Scot Taylor from West Coast Adventure College

Scot Taylor from West Coast Adventure College

World Class Outdoor Education Program: West Coast Adventure College

Scot Taylor of West Coast Adventure College gives the inside scoop on how he came to start his Sooke outdoor school and what it entails.

Sooke’s World Class Outdoor Education Program:  West Coast Adventure College

If location is gold then West Coast Adventure College has struck the main vein.  Tucked in the breathtaking corner of Cooper’s Cove, Sooke’s very own accredited outdoor college has everything it needs right at its doorstep to adventure.  Co-owner and instructor, Scot Taylor also owns Rush Adventures and the Stickleback restaurant, literally has a 3-step commute to work.  He has been on the local scene for over a decade, partnered up with Phil Foster, building up a momentum and cohesiveness to their adventure college which has ripened into what it is today: a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore a career in nature tourism.

The highly sought-after spots at the college are capped at  a slim twenty-one students, which is split in half or thirds for a more intimate instructor-to-student ratio.  An emphasis on lower student limit is Scott’s insistence of quality over quantity.  Since it’s eleven-year inception, with nine accredited years, the college’s highly professional instructors and program provide a wide ecology of opportunities. From kayak guiding, to dog-sledding, whale watching and zip-lining, the college has had a vast array of successful students that have been hired around the globe.

Over an eight month period, six main courses and over 750 hours of learning, students are immersed in the wild and in a beautiful classroom setting.

Perilous situations that would make the hair stand on the back of anyone’s neck are a part of the training.  Without going into any of the details (they are kept a secret) emergency preparedness is a part of the training because the reality of any outdoor adventure college jives with the scout’s motto:  “Be prepared”: in mind, body and spirit.  “Safety is paramount”, says Taylor.

The vast array of territory covered is enough to make any outdoor enthusiast salivate:  sea kayaking, wilderness first aid, environmental stewardship, camping skills, survival skiing, marine emergency, sailing, radio operators and more.  Certificates recognized by industry standards assure that students come out of the college ready to enter the workforce in whatever direction their compass points toward.

The outdoor tourism industry pulls in over 14 billion dollars and is expected to double over the next ten years. Students at the college spent over $250 000 off-season, creating a lucrative micro-economy in the surrounding area.  Skills are transferable and many students are hired locally through B.C. Ferries, zip-line companies, and some of British Columbia’s biggest resorts.

The college works locally in School Board 61 with a program for grades 11 and 12.  He is hoping this will become a Sooke program as well.  As a high school student, Taylor’s absenteeism was noted by his school’s vice principal.  But he also noted his passion and it was this joy that he felt for the outdoors that kept him afloat and led to his first job as a kayak guide.  Working hard and devoutly at his first guide job led Taylor to realize a fundamental truth.  “There are no short term thoughts…only long-term vision.  I do not believe in ‘luck’ but in the creation of opportunities.  You just have to be ready for it and seize it when your hard work and devotion have opened up a juncture.” Taylor’s wish, which he hopes to leave to his children and the town of Sooke, is to be an example of a man of vision creating his own opportunities with hard work and dedication, giving back to the place he is proud to call home.

 

 

 

To find out more about West Coast Adventure College, check out his website at:  http://www.westcoastadventurecollege.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read