Our Programs

At the Whale Foundation, our mission is to holistically assist guides with whatever issues they're facing. Whether it's on the river, above the rim, in their career, with school or their family, we're here to insure the overall health and well-being of our commercial guiding community. 


The Whale Foundation offers freeconfidential counseling services to the Grand Canyon river guiding community to address some of the challenges and uncertainties facing many river guides.

In recent years, our clients have seen professional counselors for help with

  • family/interpersonal issues

  • substance abuse concerns

  • anxiety and depression

  • grief or loss

  • on river and work related issues

If you are or know of a guide-in-need, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Photo: Michael Collier

Photo: Michael Collier

Photo: Kyle George

Photo: Kyle George

Financial Aid and Health

The Whale Foundation awards a number of Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarships each year to assist guides with the cost of continuing education.

Additionally, the Health Insurance Assistance Program awards stipends to guides, making it a little easier to purchase their own health insurance. 

Finally, guides have access to a Financial Health adviser and a number of resources to assist their efforts to build stability while living what is often a feast or famine lifestyle.


For guides considering new territory like starting a business or going back to school, we've brought together a group of men and women who have already made a similar move, covered that ground and are happy to share their experience and make yours easier. 

Photo: Kyle George

Photo: Kyle George

Banner Image: Leon Werdinger