Assistant Overnight Guide
4 years as an SKGABC member
- Where do you work / paddle and for whom?: I work for Spirit of the West Adventures as well as an Outdoor Educator with school programs.
- What's your "origin story"? How did you get in to paddling / guiding?: I fell in love with a paddler. Like so many, I did not grow up near the ocean. When I first came out west I was amazed by the ocean world, of course I got hooked. I particularly love it for all the edges of the world you can access by kayak, hiking, secret (and not-so-secret) beaches, and magical waterways.
- Do you have a side / winter gig or study?: I have recently become a school teacher and run a small-scale market garden in the Cowichan Valley, traditional territory of the Cowichan People. I have also been fortunate to guide international trips in the winter with Spirit of the West.
- What do you like to educate or inspire guests about?: I try to facilitate a learning experience, rather than guide a vacation. I hope people leave the trips feeling empowered to access and connect to the natural world and outdoor adventure on their own. I love learning peoples stories, sharing my stories and building community and connection on trip.
- What's a challenging memory or trip you've had as a guide and what did you take from it?: A challenging memory that comes to mind is a time when a guest prioritized their desire to perform music above the interest or comforts of the group. For example, when the guest insistent that I join them in the forest to listen to their tuneless serenades, accompanied by their guitar and iphone backup while I was in the middle of cooking dinner....I am still reflecting on what I learned.
- What's the order of priorities when you finally get home from a long trip?: Check out the garden to see what has grown. Lay in the grass. Have a hot shower with a cold beer.
- What's a time you admired, or learned from, the conduct of another guide you were working with? I love this question. I think being a forever-AOG has had its real perks. I have had the privilege to work with countless skilled people that I would consider to be mentors. I feel lucky to be exposed to so many leaderships styles and reminded that there are countless ways to make a trip amazing.
- What's a favourite memory from an SKGABC Exchange?: The Strathcona Park Lodge exchange was a riot. The white water canoe crew brought SO many laughs.
- Favourite meal to make as a guide?: One of my go-to's is sushi (nori handrolls), especially with the addition of fresh items from the sea or land.
- Favourite spot in the world to arrive at and pull up your kayak ... Hands down the McMullins in the Heiltsuk Nation.