We are excited to host monthly virtual webinars throughout the remainder of the 2021 school year. All webinars will begin at 7:00pm EDT. There will be a live presentation for approximately one hour, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Please join us for one (or all) of the following online webinars. Certificates will be available for those completing all five webinars.
All webinars will be held over Zoom, and will require registration in advance to attend. Tickets will be sold on a sliding scale, by donation. We suggest a contribution of $20, or $5.
Registration is FREE for current COEO members (with membership purchased on or after September 1st, 2020). Become a 2020-2021 COEO member HERE.
I am a current COEO member – REGISTER HERE
I am NOT a current COEO member – Register for any or all of these virtual events here.
OPHEA Guidelines for Outdoor Education – Deborah Diebel and Stéphane Giroux – Thursday, April 15th at 7:00pm
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.
Virtual Summer Camp Programs – Barbara Sheridan, Liz Jankowski, Danielle Barrett – Thursday, May 27th at 7:00pm
Join us to explore virtual camp programming – from camp in a box to activities that extend camper experience beyond the screen. Learn about post-session opportunities for campers to build, explore, and learn at their own pace. Join three experienced outdoor educators for ideas on virtual camp programming that’s packed with interactive, hands-on activities in which kids can connect, learn and have fun!
Barbara Sheridan founded and has been lead teacher for Barrie Forest And Natural Learning School since 2012. In her nature based approach she uses child directed social and play skills, child specific and child centred programming and trains other professionals in the same approach with workshops and field trips. She is completing her masters of education in sustainability, innovation and creativity and uses her new understanding of sustainable education to expand her programming virtually, running nature based virtual programs for learners from 3-13.
Liz Jankowski is the Education Programs Officer in charge of camp and youth programs at Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. She started out her career as a math and science teacher, but could not resist the call of wild and eventually made the switch to outdoor education. Liz has previously worked in a variety of outdoor education settings, including Evergreen Brick Works, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and Norval Outdoor School; she has continued to look for ways to create innovative programming that provides children and youth with a sense of place, a connection to and appreciation for the land. Liz spends her free time exploring nature via canoe, adding birds to her life list, gardening and rock climbing. Liz seeks to connect outdoor educators of all backgrounds to share resources, spark new ideas, and grow in their experiences.
Danielle Barrett works as a Resource Interpreter at Royal Botanical Gardens, where she spends spring & fall delivering educational programs to school groups from K-12 and is involved with developing programs based on the featured exhibit during the winter months. She is bilingual and loves being able to deliver programs in French. Danielle has been involved in interpretation for over 20 years, including work at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Museum of Nature, and Dundurn National Historic Site. She serves on COEO’s Board of Directors where she is able to share her passion about outdoor education with the COEO community and learn from other nature educators.
A Journey into Forest & Nature School – Matt and Kim Simpson, Free Spirit Forest and Nature School – Thursday, June 17th at 7:00pm
Join along with Matt and Kim Simpson from Free Spirit Forest and Nature School, as they share some of their process about starting and expanding FSFNS in Southern Georgian Bay.
Matt and Kim Simpson are co-founders, teachers and directors at Free Spirit Forest and Nature School, a series of not-for-profit Forest and Nature Schools in Southern Georgian Bay. With locations in Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Duntroon and Meaford, FSFNS has grown steadily since its inception in 2016 with 7 students, and currently serves over 200 local students and families! They are a husband and wife team and a big part of what makes FSFNS do what it does best – connecting folks to Nature! When not at the school, you can find them sauntering in the forest with their two young girls, tinkering on projects in their backyards, and paddling local rivers. They’re excited and honoured to share about their FNS Journey thus far and all of the lessons and learnings they’ve uncovered along the way!
PAST WEBINARS – Thank you for attending!
Building Confidence with Knives – Kevin Fraser – Thursday, February 25th at 7:00pm
Kevin Fraser is an outdoor educator, canoe guide, and the owner and operator of Wild Connection Outdoor Education. As a lover of the outdoors, Kevin is passionate about sharing his curiosity of nature as well as teaching wilderness living skills. When not teaching and guiding, he is most likely to be found relaxing around a campfire or playing through rapids in his canoe.
Breaking Barriers to Outdoor Education – Bonnie Anderson – Thursday, March 25 at 7:00pm
Bonnie is currently the Outdoor Environmental Education and Healthy Active Living Coordinator for the Simcoe County District School Board. She has also worked in Peel, Toronto, Bark Lake Leadership Centre, and Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Boards as well. Yes, she can hold a job, but she loves challenges and loves to explore the different ecosystems she works in, so she keeps moving forward to find the fun in the outdoor fundamentals.