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Spotlight on Guides: Lé Chandler, AOG

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Lé Chandler

Assistant Overnight Guide

4 years as an SKGABC member


  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.  
  10. Favourite spot in the world to arrive at and pull up your kayak ... Hands down the McMullins in the Heiltsuk Nation.