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Meet Our British Columbia Instructors!

Our British Columbia instructor team is full of passionate staff who make our life-changing adventures possible. Ian, Benia and Arran have a combined two decades of experience with Outward Bound. Learn more about them below.

What is your favourite thing about being an Outward Bound Canada (OBC) instructor?

Benia – Simply put, I thrive the most when I share time with other people in the wilderness. Being an OBC instructor allows me to quench my thirst for connection to nature and intrapersonal and interpersonal learning. Each expedition is different—instructing an OB course is not a guided tour where the guide does most of the work to curates a perfect experience. It’s a dynamic experience where everyone in the group is involved in daily tasks and decisions, leading to transformation for everyone. My deepest hope as an instructor is that people integrate connecting with nature into their everyday lives.

Ian – I love making authentic connections, and the belly laughs that occur once you really get to know people.

Arran – My job is to take people on transformational journeys. What people often do only once in their life is my bread and butter, meaning I get to have life-changing experiences every time I go to work. Going on an expedition allows people to be reflective, develop leadership skills and learn to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Since leading expeditions is my career, I have a unique opportunity to think about myself and my impact on my community and environment.

Which expeditions are your favourite to lead?

Benia – My favourite expeditions are the long and gruelling 21-day youth leadership courses. My mom jokes that I love to be uncomfortable, and I agree—I think there’s immense growth in this kind of discomfort. I’m inspired by anyone who pushes themselves on an expedition. It’s an honour to spend so much time in nature and to witness human resilience. I always leave courses with newfound inspiration and gratitude. People are awesome!

Ian – Ocean canoe courses are my favourite!

Arran – I enjoy leading 21-day open enrolment programs and the courses we run with the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Canadian Conservation Corps members.

Is there a stigma you would like to break when it comes to going on expeditions?

Benia – That wilderness expeditions are only for nature-lovers. The soft and hard skills developed on wilderness expeditions are transferable to any area of life. I’m very excited to see how the research in outdoor education evolves in the coming years because I think it’ll foster a better understanding of what’s at stake if we lose touch with the natural world.

Ian – That you have to be extremely fit and have experience backcountry camping. Anyone can complete a course if they have determination, patience, and a sense of humour.

Arran –  Don’t go on trips to conquer an objective. Go to learn, to live in harmony with what nature provides. It’s not about how far you go or how many peaks you summit. It’s about being adaptive and open to change, enjoying your company, and making safe and smart decisions for you and your group.

What is one fun fact about you?

Ian – My wife has only seen me clean-shaven once in 15 years, and my canoe is worth more than my car!

Benia – I have a second set of wisdom teeth coming in. I’m trilingual and I love good food.

Arran – I’m named after the isle of Arran in Scotland, which is also the name of a set of rapids in Bute inlet.