Logistics for weekly programs
A welcome package for parents & caregivers

Hello and Congratulations!
We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to enroll your child in GOS weekly programs for kids.

We consider our programs to be amongst the most effective, preventative, and non-clinical avenues to overall well-being and healthy childhood development, on all the metrics. We are delivering on some sorely needed changes in the world, and it starts with investing in the young people in our care: supporting them in becoming connected to themselves and others, compassionate and service-oriented, happy, balanced, and resilient.

We’d like to acknowledge you for your commitment to that end, for your trust and support.

Here below are a few simple details to keep things running smoothly, and ensure a great experience for all involved.

See you out there :)

Chris Green, Program Director, GOS.

 

Location

All G.O.S. programs feature parking @ 733 Stone Rd East. This is our drop-off and pick-up point.

733 is a public parking lot, and the opening to the Barber Scout Camp - do not proceed through the scout camp gate - G OS instructors meet with participants at the RED dot, and programs run at the BLUE dot.


Drop - Off / Start time is listed on your confirmation of registration.

GOS instructors wait for, and gather, participants for up to 15 minutes after start time. If you arrive later than 15 minutes past, and / or no instructors are present, please escort your child into our program area (across bridge, indicated by blue dot above).

If this is not possible, make arrangements for a meet-up with an instructor by phone.

It is essential to make direct contact with a GOS instructor before leaving your child at a program.

Pick-Up

Please do your best to arrive punctually at your pick-up time. Participants have already had a thrilling and exhausting experience, and instructors have other commitments. We get that life happens, and trust that parents will commit to arriving on-time, and communicate expected late arrivals with lead staff, by call or text.

Instructors can accommodate late drop-offs or early pick-ups, and parents should also note that our programs are structured with an intentional progression throughout the day - where a unified start and good closure together, is ideal.

 Cross the old bridge from the parking lot to our forest location for late drop-offs & early pick-ups.  Contact the lead instructor for your program for support if you are not able to bring your child in.

Cross the old bridge from the parking lot to our forest location for late drop-offs & early pick-ups.

Contact the lead instructor for your program for support if you are not able to bring your child in.


Communicating with GOS Program Instructors

Every GOS program has lead instructors in charge of making and receiving phone calls regarding:

late drop-off / early pick-up • unexpected changes & absences, emergencies • participant development

 GOS instructors are committed maximizing the effect of our programs by working with parents, caregivers, and organizations, as and when needed.

GOS instructors are committed maximizing the effect of our programs by working with parents, caregivers, and organizations, as and when needed.

Program Lead Instructor & Staff Listing

Monday Cedar Grove Carolyn Ross: 519-763-4845

Tuesday Oaks & Acorns Arlene Slocombe: 519-994-0270

Tuesday Tending The Wild Arlene Slocombe: 519-994-0270

Tuesday Goslings Full Day Alicia M: 519-731-3158

Wednesday Foxes Alicia M: 519-731-3158

Wednesday Wolves Chris Green: 519-400-9507 | Adrian Iacovino: 438-939-3453

Thursday Foxes & Wolves Alex Savatti: 416-835-7432 | Sarah Delroy: 519-760-5736

Friday Goslings Carolyn Ross: 519-736-4845

Saturday Lynx Alicia M: 519-731-3158 | Sarah Delroy: 519-760-5736

Saturday Skunks Chris Green: 519-400-9507 | Adrian Iacovino: 438-939-3453


Gear: Clothing & Tools

Clothing

Please equip your child for a full day in the outdoors, with eye to all weather possibilities for the day. This means:

  • ●  providing the child in your care with layers, to anticipate changing temperatures and levels of activity.

  • ●  providing a wool base layer in cold weather, which stays warm even when wet, and is breathable.

  • ●  robust, waterproof or resistant footwear, with a good tread. No bare feet, regrettably.

  • ●  Rain gear / shells as needed.

  • ●  An extra pair of socks

  • ●  Sun protection (brimmed hat)

  • ●  Long pants to protect against scratches, nettle, poison ivy, etc.

  • ●  A backpack

Tools

Our programs allow that some participants (7 yrs +) can bring tools, such a knife or fire making gear. These items are not required, though for older groups, they are encouraged :)

Knife Guidelines:

  • -  Blade approx. as long as the users hand is wide.

  • -  Either fixed blade (non-folding & with sheath) or Folding & Locking

  • -  Knife use requires respecting our agreements, and instructors reserve the right to take

    possession of a knife for the remainder of a day in response to poor / dangerous use.

  • -  GOS has kids’ Mora Knives with are great for bushcraft, colourful, and age appropriate.

Food & Water

Containers: Please make the best effort possible to keep disposable wrappers to a minimum. We ask that participants enjoy a boomerang lunch (everything that comes in, goes out again), and ideally pack a litterless lunch (tupperware and reusable containers only)

Food: Nature immersion programs require a lot from participants. Our sessions can be physically and intellectually demanding, run for a half or full day in all weather and in all seasons. As such, we ask that participants enjoy healthy, whole foods for snacks and lunch: high protein, fatty items are great. Sugary treats have no place in programs and should be limited to apples, bananas, smoothies, etc. Nuts are acceptable unless otherwise indicated by your program lead.

Water: There is no drinking water source on site. Pack your child with enough water for the full duration of the session, which can be physically active. Imagine that you are preparing for a rigorous daylong hike where no refills are available. Bring water in a durable, refillable container.

We ask that participants not be sent with one-time use, disposable plastic water bottles.


Supporting The Journey

We want to support you in making the most of your enrollment at Guelph Outdoor School: here are some of ways you can magnify, and build on, the benefits of GOS programs for kids.

First: you are your child’s most central role model. When you put the phone down, get away from the computer, and go outside for some real-life adventures, you’ll be setting the right tone!

  • ●  Art of Questioning. S how interest in what your child is experiencing - but watch out for the tired line: “how was your day”. Instead, go for some specifics.

    • ○  Did you happen to see any tracks in the woods?

    • ○  Did you see an act of kindness today?

    • ○  What kind of birds live in the forest? What do they sound like?

    • ○  I heard there is a mink in that river - have you seen it?

      For more on this, consider borrowing or buying a copy of our beloved manual, The Coyote’s Guide, or getting involved in our adult programs (see below!)

  • ●  Level Up. Guelph Outdoor School offers great options for parents and adults. We have skills workshops, moonschool (outdoor school for adults, once a month), and a year long program on Outdoor Immersion Mentorship called Coyote Series, w hich starts every January.

    ● Connect with dedicated mentors. When you enrolled the child in your care, you became part of a community of adults taking responsibility for the health, growth, and well-being of your child and others. While pick-up time is reserved for sharing quick details of the day, our lead instructors and program director recognize that our role in not limited to our time in the woods with kids, and extends to mutually supportive relationships and conversations with parents, caregivers and organizations. You are welcome to set up a call with lead staff or program director for support, or an opportunity to share questions, feedback, comments, etc.

  • See you out there :)