My name is Charlotte Gruneau, and I attended West Coast Adventure College from 2017 to 2018. When I think about my time at WAC and what…
We caught up with Cedric Torres who graduated WAC in 2019 to see where the program has taken him. Since graduating, Cedric has been a kayak guide at Ocean River Sports, an Eco Guardian at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and a sailing instructor at Espaimar in Barcelona.
There is always something to learn on the water and guiding requires you to really be present and in the moment. Even if you do the same routes over and over again, you always get to see it for the first time through your clients. It makes it hard to forget what a beautiful place I get to work everyday. It is really rewarding to create and share that experience with others. Each tour is an opportunity for people to have a great time, have fun and appreciate the natural world.
Choosing this path is not easy. One of the biggest challenges is the amount of mental energy you have to give each day. You need a high level of energy for the clients and deliver it in an effective way. It is really important to be able to read the audience and adjust that energy level to be appropriate for your group.
You also need the energy and focus for making countless decisions before and during the tour.
Part of my mental preparation to get in the guiding mindset is visualizing the tour in my head. The tour prep of checking the weather, currents, tides is also really important for that process.
There have been a lot of lessons I have used from the program. Probably the most valuable was our training with group management. At the time, I didn’t expect or think that it was so important but I quickly realized that it was absolutely critical to being a guide.
Also, building a solid foundation with weather systems, tides and currents has given me the confidence and skill to plan my tours and manage my group in the field.
A really enjoyable part of the program was meeting and learning with my peers. I had a great cohort that I was proud to be part of.
When I first started guiding, I underestimated how important it was for me to enjoy what I was doing. I was so focused on the technical planning and safety that sometimes I forgot that guiding can be really fun. As I became more comfortable and confident with my groups, I started to really enjoy what I was doing. If you are having more fun than the clients, you know it will translate into a good tour.
During your program, be conscious of what you are enjoying, not just what you are the best at. Guiding is a lifestyle so it’s important to also take a path that is fun.
As I gain experience, I am enjoying guiding more and more. I realize it has a huge impact on others. You can really influence someone’s trip, day, or even life for the better. And people will remember you when you do a good job which makes it really rewarding.