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Meet OBC’s first Youth Council participants!

We’re delighted to introduce you to the fantastic OBC alumni who make up the very first OBC Youth Council. It was not easy to select these eight passionate individuals: We were overwhelmed (in the best way possible!) by the number of talented and inspiring young people who applied. This is a true testament to the passion and potential of youth in Canada!

A huge thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in joining the Youth Council. Your applications were all so impressive – we enjoyed getting to know you better and wish we could have chosen everyone!

Get to know our Youth Council members:

Jana Karan (Toronto, ON)

OBC experience: 2023 14 day Sea Kayaking (west coast)

I’m 16 and love being outside and in nature as much as possible! My family used to own a farm where I spent a lot of time in nature raising bees, gardening, and raising and tagging monarch butterflies in the summer. In elementary school, I joined the Pine Project, which introduced me to outdoor education and sparked my love for all it has to offer! I love to try new hobbies and activities, such as pottery and painting, and regularly participate in sports, such as running and swimming. I love doing all these events outdoors and feel really happy in nature! I also love spending time with friends doing fun activities, hobbies, sports and volunteering! By venturing into new environments, I get to meet like-minded people and grow as a person overall.

I’m very excited to be a part of the OBC Youth Council because I believe this is a great opportunity for positive change and action! I would love to be part of a team that I can learn from and draw truly valuable knowledge, skills and experiences. I believe that OBC offers a rare opportunity to connect with yourself, nature, and others through unique experiences, and I would love to contribute to an organization that has already given me so much!

Dev Katyal (Ottawa, ON)

OBC experience: One-week introduction to canoeing in Ontario

My name is Dev Katyal and I’m a Grade 12 student from Ottawa. Some of my passions are environmental conservation, app development, and public speaking. I also love playing sports like basketball and running cross country. A few cool facts about me are that I have been a Royal Canadian Air Cadet for over 4 years and that I recently published my own app called MarineMatch to help counter overfishing. I’m excited to join the OBC Youth Council to promote an active lifestyle among youth in Canada, and hope to use my unique life experiences to cultivate a youth-led community where youth can create the change they want to see in education. Gaining skills such as teamwork, public speaking, and task management are also super rewarding outcomes, and I hope to improve the lives of youth across Canada.

Sophia Martins (Toronto, ON)

OBC experience: Sea kayaking near Vancouver Island in 2022 and whitewater canoeing in Algonquin Park in 2023 / 2021 Langara College (school)

I love the outdoors! Every chance I get, I’m outside doing things like hiking, swimming, canoeing and more. One of the highlights of my OBC trips was paddling near Read Island, BC, where I was only a paddle length away from a grey whale while being watched by a group of seals!

I’m passionate about volunteering and getting others to learn new skills and overcome personal challenges, such as my work with Hockey Heroes. I also love working as a swim instructor at Variety Village in Toronto, where I live, and enjoy arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, origami and crocheting.

I look forward to meeting new friends from across Canada in the Outward Bound Youth Council and working together as a team to share our love of the outdoors with other young people who feel the same way, but also with people who haven’t had the chance yet to experience the outdoors while building their confidence and leadership skills.

Mace Carnahan (Vancouver, BC)

OBC experience: 2021 West Coast Sea Kayaking, 2022 21 day sea kayaking

My name is Mace Carnahan, I’m 17 years old and I’m in Grade 12. I enjoy participating in and coaching for triathlons. I also enjoy hiking, camping and traveling. I’ve written two published short stories and am starting my studies at UBC next year.
I look forward to serving on the council to help promote the great work of Outward Bound Canada and hopefully inspire more youth to have the same life-changing experiences I’ve had.

Niki Quintana (Toronto, ON)

OBC experience: 2021 Passages for Girls, 2022 Whitewater canoeing, 2024 registered for Leading with Confidence

I’m a Grade 11 student who enjoys canoeing, hiking, art, and musical theatre. I love being outdoors and was a Girl Guide at a summer camp growing up. That’s where I first fell in love with canoeing and the outdoors. I also grew up swimming and had to be dragged out of the water before I decided to leave. I’m interested in a career in marine biology and wildlife conservation. I’ve always loved animals and had a specific obsession with penguins as a child, but OBC introduced me to a whole new realm of wildlife protection. It was outdoors with OBC that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life outdoors, working to protect wildlife and the environment. On my first expedition, I fell in love with the outdoors, the atmosphere and the people. The community was very welcoming and I connected with people on a whole new level. I especially enjoyed my Solo and the opportunity to disconnect from the world and grow in nature. On my second trip, I got to experience whitewater for the first time and found it to be the most fun I’ve ever had on a trip. I loved canoeing in rapids.

Both of my OBC experiences were funded by generous donors and supporters. They changed my life and I got to know a part of myself that I never would have imagined otherwise. As a member of the Youth Council, I want to strive for inclusion for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. I believe that students who feel they cannot participate in outdoor education due to lack of money and resources should be included in Outward Bound initiatives. Environmental conservation and sustainability are everyone’s responsibility. On the Youth Council, I’d like to help expand initiatives and advertising on social media. As an Advertisement Representative at my high school’s student council, I enjoy doing publicity and spreading awareness through social media. I look forward to working with a team of like-minded youth and participating in public speaking, outdoor activities and initiatives. I’m super happy and grateful to be a part of such an amazing group and look forward to being a part of the OBC community!

Koshin Bathmax (Toronto, ON)

OBC experience: 2022 Flatwater canoeing

Hi there, I’m Koshin, a grade 10 student at Earl Haig Secondary School in Toronto.

My love for the planet began during my Outward Bound Canada trip in July-August 2022, where I paddled the lakes and rivers of Algonquin Park. I created lifelong memories and experienced the beauty of Ontario’s wilderness in a way I hadn’t known before the trip. Since then, I’ve continued to find opportunities to build my skills in leadership, sustainability and social change – from being a student council member to joining the Toronto Youth Environmental Council as an executive.

I also strongly believe in utilizing different art forms for social change. I attended a specialized arts school for 5 years and was inspired by how dance, dramatic arts, film, and visual arts can tell a story and move people. In my spare time I love to search for flights for my next travels, read historical fiction and play my guitar. I’m currently looking to get involved in more film projects and hope to grow and showcase my skills on the OBC Youth Council. I’m thrilled to be a part of the OBC Youth Council this year and can’t wait to see what I accomplish with everyone else in the following months!

Amelia Tanguay (Fort Frances, ON)

OBC experience: 2023 14-day Flatwater canoeing

Zhaawinobinesiikwe nindigoo
Idash Amelia Tanguay nindizhinakaaz zhaganashiimong
Wiin nindazhi-nisidawenaagoo
Makwa nindoodem
Nigigoonsiminikaaning nindoonjibaa
Fort Frances nindaa.
Fort Highschool igaade dezhi-kikoo’imaagoowaan.
Shi-ningodwaaswi nindaso-biboonagiz
Niminwendaan Ji-aabajitooyaan gidinwewininaan

My spirit name is Zhaawinobinesiikwe
And my English name is Amelia Tanguay
My pronouns are She/her
My clan is bear
My community is Nigigoonsiminikaaning
I live in Fort Frances
Fort France High School is the school I go to
I am 16 winters old/years
I am happy when I use my language 

I’m thrilled to have the chance to share the excitement and adventure of Outward Bound. I’m eager to use my artistic and creative talents in this opportunity, share my story and inspire other young people of the possibilities and rewards of outward-bound journeys. As a Grade 10 student, I’m exploring the path of becoming a sports and nature photographer, fueled by my passion for the natural world and for playing and watching sports.

Cole Darling (Toronto, ON)

OBC experience: 2023 14-day backpacking (Rockies), 2024 Whitewater Canoeing (Rockies)

Hi, my name is Cole Darling. I live in Toronto with my parents, my little brother, and my dog Maggie. I am in grade 10 and attend a French first language school. In my spare time I love reading, playing the drums, riding my bike, and talking my dog for walks. In the summer I play baseball, and in the winter, I compete in ski cross. At school, I am part of the Debate Club and the Wind Instrument Orchestra. 

I’m very passionate about OBC after my experience in Alberta last summer. I liked it so much that I signed again for another program this summer! I feel it is impossible for teens attending OBC not to have a positive experience and becoming a better version of themselves after. I’m looking forward to being part of this council to see how we can improve and better promote Outward Bound in Canada!