  • Duration: minimum 5 training days before the assessment
  • Students can apply for working experience and training trips on the designated days in the schedule.

3. Assessment

  • Duration: 1 day
  • The assessment will be held on a class III river according to SOA assessment standards. Successfull completion of the exam will result in a certification as a SOA rafting guide 1 (up to WW-Class III).

Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician WRT-PRO

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Mandatory training module for raft guides
  • Content: Hydrology, self-rescue in Whitewater, rope rescue techniques, tethered boat techniques, incident management, and much more…
  • This is a highly valued, internationally recognized certification in water rescue, teaching students self-rescue and basic rope rescue skills in a Whitewater environment.

1. Basic Canyoning Course 1

  • Total Duration: 4 days
  • Content: Basic canyoning techniques, rappelling/abseiling, rope systems, basic rescue systems, signals an hand signs, equipment, meteorology, hydrology, Whitewater swimming and rescue techniques

2. Basic Canyoning Course 2

  • Total Duration: 4 days
  • Content: More canyoning techniques, rappelling/abseiling, further training in rope systems and rescue techniques, assessment preparation

3. Practical Experience

  • Duration: min. 10 Canyoning trips in 5 different canyons before the assessment.
  • Students can apply for work experience and training trips on the designated days in the schedule.

4. SOA Assessment

  • Duration: 3 days
  • The assessment course will contain 2 days of canyoning and a 1 day practical assessment according to SOA assessment standards. Successful completion of the exam will result in a certification as a SOA canyoning guide

SOA Seilpark Operateur

  • Duration: 3 days
  • This is a training course/assessment that finishes off with the SOA qualification that allows students to work in various rope activities (abseiling, high ropes courses, zip lines).
  • Content: Knots, rope management, rope techniques, controlling of rope courses, emergency procedures, customer care and much more…

The training program will extend over a period of ten weeks in the peak summer season. Arrival date is Sunday June 16, 2024, and departure date is August 25, 2024.


The total investment for the summer activities training program is CHF 11’500 per student and includes transportation, fully furnished and equipped accommodation, all necessary equipment, coordination/support and the complete training program including course manuals.

After the successful completion of the training program there is opportunities for the students to stay in the industry and work as guides or assistants on numerous activities to earn money. The wage at Outdoor is dependent on qualification and experience and starts at 25 CHF/h for assistants and goes up to 40 CHF/h for a fully qualified Outdoor Guides with a federal diploma.

Athletic, adventurous people that are looking for a physical and mental challenge.

  • Complete 10-week training program (details see above)
  • All training documents (e.g., handbooks, manuals)
  • Accommodation in fully furnished appartment including bedding, fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Transportation during all courses
  • All necessary equipment needed for courses and practical training.
  • Fully licenced canyoning, rafting and rope activities instructors.
  • Head coordinator and support manager
  • Licencing fees and certificates (upon successful completion of exams)


  • Personal belongings needed for 10 weeks stay
  • Personal medication
  • Outdoor clothing for all conditions (incl. good footwear)
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Paper and pens for theory classes

  • Min. age 18
  • Good general health condition, sporty, no fear of heights
  • First Aid Qualification, not older than 2 years (if you don’t have one, additional first aid course can be organized during the training program)
  • Speak and understand English (official program language)

Participants are not insured through the organiser and need a valid accident and travel insurance

The summer activities training program will be planned as a collaboration with Swiss Outdoor Training Center and Outdoor Switzerland AG and our respective partners. A fully structured program including a training program head coordinator, a support manager for the students, various course instructors and a strong local outdoor activities provider will make sure, the students get a supportive, organized and character-building experience including real work experience in the industry.


Head Coordinator


Support Manager

Swiss Outdoor Training Center

Manuel Weibel

Jungfraustrasse 67

3800 Interlaken


Outdoor Switzerland SG

Christoph Estermann

Hauptstrasse 15

3800 Matten bei Interlaken


phone: +41 79 778 40 45



Phone: +41 33 224 07 07


Graduation and certifications

  • SOA River Rafting Guide 1
  • SOA Canyoning Guide 1
  • SOA Seilpark Operateur
  • Rescue3 WRT-PRO


From CHF 11'500

10 of 10 places available

From CHF 11'500

10 of 10 places available