Hurdling the Walls of Liability and Wall Tents
Zabe MacEachren, Queens University
Building and sleeping in a quinzhee is a favourite activity at many outdoor centers during the winter season, but what does the future hold with unpredictable weather patterns and climate change? Quinzhees don’t quite pass liability issues during a sleety night, which means many outdoor educators are looking for more reliable alternatives. Come join Zabe MacEachren as she digs down into snowy layers to discover the history of appropriate accommodations for the winter season. Discover why quinzhees originally became popular and what is this growing interest in wall tent camping all about? Can a budding outdoor educator become “certified” in the winter season? Will someone become hurt, before regulating bodies decide what our winter “standard of practices” should be? Come listen, join the discussion and let’s get hurdling the liability walls associated with winter camping.
Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry
Haley Higdon, Natural Curiosity
The first edition of the Natural Curiosity resource finds common ground with values inherent to Indigenous cultures in some important respects. One Anishinaabe Elder—also a retired elementary school teacher—said, after reading the first edition, “I actually cried when I read it. I said to myself, they’re finally starting to get it!” The 2nd editon of Natural Curiosity supports a stronger awareness of Indigenous approaches to environmental learning. It offers an encounter with Indigenous perspectives that challenge us to think in very different ways about our place in the world. The Indigenous lens in this edition provides a starting point in a conversation that opens educators’ eyes to Indigenous perspectives as their students build lasting connections with the natural world. The presentation will support a professional inquiry process that will begin to consider reconciliation in relation to environmental education. The workshop will start indoors but will hopefully work its way outside through connections and questions that the participants inquiry about. Be prepared to spend some time outside.
In the Know, In the Snow
Steve Ruskay, Black Feather
What is the difference between a snow flake and a snow crystal? There is more to snow than meets the eye. Every type of snow crystal has a unique set of properties, that effect its strength and characteristics. Temperature gradients within a snow pack constantly change the snow profile. The science behind snow is an expanding discipline, that encompasses engineering, meteorology, recreation, and risk management. Learn exactly what snow is, the science behind snow flake shape and formation, and differentiate between layering and other snowpack factors. Steve Ruskay is a Professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. He has spent 13 years as a snow technician and avalanche forecaster, as well as program developer for Youth Avalanche Education. Join Steve for a unique and fascinating experience on and in the snow!
Risk management manual for schools in Québec, more than 20 years in the making!
Patrick Daigle, University of Québec Montréal
This presentation will show the final version of the risk management manual used in Québec’s schools. After more than 20 years of reflection and collaboration, the five English language “Cegep” schools of Montréal published a first “final” version of the manual in 2015. The French language Cegeps soon joined the movement and a translation was done. We now have a French and English document that are used not only in Cegeps, but also in elementary and high schools within Québec. This tool for teachers, directors, parents can help everyone adequately plan and structure any outdoor activity. This presentation will show how to use it and the main reflection behind this work. And since this is a work in progress, we will present the challenges we will potentially face over the next few years!
Teambuilding with Index Cards
Jim Cain, Teamwork & Teamplay
Learn an amazing collection of teambuilding activities that you can lead (and make yourself) with simple index and playing cards. Teambuilding guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of sixteen best-selling team and community building books and the inventor of over a hundred creative teambuilding activities, methods and techniques. Join Jim for this fun and interactive workshop.
Ice Fishing 101
Yvonne Brown, Ontario Women Anglers
This presentation will cover the basics of ice fishing and will include safety, fishing regulations, frostbite, equipment used, rods, tackle and lures. Participants will learn how to rig their own rod for pan fish and how to do one of the more popular fishing knots.
1, 2, 3, Broomball!
Staff, Bark Lake Leadership Centre Staff
Broomball is possibly the most fun you can have on ice! Try and score a goal while slipping and sliding in your boots on our beautiful lake rink. *Recommended for the highly competitive–temporarily suspend your wintertime peacemaking for this session:)
Drum-making with David Finkle!
David Finkle, Musician
David Finkle is an Indigenous multi-instrumental artist who likes to play and collaborate with artists from various cultural backgrounds. He is well-versed in other disciplines such as facilitating nature walks and storytelling, and is passionate about embedding Indigenous ways of knowing into mainstream education. He plays traditional instruments such as the drum and flute that he crafts himself. During this 2 hour-long workshop, David will initiate us to the assembly of a traditional drum with prepared materials: cut banding, shaped skins, sanded frames…while teaching us about the spiritual aspect of drum-making and drumming. After a day (time for the drum to dry), David will kindly do another session to teach us some drumming and drumming songs. ***Please note, there is $90 materials cost for this workshop. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by January 5th if you would like to participate in this workshop/to secure your spot.
Survival Skills for Outdoor Leaders!
David Arama, WSC Survival School
Outdoor Leaders and Camp Staff should have basic survival and preparedness skills! This presentation highlights Outdoor Survival prevention and preparedness, including risk and hazard management, survival gear, how search and rescue works, plus a discussion of our new book “501 Survival Skills”. 30 minutes will be held outside learning what to do if faced with a lost situation.
Knitting Headbands 101
Andrea Basen, Camp Tamakwa
Knitting is fun, relaxing and an amazing way to pass time (that isn’t playing on your phone). Andrea has taught countless kids how to knit at Camp Tamakwa. Kids (and Adults) love to fidget, and knitting is an excellent and productive way to be creative with your hands, but still pay attention to the world around you! It’s a way to slow down, and enjoy your surroundings. Andrea will supply the needles and wool, and willing be teaching folks how to make their headbands!
Kyle Clarke, Queen’s University & Jamie Innis, Fleming College
Want to come play in the snow? Through this active and moist workshop, participants will learn almost everything there is to know about building quinzhees. The quin-zhee or Athapaskan snow house is a cave-like shelter built out of snow—we’ll learn to make them and discuss their use as a winter shelter. Along the way, we will get up close and personal with snow in its various forms. Snow language and classification will be explained, as well as its ecological role during winter months. *Please note: this is a two-part workshop and you will get wet, so please bring an extra outer layer of clothing or rain gear as well as a spare pair of mitts or gloves. Also, see the last page of this program for more information about this session.
Snowshoeing for Newbs!
Staff, Bark Lake Leadership Centre Staff
Strap on a pair of snowshoes and head off the beaten path. We’ll launch ourselves into the woods and see where our snowshoes take us!
They do what?!? How do things survive when it’s cold outside?
Bonnie Anderson, Peel District School Board
Where do they go? Find the forest and field friend hiding spots as we look for winter survival strategies. There will be experiments and tips and tricks to keeping moving. Learn from the environment and teach you class how to keep warm. This will all happen outside so come with all the clothes you brought and laugh and learn.
Make your own snowsnake and take it home!
Sheldon Lowe and Jessica Middleton, COEO Make Peace Alumni
Participants will receive a snowsnake blank and after some background learning will use rasps and sandpaper and perhaps some power tools to create their own snowsnake. It will be etched beautifully with the person’s name and year of creation and varathaned when they are finished. Presenters will assist delegates with tips on using this concept of building snowsnakes in the classroom with students. Afterwards, delegates will be able to meet on the lake Sunday morning and have a snowsnake “race”!
Ian Faulds, Kortright Centre for Conservation
Immerse yourself in winter’s wonderland and experience the many sensory pleasures of this beautiful season. With a little art, a little music, a little science and lots of activity, discover a variety of tips, tricks and treasures that will enhance your winter adventures with children and youth. Guaranteed to appeal to outdoor educators with a low or no budget. You will leave with a few more tools in the kit to help those winter grumps back home finally “make peace with winter”.
A Foodie’s guide to your woodlot: Maple Taffy to Mushroom Tea
Rick Klatt, Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
Participants will be educated on the equipment, process and techniques to make maple and birch syrup as economical as possible. History of syrup making as well as handling the tools and equipment associated, including an explanation of how a tree is selected and tapped. Participants will also have the opportunity to taste birch syrup and will be treated to maple taffy made in front of them. Participants will also be taught about Chaga and Reishi mushrooms from harvest to consumption. Chaga tea and tincture will also be available to sample.
Trappers and Traders “This is what we do…What do you do?”
Bill Elgie and the Norval Outdoor School Staff, Upper Canada College Norval Outdoor School
Canadian history comes alive in this fur trade survival game. After a brief intro about the Norval Outdoor Schools version of this famous fur trade game, participants will take on the role of trappers during the 1800s. Working in small teams, they will be given a list of items that they need to purchase to survive. Teams will travel around the Bark Lake Property in search of animals in order to trade their furs for beaver tokens. Teams will have to use those tokens to purchase their survival items from the Hudson Bay Company. We will have some time at the end of the presentation to share and discuss what other centres do for their fur trade programs. Please bring some examples, ideas, props or anything else that may help facilitate a sharing of fur trade resources.
Barbara Sheridan, Barrie Forest Kindergarten and Nature School
Take your inquiry based learning program to the next level. This presentation will include video, tips and tricks about and how to facilitate inquiry-based learning to awaken and excite your students!
A future for Outdoor Ed Storytelling?
Sabrina M. Chiefari, Environmental Educator
Tried and true Outdoor Ed stories continue to be a staple in any Educator’s program. They help us connect students with anything from traditional understandings of ecology, plant life, animal traits, to anything in-between. But can they continue to do so in a world of rapid ecological changes? Is there more to find within Outdoor Ed’s catalogue of stories for tomorrow’s world? Participants are invited to bring writing materials, a willingness to share and/or swap stories, and a warm beverage.
Are you Ready for Change? Facilitating a Climate Change and Adventure Summit
Meaghan MacPherson, Upper Canada District School Board
For the first 60 minutes, participants will experience first-hand the power of an interactive climate change simulation which draws attention to the realities of climate related global challenges. To begin, participants will be divided into 6 nations or blocks from the developed and developing worlds to negotiate emissions and deforestation targets. Afterwards, software developed by MIT will be used to assess how effective the agreed upon targets would be at meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The session will provide the experience and resources necessary for participants to facilitate their own World Climate negotiation with confidence. In the final 30 minutes, participants will explore how pairing these negotiations with different outdoor adventure activities can enhance engagement and outcomes for all students. There will also be time to discuss connections to the Ontario curriculum across a variety of subject areas including Science, Math, Native Studies, English and the Arts.
Nature-Based Learning Strategies: How Ryerson’s Mood Routes and Thriving in Action Programs Support Urban Post-Secondary Students through Outdoor Excursions
Deena Kara Shaffer, Ryerson University
The intention and spirit behind this presentation is to highlight how time spent in nature can be a potent and holistic learning strategy for post-secondary students, especially those in urban contexts. Ryerson University is located at the busiest intersection in the middle of Canada’s busiest city; the need for wilderness is great, yet close access is limited. Two innovative programs take as their aim repairing downtown and commuter students’ connection to and relationship with nature, and moreover make deep use of local greenspaces and natural(ish) settings to bolster academic skills. Mood Routes, our accessible st/rolling program in nearby parks and gardens, and Thriving in Action, our transition program for mid-stream languishing students, both have nature immersion front and centre as a learning strategy to uplift mood, decrease stress, promote resilience, foster connection to place, deepen belongingness, restore attention, and many other crucial and foundational academic skills.
Anderson’s Arctic Adventure!
Bonnie Anderson, Peel District School Board
Bonnie was fortunate to be selected to travel to Baffin Island to experience the North and all it has to offer. The Canadian Wildlife Federation hosts a Summer Institute in Nunavut each summer. She had the opportunity to live in Iqualit and Kimmirut and the experience turned out to be incredibly rich and inspiring (Bonnie: “maybe the best 10 days of my life!”). Come hear about Bonnie’s learning adventure and get a taste of what she got to do – see the sites, play some games and learn about a place not that hard to get to and really worth a visit!
Fire Challenge: Desiginging meaningful & relevant programming with ancient technology in a risk averse culture
Ben Blakey, Montcrest School and Leah Silverman, Evergreen
Come and learn how we’re programming and cooking with fire in Toronto’s Don Valley at the Evergreen Brickworks and Montcrest School. We get kids outside, allowing for powerful learning through fire experiences, and in touch with their food through cooking outdoors. Learn about the importance of fire, healthy risk-taking, and the legalities of working with fire in the city. This hands-on workshop will demonstrate various fire-starting tips, programming around the fire and techniques for outdoor seasonal cooking with kids. Reconnect to the importance of fire for both you and your students. Come prepared for the weather and to spend roughly an hour outside.
Winter Project Lab: Upcycled Birdfeeders
Kyle Clarke, Queen’s University
Join in the fun as we get creative and construct birdfeeders from recycled materials—yay!!! Kyle will share some basic plans and designs that he has developed; demonstrate the safe use of tools; discuss classroom/schoolyard applications, birdseed, wildlife cameras, and then set you free to design and create your own project!
…and much, much more!