1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader:
I became a Hike Leader for the THCC Sunday carpool group 6 years ago. Last year April in order to become a better Hike Leader and to become certified to lead for the TBTC I did the 2-day Hike Leader training course and have since completed all my requirements. The question of why become a hike leader was put to us at the start of our training course. When it was my turn I gave an altruistic reply of wanting to motivate and inspire others but right after me, Andrew Wood, one of the trainers, gave what I feel is the best and truest answer to that question and one that applies to all of us. He said, 'I became a Hike Leader to expand my skill set and comfort zone.' In other words by leaving our comfort zone, trying and learning new things we overcome our fears and consequently grow as individuals. It is the fruition of this ongoing process that will inspire others and impact the world around us for the better.
2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail:
The Peninsula for its ruggedness and beautiful views of Georgian Bay.
3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area:
Terra Cotta through to Silver Creek and Scotsdale Farm. Terra Cotta was where I began hiking as a young lad with my father. It was where I really started to use my senses and where I discovered my love of nature and the outdoors.
4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC:
I feel that the BTC has worthy goals, their directives are sound and they always put the safety of participants first. The BTC has a long tradition of volunteering and stewardship by many who have gone before us. It's important to carry on their good work of preserving the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment for future generations. As Hike Leader for TBTC I can offer hikers new and challenging experiences while allowing them to benefit from the beauty and serenity of nature. And by offering interesting and attractive hikes I can interest non-members to join the BTC. Membership support is what drives the BTC work to protect what is our heritage.
5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail:
It frees them from the bonds of technology and electronic devices and allows them to breathe fresh air, rejuvenate themselves physically and spiritually.
6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list:
The hikes that I am endeavoring to introduce are new or ones that have not been done in some time. When I take hikers on an urban hike I try to include a natural area where they can be inspired and feel like they are in the country. Staples of my hikes are bodies of water, streams, rivers, ponds and/or lakes. Water has a soothing effect on our souls.
I also like to bring back older hikes and to honour and include the leaders who use to lead them. My own personal style is to lead from the middle of the pack and to give directives so having a lapsed or unaccredited leader at the front lends well to this. I have faith that people will follow my directives and it is both empowering to those who like to be at the front and a new and enjoyable experience for others.
The photo of me was taken at Terra Cotta several years ago on a TBTC interpretive hike.