Guide Interview: Sami

This interview is part of a series of interviews in which we help you get to know these amazing and passionate people who help to make RITS what it is. To view more, check out the Guide Interviews page.

Sami - Guide Interview at RITS

Sami is a raft guide who also did an internship for a degree in Parks & Forest Resources while working at Rafting in the Smokies.

Why did you choose to come to Rafting in the Smokies to be a raft guide?

It’s an amazing community. The staff is great, and it’s like everyone is a big family.

How long have you been here?

I’ve been a raft guide for two years, but 2016 was my first year with Rafting in the Smokies.

What’s the best part of the job?

Working with my tier. Going down the river and making people smile and laugh. I love giving them a tour of nature.

What would you tell others who may not be used to a female guide?

We’re calm and collected. Don’t get discouraged by us. We know how to navigate the waters. We’re just as hard working and always wear a smile on our faces.

Any advice to first-time rafters?

Don’t be afraid to really dig your paddle in the water. It’s all about having fun. Your attitude makes your experience. It’s an adventure, so go with it!

What’s your philosophy on life?

I live day to day. I am about sustainability. I like to be eco-friendly, embrace nature, and make my impact minimal.


Never been rafting? Grab a paddle and dig into either our Upper Pigeon or Lower Pigeon River trips. If you’re wanting to add on the adrenaline, get a rafting and zipline canopy tour combo package.