Join us in learning about Mr. Clayton Webb, who has just rejoined the GNS community. He tells us about his vision for Outdoor Education at GNS, and what he likes about living in Victoria.
Why did you want to join the GNS Community?
I have been involved with GNS in the past, enjoyed the culture so it was an exciting opportunity to come back. This time, to be able to share outdoor recreation opportunities and Outdoor Education with the students, it’s a passion of mine—so, I’m excited to come back and do that.
What were you doing prior to joining GNS?
I was working with a non-profit organization called Power To Be. I had a variety of roles there within the wilderness school program, the adaptive recreation program, and most recently I was the Head of Risk Management and Staff Training for the outdoor program. We ran trips all over the island from our site at Prospect Lake all the way to Cape Scott at the Northern tip of the island. I have experience in leading a large variety of outdoor trips from paddling to hiking. I also had the unique opportunity to develop the course for our Power To Play adventure race fundraiser for a few years.
What do you like about Outdoor Education?
I like the unknown, so you always have ‘what’s going to be around the next corner?’ You never know what you’re going to see, whether it’s an encounter or experience with an animal, or what the weather is going to give you. It’s always different and every day is exciting, so it keeps it fresh. It provides you an opportunity to challenge yourself, learn to work effectively as a team and, most importantly, to have fun.
What’s your vision for Outdoor Education at GNS?
My vision is to grow the existing program and really help refine a world-class program here. Obviously, the facilities and the history of the program really lead to that. We have the Junior School Campus with a garage door that rolls up and you’re looking right at the beach where you can launch kayaks. From right there on the campus you can head out for a day paddle or even an overnight expedition. It is a pretty amazing opportunity that most people in the world don’t have.
What do you like about living and working in Victoria?
There is easy access to everything. There is the ocean, mountains, forests and tons of different trails. Just the access to the outdoors is huge, but you also have the benefits of being in a city—but not a big city.
What are some of your interests?
Probably no surprise but I love all outdoor activities. I love paddling, so I like sea kayaks and canoes. I love trail running, especially long distances. I love mountaineering, rock climbing, riding bikes, surfing—I’m into most things that get you out into nature and challenge yourself.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Most people, especially at GNS, don’t know that I once biked from Victoria to Tijuana, Mexico with a surfboard. We had bike trailers, with two rubbermaid bins to hold camping gear and wetsuits, then a surfboard on top. We took the Coho ferry to Port Angeles, and just followed the coast as close as we could all the way down cycling, surfing and camping as we went. Then when we were done we loaded all our gear on the train in San Diego and headed back up the coast.