Western Educational Adventures

Meet the Team

A company's success depends on the people the company employs. Recognizing this, Western Educational Adventures selects the most caring, skilled and dedicated staff. Our founders are proud of the small team our company currently employs! Each member of the Western Educational Adventures team is highly qualified and certified. As a result, our programs are not just good, they are exceptional!

Landon Kimmel - Founder & Owner
General Manager

Landon grew up in Calgary AB and on Vancouver Island BC. He has always loved to play outdoors. As a young child Landon swam, skied, biked, hiked, camped, and participated in the occasional backcountry overnight trip with his father and sister. His mother was a preschool teacher, his father a geological engineer and business owner. From a very young age, with his parents as role models, Landon learned how to work with both kids and adults, run a business, and think analytically and practically.

Western Educational Adventures, Landon Kimmel, Owner

At age 12, Landon began attending summer camp where he participated in remote sea kayaking, canoeing, and backpacking trips on Vancouver Island. These wilderness experiences were the foundation for Western Educational Adventures. After participating in camp programs for many years, Landon became a camp staff member in 2008. He worked his way through almost every possible camp position: camp counsellor, backpacking trip leader, canoe trip leader, sea kayak trip leader, Leadership Instructor, backcountry trips programmer and unofficial acting Camp Manager. Over this period Landon interacted with thousands of children and adults. Concurrently, Landon acted as the assistant on numerous outdoor professional courses in Alberta and on Burgess Shale hikes in Yoho National Park for Geohistory Inc. Landon also worked with various other companies including Outward Bound.

During the winter months from 2010 to 2017 Landon worked as a ski instructor, ski racing coach, lifeguard and swim instructor in Nelson, Lake Louise, and Banff, working with clients from the age of 2 to 80. During the 2013-2014 ski season, Landon was ranked in the top 30 of 150 ski instructors, as well as being ranked the number one children's instructor.

In 2017 Landon decided to shift gears and obtain a formal education focusing on Biology, Marine Biology, and Education. This new focus complements his years of practical education and experience with adults, children, education, guiding, geomorphology and geology.

Landon holds certifications in the following areas;

  • • Sea Kayak Guide
  • • Advanced Wilderness First Aid
  • • Professional Drivers License
  • • Lifesaving Instructor
  • • Lifeguard
  • • Swim Instructor
  • • Ski Instructor
  • • Ski Racing Coach
  • • past Standard First Aid Instructor

The vision of Western Educational Adventures was born from Landon's varied outdoor experiences and a passion for both the outdoors and working with children. Landon’s vision was to create programming that not only allowed participants to experience the natural world but to facilitate the learning of outdoor and practical life skills, including leadership, by using the outdoors as a learning medium.


"I will always remember Landon for going above and beyond and connecting with each and every one of us. By the end of my time at camp, I thought of him as a friend, rather than just my camp counsellor. His knowledge of the outdoors paired with his genuine friendliness and fun personality enhanced my camp experience."

-Terahn Harrison


Western Educational Adventures Staff Pic
Al Kimmel - Founder
Marketing & Safety

A succesful business owner and a Professional Engineer, Geologist and Geoscientist, Al graduated from the Geotechnical Option of UBC’s Geological Engineering Program. Al is an avid outdoorsman and is currently the company's head of marketing and one of the company's business advisors.

Certifications/Qualifications

  • • P. Eng., P. Geol., P. Geo.
  • • Founder, Program Developer and Instructor – GeoHistory Inc.
  • • Alberta HT Conservation
  • • Past Parks Canada Burgess Shale Guide
  • • National Parks Interpretive Guide/Group Manager
  • • CSIA Ski Instructor
  • • Standard First Aid
  • • Professional Drivers License
A word from Al on safety:

"As a Professional Engineer, risk management and safety is always at the forefront of my endeavors, whether in the oilfield, on the road, on the ski hill, or in the backcountry on land, water or snow. I feel that, if learned at a young age, safety awareness and risk management skills will benefit an individual and their community for a lifetime. That’s why we take risk management and safety so seriously at Western Educational Adventures and why we strive to share our knowledge with all of our participants."


Western Educational Adventures Staff Pic
Kate Hives
Lead Kayak Instructor

Kate Hives is one of Canada’s top female paddlers with an amazing career as an Outdoor Educator, Kayak Instructor and Expedition Guide in commercial, adaptive and private settings. Raised on the Pacific shores of Vancouver Island, Kate has been constantly expanding her technical skills and sharing her infectious enthusiasm with both a spark of excitement and an eye for safety for all disciplines of paddle sports since the age of 12.

While at Lakehead University, Kate gathering experience paddling the whitewater rivers and expansive lakes of Northern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley. Aside from extensive West Coast kayaking experience, Kate has paddled in Patagonia, Chile, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. Her extensive travels have provided her with an opportunity to hone her instructional and coaching skills while working with youth and adults from around the world.

Certifications/Qualifications

  • • SKILS (Sea Kayaking Instruction and Leadership Skills Ltd.) Instructor and Guide
  • • Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC President, Level 3 Guide, Guide Trainer and Examiner
  • • Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 2 Instructor
  • • Canoe Kayak Canada Level 2 Whitewater Instructor
  • • Lakehead University Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program Graduate
  • • 80 hour Wilderness First Aid Training/CPR-C
A word from Kate on kayaking:

“The wilderness is the perfect venue for learning, it can allow us the space to become more ourselves. As we push our own edges, using the medium of the kayak on water, we are sometimes able to unearth those parts of ourselves that we had forgotten or perhaps, didn’t even know existed. Spending time in these environments has helped me to acknowledge my own resilience, my courage and my adaptability. Sharing in this potential is what I enjoy the most about wilderness adventure.”


Western Educational Adventures Staff Pic
Morgan Engel
Lead Ski Instructor

Morgan was born and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta and began downhill skiing at the age of 2. At the age of 15, he became a Level 1 CSIA ski instructor, gave up hockey and began downhill racing. In the mid 90’s, Morgan moved to Banff where he worked as a ski instructor at Lake Louise and Mount Norquay. In 2003, Morgan moved back to Medicine Hat and in 2005, become head coach of the Elkwater Downhill Race Club, a position he held for almost a decade. He returned to the Bow Valley in 2012, where he continues to instruct as a CSIA Level 4 instructor at Mount Norquay and runs various CSIA regional and national clinics throughout Alberta and elsewhere. In the off season, Morgan runs his own business, is an avid kayaker, mountain and road biker, rock climber, fisherman and camper.

Certifications/Qualifications

  • • CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance) Level 4 Ski Instructor
  • • CSCF (Canadian Ski Coaches Federation) Level 2 Alpine Race Coach
  • • CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors) Level 1 Snowboard Instructor
  • • CGI (Climbing Guide Instructor) Level 1 Instructor
  • • Professional Drivers License
A word from Morgan on skiing:

“Passing on my passion to others is what truly makes teaching rewarding. I am always thinking of ways to simplify the message so that there is more time actually skiing rather than standing on the side of a hill talking about skiing. I try to make myself open and available to all of my students after our time on snow and encourage them to reach out via email or phone no matter what time of the year or their location.”


Western Educational Adventures Staff Pic
Dale Bull
Logistics

After participating in all the wilderness trips her favourite Victoria summer camp had to offer over her childhood and teenage years, Dale decided to enroll in the camp’s leadership program. The following summer, Dale’s outdoor career began as a summer camp councillor. Thanks to her reliable nature and quick problem-solving skills, Dale was promoted to the position of team leader and then supervisor of new councillor staff. Dale recognized early in her career that time management, organization and safety were the keys to a fantastic group experience. After a short break to gain a certificate in Horticulture, to work as a parks naturalist and to run her own landscaping business, Dale is thrilled to get back to the wilderness with Western Educational Adventures.

Certifications/Qualifications

  • • 80 hour Wilderness First Aid Training/CPR-C
  • • Class 4 Driver's Licence
  • • Food Safe
  • • Bronze Cross
  • • Victoria Power Squadron, Boating Essentials Course
  • • Pleasure Craft Operator’s License
  • • Horticulture Technician Certificate - Camosun College
A word from Dale on planning and logistics:

“You don't need a lifetime of adventures under your belt to know that the unexpected is where the magic happens. However; having that much experience is what gives me the insight to stop that magic from going sour. Planning a great trip is important but being ready to deal with any bumps along the road is essential.”

Summer 2018 staff team bios and photos are currently being updated and will be posted mid March 2018