Meet Our Northern Ontario Instructors!
We are lucky to have so many eager and passionate staff. Learn more about some of our Ontario team, instructors Zoé and Béatrice, and Course Director Trent, below!
What is your favourite thing about being an Outward Bound Canada (OBC) instructor?
Zoé – My favourite thing is the opportunity to connect with myself, others and the land. The Outward Bound Canada community has allowed me to meet incredibly inspiring people, both co-workers and students. I feel fortunate to be able to work in the outdoors and to discover new places.
Béatrice – I love the diversity we have in our programs. I have the chance to explore many different areas with a variety of participants. Not only is my job never repetitive or boring, but I also get the opportunity to learn from all my groups and from the lands I travel through.
Trent – I am very fortunate to work with people who are passionate about what they do. Among the staff here at the Ontario wilderness base, there is a sincere sense of excitement about the impact we have on our participants. Hearing the stories of the challenges overcome in the field is very rewarding.
When and how did you get involved with Outward Bound?
Zoé – I started working for OBC this summer. Although covid-19 has taken away some work opportunities, it has permitted me to look for new challenges like being an instructor!
Béatrice – I started two seasons ago. I remember thinking about my future and wondering what I wanted to do with my life. I stumbled on the OBC website and realized that leading expeditions could be a career! Shortly after, I signed up for the instructor development course, and the rest is history!
Trent – I have been working with OBC as a Course Director since June of 2021. My passion for the outdoors and education brought me here.
Which expeditions are your favourite to lead?
Zoé – This summer, I led a Women of Courage course, and it was my favourite one yet. The power and connections made during this course were inspiring and beautiful.
Béatrice – In general, I have always loved long trips, when camp life becomes the new normal, and I can transfer the maximum amount of responsibility and skill to participants.
Trent – Canoe expeditions are very special to me. I believe travelling in a canoe can lead to so much growth—learning paddling skills, hauling gear across the portage trail, and navigating the waterways of Ontario are just the tip of the iceberg!
Is there a stigma you would like to break when it comes to going on expeditions?
Zoé – There are two that come to mind. First off, in Québec, being a guide is often considered a student’s job. The amount of effort that is necessary to become a competent facilitator is not well understood. I believe in fostering a culture of curiosity, problem-solving, self-growth and professionalism on every expedition I organize.
I also would like to break the belief that outdoors guides need to be invincible. Nobody is a hero, so I remind myself to be humble and open to learning from my co-workers and students. It is important to keep pushing my limits, but it is impossible to always be right or the strongest person present. By being humble and respectful, everyone gets an opportunity to shine and feel competent.
Béatrice – I want to break the stigma that the wilderness is miserable! Expeditions are not about outdoor survival; they are about outdoor living. After the first few days, there is a great comfort and genuine enjoyment from being on the land. I’ve baked some of my best cinnamon buns on expeditions!
Trent – The wilderness provides people with unexpected opportunities around every corner—opportunities that everyone should be afforded. I aim to do what I can to help others develop the skills and spark the passion required to reap the rewards of a wilderness expedition.
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
Zoé – This is a tough question for me to answer! I simply love being outdoors and have a lot of energy and curiosity, which leads to wanting to try everything! It also depends on who I am with and the season. With my partner I rock climb and ice climb, with my dad I go canyoneering and cross country skiing, I run with my mom, mountain bike with my brother and I love to go paddling with friends!
Béatrice – Please don’t make me chose between skiing and canoeing! I love them both!
Trent – That’s a tough one, but it has to be paddling, especially in the canoe! There is something unique about the versatility of the canoe, which allows you to explore wilderness areas that seem out of reach.