Charles Ruechel – Director and Lead Instructor

Growing up on his family’s organic cattle and sheep ranch in Lumby, BC and studying agricultural science at the University of Alberta, Charles has a special connection and love for animals, plants, and all things nature!  During the 10 years he co-managed Vale Farms, his family’s ranching and direct-marketing business , he also spent a great deal of time traveling and working abroad, adventuring in the wilderness, and attending many personal-development courses as part of his passion of connecting people to themselves and to the natural environment.  His interests in personal development and leadership skills led him to take training and teach courses in communication, facilitation, and life-coaching with a variety of sources including Landmark Education, Ranch Management Consultants Inc., and Karen McMullen Coaching.

In 2010, Charles made the move to begin working in the field of outdoor leadership and became an instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Wyoming – leading young adults on 30-day river and mountain adventures in the Yukon and Texas.
With his unusual background and diverse skill set, Charles now enjoys creating new programs that share his unique perspective on nature and wilderness travel.  He includes local training clinics in his programs that prepare his clients for longer wilderness trips, hiking and/or canoeing in gorgeous and remote places.  All of his programs are more than just adventures – they are designed to connect people to nature, teach life-long skills, and provide an atmosphere for reflection and development.

Charles lives on an orchard near Vernon BC with his wife, Leanne, and their two daughters, Xenia (4) and Leo (1).

Certifications and related experience:

  • National Outdoor Leadership School Instructor (NOLS)
  • Whitewater Canoe and Backpacking Instructor – NOLS Yukon
  • Swift-water Rescue – NOLS Yukon
  • Moving Water Tandem Advanced Canoeing Skills Certification – Paddle Canada
  • Moving Water Solo Advanced Canoeing Skills Certification – Paddle Canada
  • Moving Water Solo Intermediate Canoeing Instructor Certification – Paddle Canada
  • Moving Water Tandem Intermediate Instructor Certification – Paddle Canada
  • Big Canoe River Skipper Certification- Paddle Canada
  • Over 6000 km of river travel experience
  • Leave-No-Trace Master Educator
  • 90-hr wilderness first aid
  • CPR Level HCP
  • Canadian Avalanche Association – Avalanche Operations Level I
  • 10 years experience in first aid and as an instructor with the Canadian Ski Patrol
  • Graduate of Landmark Education’s Curriculum for Living
  • Graduate of Karen McMullen Life Coaching – Discover Your Genius programs

Charles and Leanne with their two daughters, Xenia (4) and Leo (1) canoeing in the Broken Group Islands.








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