Coyote Mentors

GOS Adult Staff are some of the best role models we can find.  GOS staff are adults who are are nature connected and living examples of what we want to see in our young people.  They are teachers, parents, naturalists, hydro-geologists, forest school practitioners, activists, community organizers, musicians, artists, students, writers, hunters, storytellers, farmers, camp directors, social workers, personal support workers.

Here, the work of mentorship is to listen to stories.  To ask questions, and share in curiosity.  They keep an eye, and make sure that kids lost in wonder, or focus, are still safe.  They bring songs and stories that teach. 

Like Coyote - always around, but not front and center - these professionals are called Coyote Mentors.

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Chris Green

The Guelph Outdoor School started in recognition of a distinct need that I think that many of us recognize.  I dedicate my life to this work.

Leading up to my role at GOS, I earned bachelor's degree in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, and a post-graduate diploma in Education at University of Edinburgh.  I worked as a primary teacher [grade 5 french] with the Upper Grand board, and then as the french teacher with Trillium Waldorf for one year.  I’ve worked as a personal support worker with Trellis Mental Health (now part of CMHA), as staff with Kerry’s Place autism services, and with Special Friends in Hillsburgh, for adults with special needs.  I served as a volunteer for Immigrant Services, Council of Canadians, and Wellington Watchers.  I’ve taken teaching positions, with kids and adults, in Tanzania, Honduras, Scotland, and Germany.  
   
I’ve served as director and instructor at The Guelph Outdoor School since it's inception in 2012.  And I’m a Dad to two girls.

Meet all of our fabulous Coyote Mentors →

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Arlene Slocombe

Arlene dedicates herself to understanding what it is to be a caretaker. To walk with a light footprint, tending as we go, is a calling inspired by a life of rich nature connection. As a mother of two girls, Arlene is reminded daily of the importance in guiding and mentoring the natural curiosity and deep sense of empathy already existing in children. Arlene strives to continually increase her naturalist knowledge and has taken Earth Tracks Plant Apprenticeship course and their Tracking Apprenticeship course, and these have instilled a desire to pass these teachings along to young people.

Arlene has been a student of the 8 Shields model now for seven years, studying literature and participating in workshops whenever possible. Bringing in simple wild-crafting, folk herbal remedies, plant fibre crafts and bird language, Arlene hopes to share in the sense of AWE that we can all experience when we stop, listen, tend, and sit in gratitude of this majestic world.


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Bill "the bear" Clark

Since 2012 Bill has offered steady volunteer support, week in and week out, and has made the outdoor school a richer place since the beginning.  

His generous laughter warms the cedar grove.  His 45+ years experience as a hydro-geologist enriches our understanding of the landscape - the bones of the earth :)  

He is a tracker, a photographer, an orator, a fire tender, a craftsman and a grandfather.  He is fierce, and caring, he is fun-loving, an accomplished woodsman, and a role model for self-sufficiency and standing firm.

Thanks always to Bill for everything you do. 

Meet all of our fabulous Coyote Mentors →

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Carolyn Ross

Carolyn has created 2 of our most foundational, and popular programs: Goslings and Oaks and Acorns.  Her level of ownership, professionalism, and excellent communication make her a leader in nature education.  Carolyn earned a degree in outdoor experiential and ecological education in 2007.  From schoolyards to kayaking trips, Carolyn has a wealth of experience and loves being outside with kids.  

Carolyn's programs reflect her passions:  coyote mentorship, singing and music, naturalist and primitive skills, and leveraging children’s passions.  A mother since 2013, Carolyn is a dedicated leader in delivering heart-centered and effective programs.

Meet all of our fabulous Coyote Mentors →

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byron murray

byron grew up walking, biking and singing along the Etobicoke Creek. the saving grace of an alternative school kept him in Southern Ontario until he graduated high school and set out to spend the next four years exploring the continent making music, writing zines, and learning about the natural world. he is also a registered PSW and has worked in hospice and with seniors with dementia.

he has been working at the Guelph Outdoor School since November 2014. byron values all-day tracking missions, and wandering the Eramosa River valley just trying to find out what's on the other side of the hill. at GOS, byron is known for his infectious enthusiasm and deep love for the land.

he appreciates the magic and mystery of the wild world and is guided by a deep sense of wonder and curiosity. he is inspired by thunderstorms, anti-oppression, swing sets, punk music, and rivers.

 

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Sarah Delroy

Sarah has always been tumbling and trotting through the woods. During childhood summers in Nova Scotia her grandmother taught her where to find mushrooms and how to talk with loons. A good portion of high school was spent befriending several generations of a flock of chickadees and trying to sneak up on deer in the Ottawa Greenbelt. 

In 2008 Sarah went deeper into nature studies and lived at the Tracker school for six months. During this time, she cooked her food on a fire, slept on grass mats and gathered her water from a nearby spring, and  studyied wilderness survival skills. While there, she also met Eddie Starnater and Julie Martin, and completed a stone tools apprenticeship at their school - Practical Primitive. Sarah returned to Practical Primitive in 2013 for a second apprenticeship to study native plants and tracking skills.

Sarah is called to find daily connection with the natural world and to share this connection wherever she can. She is especially drawn to rites of passage such as the Vision Quest and working with girls and women in particular. Sarah has worked at the P.I.N.E. Project, presented at Headwaters, was part of the children’s staff at Art of Mentoring, and feels blessed to have landed in a role at The Guelph Outdoor School.

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Bree Leggett

Bree had passion for stewardship & outdoor tending wild places.  Her Fine Arts degree and natural gifts shows in her subtle interventions in our outdoor classroom, making kids time with us inviting, safe, and full of wonder.

Bree's relationship with GOS is longstanding, where she is known as the ‘forest fairy’, for her ongoing care.  Bree's daughter is also already a longtime outdoor schooler :)

Bree's dedication to this work is clear in the way she is always upping her game.  She completed and then supported our Coyote Mentorship yearlong series, completed the first year plant apprenticeship with Alexis Burnett at Earth Tracks Outdoor School, and also completed Wild Deer with our friends at P.I.N.E. 

 

 

Alexander Savatti

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Alexander grew up exploring natural spaces around his home in Toronto, spending his summers at overnight camp in Halliburton where he began to cultivate his outdoor skills and understanding of what it means to connect with nature. He began working as a back country canoe trip guide at the age of 16, and has been in the field ever since. He holds a Bachelors degree with a focus in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Guelph, where he’s currently working on a Masters degree, and researches sustainability and human connections to wild places.

His passions are many, from getting lost in Cedar groves and going for multi-day canoe trips in Algonquin Park, to snacking on wildflowers and watching the clouds roll in the sky high above.

Alex moved to Guelph for university, and quickly fell in love with the community has been with us for the past year. He came to us as a volunteer in February of 2017, was soon after brought on as a GOS Instructor & Coyote Mentor.  

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Alisha Arnold

As a child my father planted a seed within me that has grown into a deep sense of connection and gratitude for the natural world. Throughout my life I have always sought out comfort, connection and clarity in natural settings. When my daughter was born a desire to plant the same seed within her was awakened.

I have developed Earth Warrior Yoga & Turtle Island Yoga programs, both designed to help people connect with the earth, as well as, themselves.  I work as a Neighbourhood Support Worker with the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition. I know that deep nature connection and GOS programs helps ground and support the growth of healthy neighbourhoods everywhere.

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Matt Iles

Matthew brings with him 10 years of experience in wildlife
conservation and ecology, from the mossy valleys of Wales, via the
Amazon Rainforest, to Ontario's Carolinian Forests and remaining
marshlands, to the cedar grove.

Well versed in the bird life of Ontario, he is also in tune with the insects, reptiles, amphibians, and delights in foraging and tracking opportunities wherever they present.  

The Guelph Outdoor School brings to Matthew an opportunity
to turn his scientific background on its head, and use story-telling,
sit-spot, timeless wanderings and natural crafts to engage folks young
and old in how to conserve, tend and engage with the natural world.
Sustainable agriculture, permaculture and community also get him
excited.

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David Wilson

Davie was brought onto the GOS staff team in recognition of his commitment to reflective mentorship, his extensive experience in bush-craft and outdoor immersion. His ability to relate with individual participants, recognize gifts, and provide meaningful next steps for development is exemplary and inspiring. He is an accomplished wood carver, and his willingness to share his craft with young people enriches our program.

Davie brings a wealth of experience, colourful perspectives, and a commitment to a program experience that is at once kind, meaningful, gritty, authentic, and supportive.

Madeleine Carere 

Coming soon!

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Nick Fooks

Don't let his soft eyes and easy going smile fool you, the deep lessons he has learned and shares are humbling, mysterious, and strengthening. Nick Fooks integrates into his mentoring a level of compassion, courage, and of course, nature. He’s known on the interwebs of youtube as "Nature Nick" and to his local friends as a Nature Nerd. 

 Nick has professionally studied in the outdoors community since 2009, holding two titles as both an Ecosystem Management Technician and an Earth Steward. He brings a healing synergy to the professional school system and the wild unknowns of mother nature. With a strong love for his community and himself, you will be sure to find him smiling, singing, and laughing amongst the good company of students and teachers alike.


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Tory Greff

Coming soon.

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Danielle Gehl Hagel

Danielle is an artist, writer, naturalist and community herbalist. She’s lucky to live a stone’s throw from the Eramosa River and treasures time spent paddling its waters and roaming its banks in search of plants, animal tracks, and stories.

Danielle has spent years following the threads of justice, resilience and interconnection through work in the arts, social services, and now nature connection. She believes that cultivating right relationship with the land can remediate our relationships with ourselves and our communities.

She’s really excited about medicinal and native plant propagation, storytelling, language, and the intersection of mythology and ecology. She loves bogs, foxes, and elderberries.


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Devon Ridge

Friends say that Devon’s good sense, cheerful encouragement, and contagiously deep love of trees are her best mentoring qualities. She grew up in Hamilton as a book-loving city kid. As a teen, she fell into a job where the perk was free use of all camping and canoeing rental gear; hello the outdoors! This gift of access to wild spaces, combined with that lovely feeling of invincibility youth can hold, led to many an adventure and a healthy perspective on what matters. She holds an Arts and Sciences degree from the University of Guelph in Biology and English. This self-identified tree nerd is most thrilled by white oaks and bark texture. A real treat for Devon is a day spent slowing moving down the trail with friends, considering each leaf and sound, all while nibbling wild edibles. Her two most favourite experiences with kids programming were: when she ran an inner-city Kids Club which decided to grow a veggie garden (because worms!), and helping to create a program to introduce newcomer kids to their nearest waterfall. She pays close attention to healing lands, urban plants, and neighbouring wild creatures. Devon hopes to inspire deep listening, both to the land and to each other. These days she is gardening and being a momma to a rather feral toddler.