YOW & WOW Guides
Welcome to our awesome team of guides on the YOW & WOW programs.
YOW/WOW Program Manager: Anissa Watson
Anissa is a mother of four (yup - FOUR!!) with an incurable sense of adventure. She grew up in rural Alberta, and travelled around Canada before making Hazelton her home in 2006. Anissa has worked extensively with families and youth-at-risk in a support capacity, building resilience through focusing on strengths and facing challenges head on. Anissa has a passion for growing her own food which includes chickens and a whole lot of garlic. Self–sustainability and community volunteerism keep her busy. Anissa discovered her love for being on the river through volunteering with the Youth on Water program for a couple years before SWCC scooped her up to direct the entire program (Best decision we've ever made). Email Anissa about the YOW/WOW Programs.
Program Founder: Chris Gee
Born in Dakelh territory, near the Nechako River, Chris currently lives near the Skeena River in Terrace, BC where he is a university professor. He was one of the safety kayakers accompanying Ali on her epic swim; when asked if he thinks this undertaking is dangerous.? "Certainly, it is, but the risks of this swim pale in comparison to the dangers posed by Shell’s unrelenting drive to initiate an industrial experiment in the headwaters of the Skeena, Stikine, and Nass rivers. The time has arrived to pick a side. I have chosen to stand with those brave enough to heed the wisdom of elders". The value of life, water, fish and ultimately, our mother, Earth, must not be jeopardized for the sake of short term monetary gain for fat cats running multi-national corporations. Who’s side are you on?
Trip Leader: Brian Huntington
Brian has been digging for YOW life jackets in woodsheds throughout the Skeena since the program started in 2009. Brian, who is also SWCC's Associate Director (or Ass. Director for short) lives in Two-Mile with his partner, Sarah and rockstar cat, Showtime. He also grows a mean plum and supports all aspects of running a safe, well organized and kick-ass YOW/WOW program for the watershed's next generation of talented river guides.
Trip Leader: Zofia Smeja
Zofie hails from Ontario where she has guided many eastern whitewaters rivers including the Ottawa. She is passionate about sharing the magic of whitewater and strongly believes in the benefits of time spent outdoors: for our own health and for that of our planet. Forever keen on learning and creating, especially outside the classroom, Zofia is excited to be returning to the SWCC team for another summer on the water in 2017. At the end of a long day, you will find her returning to the river for a paddle in her kayak for some relaxation.
Senior Guide: Kolin Sutherland-Wilson
Kolin was our Junior Guide in 2016. He rocked that position so well he was trip leading a few trips by the end of the summer. This year, Kolin will be the Senior Guide for the Youth on Water Program. Kolin is a former participant of the YOW program and we love seeing youth move from participating in the program to leading it! He lives in Kispiox and brings a deep connection with the land to YOW, as well as mad river guiding skills and a healthy respect for the T-grip.