Sam McKoy on coming to understand your own privilege and starting to give back

Guiding and introducing new people to the outdoors by Sam McKoy

Guest post by Sam Mckoy.

This is Genevieve from a club alpine climbing course I taught this last summer..
I love being able to bring people to the mountains and help them discover new abilities and explore new places. Passing on skills allows me to pass on the torch. Despite a job that would allow me to ask for compensation for such outdoor education, I’ve spent a lot of volunteer time instructing. I mention this because I feel that over more recent years I’ve started to understand my privilege and what that means. I’m a 6’4” blond white male with decently good looks. I grew up in Whistler/Pemberton in nothing especially fancy but very comfortable with two loving parents. Many opportunities have come to me left right and center and I used to whine that all the scholarships for school were primarily for women, indigenous people, single parents, etc. and that I didn’t fit the bill very often. I realize now that I’m not a minority group and there are many who aren’t afforded the same privilege and need a leg up to be provided a fighting chance.
I think recognizing such privilege is important because I know that it has allowed me to step back and realize how lucky I am. Being grateful does instill happiness in some ways. And now I try to do what I can to give back. It feels right. Whether it’s supporting female leaders in the (male dominated) backcountry world or volunteering my time to those who may not be able to afford a multi-hundred dollar outdoor course, I hope I can continue to give back.
#samsquatch #guestgrammer



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