Meet your trip guide Chris (Goose) Kelly
Being able to take people outside
- outside their comfort zone -
let them experience the magic for themselves is what I live for. - CK
Knowing a bit about each other can really accelerate the trip team performance. Here's a bit about your trip leader, Chris (Goose) Kelly (below: standing in water with his Driftwood Paddle trip)
I met Chris when he was a Trip Guide and Group Facilitator for Trails Youth Initiatives. I immediately notice his love of people in the glowing complements he wrote about each teen he worked with. I think you will discover that Chris has a strong "People Person" personality. Here's Chris's response to some questions I asked about his past and present trip experiences:
Childhood in the wilderness
I never really had an ah-ha moment as a child when it came to my love for nature.
From a young age, I was so immersed in it that I did not know anything different. Without knowing it, I was learning how to navigate and survive in the backcountry. Which is why I consider myself wild. Does a lion appreciate the Sahara if it does not know the confines and routine of a zoo?
Chris in the outdoors
The second part of my answer visits the 25-year-old Chris. I was freshly back from two and a half years of travel abroad. Once home I hardly unpacked and without even really thinking about I headed north to the family property, located on the same lake our Base Camp for Driftwood Paddle sits. Throughout that first summer back I was able to recognize my connection and reverence for the outdoors; especially my area of Algonquin. For me now the outdoors is a relationship that I not only tend to but prioritize each and every day.
I also paddled a dugout canoe for transportation while living in the Solomon Islands. Some nights we’d go out as a group and spearfish. I really enjoyed being new to the area and learning from the locals their way of life.
Magic of Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park is home to so many impressive animals. My personal favourite is the Moose! Big, gentle, powerful, and photogenic. I have had some incredible encounters on foot, by canoe, and by bicycle. Their main food source throughout the paddling season is water flora so you can just imagine how amazing it is to watch them feed riverside.
One of my favourite canoe trips that I have guided was a group from a Youth shelter located downtown Toronto. My Brother and I guided the trip early on in our career. Everyone was out of their comfort zone including us. The trip was full of firsts and a wild mix of weather. We came together as a team and we all left feeling inspired.
Best Camp Grub in Algonquin!
I prefer to keep my Camp Grub menu secret and ready to surprise but I will share one recipe since you asked politely haha. A lot of my best recipes have come on personal adventures, from moments of inspiration while looking at what ingredients I had left. Sometimes you get really lucky. This recipe is a staple on most of our trips.
Deluxe Portage Wraps (Wraps, Spinach, Cucumber, Peppers, Spicy hummus, Mango, Summer sausage OR Dehydrated beans)
Experience the magic
The more time I spend in nature the more I notice the small things like the sound of little springs while paddling the shoreline or the intricate detail that makes up a leaf. The outdoors has also opened my senses to the magnitude of benefits it provides. I see how it holds so much space and wisdom for us all. I feel very fortunate to call the outdoors both my playground and my office. Like any good thing it comes with its challenges but overcoming those challenges only makes me more competent and being out here all the more rewarding.
Being able to take people outside - their comfort zone - and let them experience the magic for themselves is what I live for. For me, the sharing of experiences, the excitement of adventure, all resemble the open road. An era, and feeling I wish to hold on to.