Jack S. – River GuidePosted May 18, 2023 by Reily Schultz
Name: Jack (Captain Jack, Jack Wagon)
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Guiding since: 2017
In 2017, Jack picked up a small handbook from the backseat of his friend’s car. Back then, he had no idea that that small book would change his life. “All-Outdoors’ Guide’s Guide to Guiding” and rave reviews about AO were all it took for Jack to sign up for Guide School and start his journey as a whitewater river guide.
Comfort in extremes
These days you’ll most likely see him on the Tuolumne River offering historical nuggets to guests in his boat, skiing and flipping down the side of a snowy mountain, or honing his surfing skills down in Costa Rica. He is just as comfortable flying through a forest on his skis and skiing off a 60 foot jump as he is navigating a raft through the boulder field of the Rock Garden rapid on the Tuolumne. Regardless of the climate, wherever he lands he fits like a glove.
Guest interactions are one of Jack’s favorite parts of working with All-Outdoors. Jack’s college degree in anthropology and environmental studies have tied in exceptionally well to his presence and knowledge as a raft guide. This experience has given him confidence and a solid understanding of how to engage guests and make them feel comfortable and capable. It has also given him the background to educate them about his favorite features of the river and the local ecology.
A new appreciation
In 2022 Jack took a group of guests including students and conservation advocates down the Tuolumne. This group emphasized learning about the river and local ecology more than most, putting Jack right in his element. One of these guests was a lawyer who helped block the creation of a dam on the Clavey River, which feeds into the Tuolumne. This man had been fighting for this river for years and had never seen it in person. The diversity of our guests is always incredible, but being able to show someone what they saved, and thank them for it, is unforgettable.
A golden age
Jack found his voice through guiding, with his confidence growing as he progressed within the company. When in doubt he reminds himself that he “wouldn’t be here if they didn’t know I could do this”. The sense of trust and camaraderie between staff members allowed him to step into new roles confidently. Once you’re on a trip with Jack you would never believe that he was ever the quiet one. Jack also found a home in All-Outdoors – calling his experience here “golden”. He credits the staff as a whole, the dynamic interactions with guests, and the unique river experiences AO offers for his love of the company and the reason why he comes back year after year.
Spending time with Jack really makes you understand the phrase “Jack of all trades”. Ask him about the films he appears in, his saxophone, how he made the news as a teenager, or about his alter-ego that only makes appearances at camp along the Tuolumne, and you’ll understand, too.
Words to Live by: “It’s all part of the story.”