Ontario Wilderness Leadership Symposium (OWLS) Goes Virtual!
The Ontario Wilderness Leadership Symposium (aka OWLS) is an annual COEO event organized to support the development of emerging wilderness trip leaders in Ontario. This year, OWLS has transitioned to a virtual format and will be focused on the themes of anti-racism, anti-colonialism and anti-oppression in wilderness leadership.
OWLS 2021 has received generous grant support from Cabela’s Canada Outdoor Fund.
OWLS 2021 is being planned for a Friday night and Saturday on April 30th-May 1st. This event will take place online, using Zoom. Participants will be invited to attend a variety of informative workshops, reflective discussion sessions, and networking activities with an incredible group of people. To increase access, registration costs are on a sliding scale: $5 or $25. All ticket proceeds will go towards paying our facilitators for their time, energy, and work.
More information about the this year’s OWLS and how to register – CLICK HERE.
COEO Community Webinar Series
Stay connected with the COEO community this season by participating in live monthly webinars. Each webinar will take place on a Thursday evening from 7:00 to 8:30pm EST. The first hour will be a live presentation, followed by a 30 minute question and answer period.
Thanks to Bonnie Anderson for leading our March webinar, a wonderful discussion around Breaking Barriers to Outdoor Education.
April 15th at 7:00pm – OPHEA Guidelines for Outdoor Education – Deborah Diebel and Stéphane Giroux
Stéphane and Deborah will cover a variety of topics related to aspects of OPHEA’s role in outdoor education. A brief overview of the history of OPHEA’s role in setting safety standards for sport in Ontario will provide the context for how current day decisions are made, who is involved in these decisions, and how they are applied. Some specific standards will be covered in regards to commonly asked questions, and Stéphane and Deb will explain how to have questions about the standards answered, and how to recommend changes directly to OPHEA. There will be time for questions at the end of the session.
Deb has been a member of COEO for 20 years, and has served on the COEO Board of Directors for a good number of those. Deb began her career in outdoor education through U of Waterloo co-op terms at Camp Tawingo, Pinery Provincial Park, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and the Cabot Head Lightstation on the Bruce Peninsula. She went on to work at the Boyne River Outdoor Education Centre, Camp Oconto, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and as a tree planter before settling into the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University. She landed her dream job on the Bruce Peninsula at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre in 2001, and became the Manager in 2004. She has guided hiking, kayaking, winter camping, and canoe trips for Girl Guides of Canada, Camp Wabinaki, and secondary school trips for Bluewater DSB. In her free time, Deb has been lucky to paddle and backpack in several Ontario parks, the Yukon River, the Tatshenshini, and several destinations around Georgian Bay, including a circumnavigation of the Bruce Peninsula and routes on the Bruce Trail. Deb joined the OPHEA Safety Guidelines Committee (now OPASSE) in 2014, and enjoys balancing needs of the teaching and student community with the safety demands of the day. It is a work in progress, and she is excited to speak with COEO members abut this ongoing process this evening! Deb lives in Wiarton with her dog, cat, and hedgehog (that one is a long story!)!
Stéphane has been working at Ophea for 12 years and has been working on the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards (OPASSE) for about 10 of those years. He originally worked on the French side of the OPASSE but as Ophea’s staff changed over the years, he started getting more and more involved with OPASSE as a whole. Stéphane has been participating in the yearly Safety and Injury Prevention Advisory Committee (SIPAC) meetings for about 6 or 7 years, and has been working closely with the OPASSE consultants on the Ask Ophea questions, and implementing the safety standards updates/edits to the OPASSE website every summer. In addition to this, Stéphane was able to create the SIPAC Outdoor Education subcommittee in collaboration with a colleague. This work entails leading the committee, facilitating the meetings, and providing expertise on content delivery and content management. Stéphane is an outdoor activity, nature, and photography enthusiast. He loves downhill skiing, hiking, canoeing, and camping. He usually goes on multiple multi-day backcountry hiking and canoeing camping trips every year and can’t get enough.
COMING UP NEXT:
May 27th at 7:00pm – Virtual Summer Camp Programs – Barbara Sheridan (Barrie Forest and Natural Learning School), Liz Jankowski (Royal Botanical Gardens) and Danielle Barrett (Royal Botanical Gardens)
June 17th at 7:00pm – A Journey into Forest & Nature School – Matt and Kim Simpson (Free Spirit Forest and Nature School)
Want to register to participate in one or more of the webinars in our series?
Certificates will be available for those completing all 5!
Click HERE if you are currently a COEO member. Webinar registration is FREE for current members.
Click HERE if you are NOT currently a COEO member and would like to register for the webinars or become a member. Webinar registration is by donation ($5 or $20) for current non-members.
CLICK HERE to connect to COEO’s YouTube channel and view a recording of our FREE webinars – Engaging Students in Nature-Based Programming Online (recorded December 2020) and Taking Your Kindergarten Students Outside (recorded July 2020).
A note on membership: Being a COEO member means that you are part of a strong and active community dedicated to promoting and celebrating the value of outdoor and experiential education. As a member of COEO, you add your much-needed support and voice to the work being done by the organization, including webinars and other resources developed specifically for outdoor educators like the quarterly Pathways journal, Outdoor Learning Tips, this monthly e-newsletter and more!
Outdoor Learning Tips Document – Now available in French!
CLICK HERE to check out the French translation of our popular Outdoor Learning Tips document – Conseils pour faciliter l’apprentissage en plein air. Many thanks to Jennifer Bernier from Ecole La Fontaine, in Kleinburg, ON, for translating the English version and to Danielle Barrett (current COEO Board member) for editing. Feel free to download and share this version of the document with any French speaking colleagues!
Diversity & Allyship in Outdoor Education
Wondering how to support diversity in the outdoors and be a better ally to BIPOC folx within our industry? Here are some great resources to get you started and some incredible organizations already doing the work to increase diversity in outdoor activities.
Watch this video Black & Safe in Outdoor Spaces, a conversation between Demiesha Dennis and Jacqueline Scott. They discuss what it means to be Black outdoors, both within the city and out on Canada’s trails, how safety considerations impact the way Black communities navigate these spaces, and the historic roots of these issues.
Support Demiesha Dennis, founder of Brown Girl Outdoor World, in her efforts to create a Gear and Equipment Library (based in Toronto), either through a monetary donation or equipment donation. Check out her Instagram and read more about her work on her website.
Read about the movement Bird Names for Birds and sign the petition.
Check out this great webinar Black Outdoors: The Connections Between Race and Outdoor Space put on by the Toronto Public Library, featuring Jacqueline L. Scott in conversation with Demiesha Dennis.
Support the work of Colour the Trails by becoming a member. Find out more about the organization and their work advocating for inclusive representation in outdoor spaces on their website, colourthetrails.com
Support Project Love Run, which is all about women’s mental health, community and running. Find out more about them here.
COEO Awards – Ongoing Call for Nominations
COEO Awards provide an important opportunity to recognize individual and group efforts, as well as to celebrate the varied expression of outdoor education within our organization and throughout the province of Ontario. Click HERE for more information about the 5 separate categories of COEO Awards and consider nominating a deserving colleague or organization. Award nomination forms will be received on an ongoing basis. Simply fill out a COEO Awards Nomination Form, then email the completed form to: email@example.com (Liz Kirk, COEO Past President). Thank you for your nomination of an outstanding outdoor educator or organization in Ontario!
OTHER OEE & RELATED NEWS
Book of the Month
Recreational Therapy Assessment is an evidence-based guide that illustrates best practices in performing those assessments in different settings so the needs of each client can be addressed.
Recreational Therapy Assessment provides direction on how to assess clients in order to determine their specific needs. The first book of its kind structured to facilitate program planning at an individualized level, readers will find assessment protocols for various consumer groups:
- Older adults
- Mental health consumers
- Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- People with physical disabilities
- Those from diverse cultural backgrounds
For more details click here
Use code B185 to receive 40% off regular price. Offer expires 4/30/2021
TDSB Launches New Outdoor Learning Website
We are excited to launch a new outdoor learning website for staff and families in the TDSB. This portal brings together information, ideas and resources to help support and encourage learning in the outdoors. While many educators regularly integrated the outdoors into their daily learning, the pandemic has encouraged all staff to look beyond the walls of their classroom and find innovative and creative ways to learn outside.
This portal provides valuable and current information for educators, including research, resources and best practices, to help them get started or explore new ideas. Staff are also encouraged to share their outdoor learning in action with #TDSBoutdoors on social media to inspire other educators interested in trying new learning opportunities outside.
The Family Resources area of the site provides tips for preparing for the weather, resources for why and how to get started as well as a comprehensive list of activities for families to enjoy together in the city. The website will continue to be updated with new information and resources and will continue to serve as a hub of ideas and innovation that educators use not only in the coming months, but for years ahead. Check out the website HERE.
The City Nature Challenge starts April 30th!
Make a difference for your local biodiversity, connect with nature and show the world your community pride — it’s as easy as taking a photo. Put your community’s biodiversity on the map during the 2021 City Nature Challenge (CNC).
Tracking biodiversity around the world is the core activity of the City Nature Challenge (CNC), a friendly, international competition that encourages people to find and document all the plants and wildlife they can find in their city. Using the iNaturalist platform, CNC host cities compete against each other to see which city can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in this bio-blitz style event.
Want to participate this year? Find out all the details HERE.
Natural Curiosity Awards – Nominations DUE May 7th!
Are you an educator or educator candidate with a deep commitment to environmental education? For the 12th year, Natural Curiosity is grateful to support you through our annual Burtynsky and Suzuki Awards for Teaching Excellence in Environmental Education.
In light of the extraordinary circumstances that educators and students have faced throughout the pandemic, the Natural Curiosity Award Committee is committed to providing equitable considerations for all applications. We hope that this application process may serve as an opportunity for you to celebrate your hard work and to find joy reflecting on and sharing your practice during these trying times.
Please submit your application by Friday, May 7, 2021. Find out more about the awards HERE.
Happy Retirement to Bill Elgie!
Thank you Bill for all the years of leadership you provided at the Norval Outdoor School. The engaging workshops run by Norval staff each year at COEO conferences have always been a highlight! The Ontario Wilderness Leadership Symposium (OWLS) has been generously hosted by Norval several times, providing a perfect site for this annual event for emerging outdoor professionals.
Thanks for sharing your unwavering positive energy and for providing mentorship to so many outdoor educators throughout the years! May the next chapter hold plenty of adventures and new discoveries. Best wishes for your retirement at the end of the school year!
CANOPA – Canadian Outdoor Professionals Association
Hello from CANOPA! The Canadian Outdoor Professionals’ Association is a new, community-driven, national association for outdoor professionals. As a grassroots volunteer organization, we are looking to better understand the barriers outdoor professionals face across Canada. Our goal is to reduce these barriers, and in so doing, make the industry more equitable, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.
As a first step, we have a survey on the go and are looking to share it widely. Please share it within your community. You can find it HERE, on our Facebook page or website. We are collecting data in four categories: wages & costs incurred by outdoor professionals; education gaps within the field, and suggestions for what we can collectively do to improve the industry. If you think we have missed anything, please let us know. Feel free to reach out to canadian.outdoor.
Get Kids Paddling
Want to help get more kids paddling? Click HERE to complete a short survey and help GKP complete the goal of finding out where paddling programs are available across Canada. That’s where you come in! The eventual goal of this project, initiated by Get Kids Paddling, is to connect people, places and stories from different parts of Canada, in order to highlight the value of these types of experiences and promote the future of paddling in Ontario.
Together with Erica Bota from ThinkLink Graphics, Get Kids Paddling has produced a stunning visual to capture a 2 hour discussion where 7 people spoke openly about their paddling experiences, primarily on canoe trips. Opening the link will show you the illustration displaying how Erica captured the conversation. GKP-Why-Paddle-Visual.pdf
An open letter to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP)
Will you sign an open letter to the OTPP, requesting that they stop investing our retirement savings in climate disaster? Here is the link to the open letter: https://www.
As you will read, the thrust of the letter is that divestment is needed not just to limit climate change, but also to avoid devaluing its portfolio. Even mainstream fund managers are increasingly recognizing that oil and gas investments are financially risky. Some already acknowledge that much of the world’s fossil fuel infrastructure will become stranded assets as their value drops. So there is now a strong fiscal argument, in addition to a social responsibility argument, for pension funds like the OTPP to unload their holdings in oil and gas companies.
For any teacher-friends who are wanting more information on the topic of making pension funds climate-friendly, two webinars on this topic were recently recorded. You can find them HERE
Finally, the website shiftotpp.ca has more information on the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan’s approach to climate change. The group recently released a video of young people from across Ontario calling for the OTPP to divest from climate failure, and thereby help to ensure a sustainable planet for theirs and future generations. Watch the video HERE.
Call for resources from Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC)
As teaching outside is gaining in popularity across the country, we want to be there to share best practices and support teachers in going outdoors. Want to give us a hand? We are building a database of professional development workshops enabling teachers to bring students outside. If you know of any, please contact us. If you have relevant news or scientific articles, don’t hesitate sending them our way also.
Science Education and Local Communities
We would like to invite you to participate in a research project exploring Ontario educators’ perspectives and experiences integrating local school-community resources with your science teaching or school planning.
The online survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, depending on your responses. Your survey participation does not require prior experience collaborating with local school communities.
Your contribution is greatly valued because it will help us better understand how to improve and support science teaching and learning using the local school community.
All your survey responses will remain confidential and anonymous. At the end of the survey you will have the option to enter a draw for a Chapters Indigo gift card. Click on the link below to enter the survey:
Or copy the following URL in your browser:
If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Xavier Fazio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for your participation!
OEE P.D. OPPORTUNITIES
Adventureworks! Associates Inc.
LEAP 2021 Workshop Series:
with Kathy Haras, Adventureworks Associates, Inc.
April 16, 2021
with Shawn Stetson and Jodie Fluit, Adventureworks Associates, Inc.
May 1, 2021 at Canterbury Hills, Ancaster
Challenge Course Certification
Assistant Ropes Course Instructor (Level 1)
May 12-16, 2021
Canterbury Hills, Ancaster
Ropes Course Instructor (Level 2)
May 26-30, 2021
Canterbury Hills, Ancaster
Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) Additional Qualification Course
MHO Adventures – NEW! 42-day Guide Development and Leadership Course
Outdoor Learning Webinars, hosted by LSF:
- A series of webinars designed specifically for and by secondary teachers
- Tips for getting outside even in cold winter months!
- Connecting primary and middle school math curriculum to the outdoors
Check out the recorded webinar sessions for each grade group:
- Kindergarten/Early Years: Webinar recording | Webinar slides
- Grades K-6: Webinar recording | Webinar slides
- Grades 4-10: Webinar recording | Webinar slides
Webinars from Natural Curiosity:
In the last webinar, we heard from Nursery School teachers Krista and Norah (Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School) about what grounding early learning in the land through an inquiry approach looks like in an urban setting, amid COVID-19. Please check out this incredibly rich list of resources that came out of Krista & Norah’s webinar, and the recording of this inspiring webinar for free or pay-what-you-can here, along with all past NC webinars.
Recordings for an earlier 4-part series are available through a “pay-what-you-can” model on the University of Toronto Press website!
NAAEE 2020 Annual Conference and Research Symposium – Inspiring Change
The focus of the 2020 NAAEE Conference and Research Symposium was positive change. Virtual workshops explored the ways in which environmental education informs and inspires, and how it builds human capacity, influences attitudes, and galvanizes actions to create healthier communities and a healthier environment for all.
Recordings of almost all sessions are available for on-demand viewing.
We don’t want cost to be a barrier, especially in these unprecedented times when many in our field have been hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. Access to recordings is available at reduced rates.
More information can be found on the event website: https://naaee.org/conference
EECOM National Conference
Early Bird registration is now open for EECOM 2021, Canada’s largest annual national environmental education conference! For the first time ever, EECOM 2021 will be taking place exclusively online, running April 21-24, 2021 and welcomes educators, grades 11, 12, and post-secondary students, classrooms, community organizations, and parents.
The conference kicks off with a Research Symposium featuring some of the leading researchers and educators from Canada and around the world on April 21, followed by three days of dynamic sessions and workshops focusing on four themes: City as Classroom, Indigenous Education, EcoJustice Education, and Water Education.
We’ll also be bringing you three inspiring keynote addresses: a powerful and free public Earth Day kick-off by youth activist Larissa Crawford; a special co-presentation from Indigenous artists Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch; and a deep-dive into climate justice with Julian Agyeman.
In addition to over 100 presenters across 70+ sessions, attendees will experience lively and unique opportunities to safely socialize with other passionate members of the EECOM community through a variety of “Nuit Verte” social events. From a vegan cooking class to a guided organic beer-tasting, this is one conference you won’t want to miss!
The best part? There’s no travel required, so you can learn and build your network while decreasing your environmental impact. Register today
Learn more, view the schedule and speakers, and register your spot now at ecoschools.ca/eecom.
OSEE (the Ontario Society for Environmental Education) is excited to announce that their EcoLinks Conference 2021 is open for registration.
OSEE’s mission is to support and inspire all educators in Ontario to incorporate environmental education into their practice.
This year, OSEE will host their conference virtually over 2 days, Friday May 7th (6 – 9:15pm) and Saturday May 8th (10am – 5:15pm). EcoLinks is designed to build capacity for, and between educators in environmental education (EE). EcoLinks offers a diverse menu of workshop and webinar experiences as pathways for building knowledge, scaling out comfort, connecting with peers, and implementing new learning in EE.
We’re excited and grateful to be hosting a small but mighty menu of 10 workshops led by passionate and knowledgeable educators who represent organizations doing amazing work. We encourage you to explore the work of each presenter and organization for further learning opportunities. On May 8th, we’ll also provide time and spaces for small peer-to-peer reflections and networking in virtual “tea rooms”.
The conference is a welcome space for everyone. Content is curated for all formal & non-formal educators across all subjects, students, and anyone with a stake in environmental education. Content may be Ontario specific in some cases, but there will be great value for environmental education champions across Turtle Island.
Youth Climate Action Summit
May 3rd and 4th, 2021, The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing, Brockville, Ontario.
Are you a high school educator in Eastern Ontario? Consider registering a team of 4 or 5 students to participate in the first ever Youth Climate Action Summit held in Canada. Spaces are limited – maximum of 20 teams. There is no cost for registration. Teams have to pay their own cost of transportation and accommodation (if needed). Visit the website to find out more details here.
Canadian Outdoor Summit
September 29 – October 2, 2021, Virtual events across Canada
This inaugural event is about bringing people together to celebrate contributions and tackle some key structural challenges affecting all outdoor programs from coast to coast to coast. This national gathering is aimed at celebrating our contribution to Canadian society and solving key challenges faced by outdoor programs. This project is a collective effort of the outdoor sector, therefore your perspective and contribution offers tremendous value. More information can be found on the event website: http://canadianoutdoorsummit.com/ and social media channels. Please follow and share: Instagram, Facebook, Canadian Outdoor Summit Promotional Video
Association for Experiential Education (AEE)
November 11 – 14th, 2021, Virtual
AEE’s 49th Annual International Conference will convene attendees to promote, definine, develop, and apply theories and practices of Experiential Education. Our Conference is intentionally designed to create a collaborative environment where you can grow your career, discover valuable new strategies to integrate into your work, and develop lasting personal and professional relationships.
Join hundreds of Experiential Educators from around the world for four days of engaging workshops, meaningful networking, and informative presentations…all from the safety and comfort of your own home!
Find out all the details and how to register HERE
Director of Norval Outdoor School, Upper Canada College
Together with the Norval staff team, the Director assumes in-class and outdoor supervisory duties while students reside at the school, as well as maintaining and developing resources and equipment on site, and the 435 acre property.
Key Experience, Knowledge and Competencies include:
● Relevant Bachelor degree, a B.Ed or equivalent and at least 5 years of leadership and teaching
experience in outdoor and environmental education;
● First Aid and CPR, NLS, Wilderness First Aid, high ropes certifications an asset;
● A track record of championing equity, diversity, and inclusion;
● Strong environmental Literacy;
● Previous experience working with children of varying ages in outdoor settings;
● Adventure-Based facilitation skills; high ropes experience an asset;
● Experience with GIS programming and GPS Units an asset;
● Experience with environmental field studies an asset;
● Experience leading outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, hiking, orienteering, camping,
cross-country skiing and cycling
To view the complete job posting, CLICK HERE
Multiple Positions, Adventureworks! Associates, Inc.
Hiring now! Challenge Course Installers and Program Facilitators. To see complete job postings, CLICK HERE
Multiple Positions, Outward Bound Canada
Forest School Educator, The P.I.N.E Project
The Forest School Educator will be a core component of our forest school staff. Working with our innovative approach to nature education, this role provides the opportunity to creatively deliver our program curriculum on a daily basis, and relate it back to the Ontario curriculum. Naturalist knowledge, experience working with children and working in the outdoors are key elements of the role. In addition, a teaching certificate is required for this position. Forest school educators work to embody respect, gratitude, awareness, life-long learning, and resilience, in alignment with our core values.
To view the posting CLICK HERE
Road Less Travelled Academy (RLTA) – Full Time Outdoor Educator
The Road Less Travelled Academy (RLTA) is a not for profit, charitable educational organization that has been in operation since 2017. A nature-based elementary school is seeking two outdoor educators for full-time positions to join our small but growing team to work with children ages 4-8. We do currently have two indoor classrooms, which are Yomes (yurt/eco-domes) heated with wood stoves for the colder months. The school campus is located on a working farm setting and there is ample opportunity for adventuring through farm, forest, and fields with the students. Nature is our classroom. Our integrated curriculum and activities focus on real-world themes (for example, food/animal systems, health & wellness, social justice & servant leadership).
OLE Instructor and OLE Support, Pine River Institute
Pine River Institute is an innovative co-ed residential treatment program for teens struggling with addictive behaviours. We are a family-centered program comprised of 4 phases: Wilderness (Outdoor Leadership Experience), Residential, Transition, and Aftercare. Every student, upon entering the program, spends 8 or more weeks in Huntsville before moving to the residence. Day-to-day activities in wilderness include canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, group initiatives, group and individual therapy, and journaling. Youths live and work in nature in groups of up to eight, with three staff.
Our campus is situated on 200 acres of spectacular Niagara Escarpment land near Shelburne, Ontario. The program here includes outdoor education, individual, group, and family therapy, expressive arts, athletics, and life skills, as well as the more traditional academic offerings.
We are currently seeking experienced Wilderness Field Instructors to help us deliver this unique program, primarily in Huntsville or Algonquin Park and also at the Shelburne campus.
We are looking for individuals with the qualifications and related experience in Wilderness field work. This individual will demonstrate patience, integrity, commitment, and an ability to maintain clear boundaries, and a sense of humour.
To view the postings, click the links below.
ONTARIO CAMPS ASSOCIATION – JOB BOARD
The OCA Job Board is always an excellent place to find job postings in the field of outdoor education. Check out their website, as many full-time positions at outdoor centres and camps are now being advertised. Are you a natural team leader and a creative problem-solver? Do you enjoy giving back to the community and inspiring others to do good? Katimavik is looking for open-minded, resourceful individuals to lead youth development projects. This challenging and rewarding position provides leadership for up to 11 youth at a time, guiding them through a six-month experience of volunteerism, learning, discovery, growth, and accountability. The Project Leader will reside in-house with the group.
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Twitter https://twitter.com/COEOoutdoors @COEOoutdoors
ABOUT THIS ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER
For consistency, the COEO electronic newsletter is now published on the first of each month. Anyone having an item of interest to outdoor & experiential educators and desiring publication in this newsletter needs to submit it to email@example.com at least two days before the publication date.
The newsletter is generally organized according to the following headings: COEO News, Other OEE & Related News, P.D. Opportunities, Opportunities for Students, Resources, Job Postings. If your organization wishes to post information (e.g., notice of upcoming events, etc), it needs to be an organizational member of COEO.
If you would like to be removed from COEO’s eNewsletter mailing list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be unsubscribed.