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 all this, 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.  Before GOS, and before being a Dad, 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 or two young girls, Arlene is reminded daily of the importance in guiding and mentoring the natural curiosity and deep sense of empathy already existing in children. Recently Arlene took the Earth Tracks Plant Apprenticeship Course, and it instilled a desire to pass these teachings along to young people.

Arlene has been a student of the 8 Shields model now for five 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, clear 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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Alicia Miecznikowski

Small town (southern Ontario) forest and fields,  streams, rivers and ponds… this environment is where I grew up as a child and still feel most at home and at ease. All seasons beckon with beauty, challenge and mystery. It’s pure pleasure to co- facilitate for and play with the Goslings at the Guelph Outdoor School.

I ran my first summer camp program 30 years ago through a Montessori school at Toronto’s High Park – with the same copy of Joseph Cornell’s Sharing Nature with Children in hand that I reference today. The basic human need for deeply connecting with nature is, I think, key to our survival – and beyond our timeless wanderings, I feel extremely fortunate to explore music, arts, and crafts in nature with kids of all ages to help in that connection process.

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Byron Murray

byron grew up walking and biking along the etobicoke creek singing loudly and mostly out of key. the saving grace of an alternative school kept him in southern ontario until he finally graduated. immediately after graduating, byron spent the next four years exploring the continent making music, writing zines, and learning about the natural world.  he is also a personal support worker in mental health and end of life care. he rarely types using capitals.

multi day meanderings just trying to find out what's on the other side of the hill are very important to byron. he appreciates the magic and mystery of the wild world, and strives to go further than the maps reveal, 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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Adrian Iacovino

Adrian grew up cycling through the willow banked ravines of Agincourt in Scarborough. He spent summers at his grand parents’ land in the Eastern Townships of QC, picking berries, mushroom hunting, and swimming in ponds.  With 10+ years of working with children and youth in camp settings, Adrian has been involved in nature connection communities since 2013.

Standing for inclusivity & self-worth, poetry & redefinition, empowering others to be themselves, and the connective powers of place-identity - Adrian brings a layered approach to his mentorship style.

Adrian is passionate about friction fire, song, wood carving, tree ID, and has a growing interest in tracking, and tanning hides. He is a wordsmith fascinated and inspired by language.  Adrian is fond of Porcupine, Mullen, Ash, and Kingfishers.

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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. 

 

 

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Savannah Stuart

As a child who was constantly frustrated with being told by teachers and day care instructors to stop climbing the trees and stay out of the mud, I feel so grateful and happy to be a part of a space that encourages this kind of adventure! 

I have  completing my degree in Environmental Science at Guelph. I have also completed a six month wilderness skills and awareness apprenticeship with the p.i.n.e project and the Kamana wilderness awareness program.

I have a wide range of past job experiences; from raft guiding in the Rockies to being a field technician for an small Southern Ontario NGO. I am very interested and passionate about ethno-ecology, conservation, and plant knowledge, wild crafting, and I love music.

Meet all of our fabulous Coyote Mentors →

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Alexander Savatti

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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Jeremy Allen

Facilitator & Resident Fungus Enthusiast, Currently Infiltrating The Public School System.

Since childhood, Jeremy has divided his time between southern Ontario and the Madawaska Valley. Raised by parents who knew it was important, Jeremy was immersed in wild spaces from the start.  Jeremy earned a  Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Guelph, and earned a Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior). Over the past decade, Jeremy has worked as a camp counselor and outdoor educator, and has developed a strong affinity for teaching in the most dynamic of classrooms: the outdoors. He believes that we are all at our best when we welcome nature into our daily lives.

Jeremy's passions include, but are not limited to: fungi, firekeeping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, tracking, bushcraft, wild edibles, photography, climbing, writing, reading, and learning as much as possible about all things natural. He describes the Guelph Outdoor School as the place where he can do his three favourite things - climb trees, eat wild food, and walk barefoot - all at the same time!

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Jeanna Rex

My interest in engaging with children in nature has grown from my experience as a parent of two children. I have a Masters of Education and am a certified teacher.  I have completed the training as a Forest School Practitioner and am currently taking courses toward full certification (to be completed June 2016). I am also training with the Kamana Naturalist Program (Level 1) with the Wilderness Awareness Institute.

I integrate the strategies of Coyote mentorship and the philosophy of the 8 Shields with the teaching approaches of the Forest School in my work as an Outdoor School leader. These inquiry- and place-based approaches to education combined with the rich learning experiences of the outdoors makes me a more well-rounded forest school practitioner.  My approach to education is inspired by the questions the children I work with ask, and I am passionate about fostering their curiosity and being a witness as well as a participant in these learning experiences.

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Matthew Greenberg

I was lucky enough to have grown up running wild on the shores of Lake Huron and banks of the lovely Speed River. I enjoy exploring, eating wild things, experiencing the change of seasons and using my hands! Introduced to the Guelph Outdoor School during a Co-op position, it was love at first site/smell/conversation! I was welcomed into the GOS community and have left as little as possible sense then! This summer I attended the Art of Mentoring (Ring One) and got my first bow drill coal with a bunch of wonderful young people. Heavily into questioning, timelessness and agriculture. 

Matthew was the second Guelph Outdoor School high school co-op student.  His eye for detail and taking good care of a camp space caught our attention right away.  Actually helpful!  Who knew?  His gentle demeanor and dedication to bush craft, self-sufficiency, and community building is inspiring, and we always hire as much Greenberg as we can :) 

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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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James Nowak

James is a visiting instructor, story teller & map maker. His connection to nature is rooted in his childhood explorations of the West Credit River tributaries. At 14, James began an apprenticeship to a local traditional woodworker who worked exclusively in reclaimed lumber. As well as mentoring him in old world craftsmanship, this man told James stories of the ancient old-growth forests of southern Ontario and what had happened to them in the last few hundred years, instilling a deeply rooted sense of responsibility to the living earth.

James has worked with grassroots social justice and environmental groups, for the Ministry of Natural Resources, and spent many summers on organic farms. Since 2010 he has focused on connecting directly to nature by learning wilderness skills and nature awareness. He’s instructed at primitive skills gatherings, designed and facilitated outdoor youth programs, and taught nature awareness and survival skills classes for adults. He studyied Old English at the University of Toronto, and now lives in Golden Lake at the Orphan Wisdom School.