Integrating Nature Journaling as a Tool
Billie Jo Reid, Peel District School Board
Learn the many ways to integrate Nature Journaling and use it as a cross curricular tool in your classrooms or programs. Nature Journaling allows students to document their observations using words, picture and numbers. Learn how to be curious, ask questions and come up with possible answers based on information they know and the evidence they see. Nature journaling allows you a brain break from all the other things going on in your life and focus in on a piece of phenomena! Most students will experience a deeper sense of calm, happiness and WONDER! The opportunity to integrate this as a tool is endless. Join me for as we find a sit spot and journal together. NO ARTISTIC ABILITIES REQUIRED! Please Bring paper and pencil.
Diversifying The Outdoors : What It Means to be an Active Ally
Patricia Wilson & Alecia Golding, Diverse Nature Collective
Drawing on personal and professional experienced Patricia and Alecia will lead a short presentation about the importance of diversifying the outdoors, barriers that racialized communities face and easy ways to be an active ally in the outdoor industry. The presentation will be interactive and have breakout conversations in small groups with a final open discussion with the full group.
Add Some Sparks to Your Life
David Arama, WSC Survival School Inc.
We will begin with a discussion of the importance of fire, and the various methods of firestarting. Also, a discussion of age-appropriateness in teaching and camps, the logical uses of different fire starting techniques, and the historical uses of fire. We will then have a chance for some hands-on practice of fire building methods (ferro rod and magnesium, steel wool and batteries, flint and steel char cloth, and a demo of fire by friction firebows).
Learn to Play the Harmonica
Walt Sepic, Firefly Adventures
If you can breathe in and out and count to 10, you can play the harmonica. In this workshop you’ll understand how it works and how to play it. You’ll be playing tunes in 15 minutes. I will bring 10 harmonicas (sanitized). If you bring your own, a small 10 hole instrument in the key of C would be great.
Countdown to Camp
Karen Kettle, Port Perry High School Leadership Camp
This interactive workshop will take you inside the planning and implementation of a student-led Leadership Camp. Everyone is welcome. You may already be involved in running a program or you may want to know where to begin. Prepare to have fun and learn from each other as we explore the rationale and benefits of student-led programs and explore how the framework of Leadership Camp can support Environmental and Outdoor Education. There will be lots of practical ideas to spark your interest: themes, workshop starters, games, initiatives, timelines, schedules, resources, and much more! There is no better way to gather students together and feed their leadership journeys than to help them design and implement a program to take their peers to camp. If you can imagine it, this workshop will help you figure out how to make it happen.
Chris Peters, St. Bonaventure’s College
We spent 95% of our time inside. Screens dominate our lives- at work, at play, and at school. We have access to more information than ever before, yet are largely illiterate of the natural world we depend on. In 1928 Norwegian educator Anna Sethne took her classes outside to the fields, streams, and forests of Christiania (now Oslo). There they observed and questioned. The natural world and peoples place in it was the curriculum. She called it Hjemstedslaere—Home Environment Learning. Hjemstedslaere offers a counterpoint to modern education. It is a means of re-engaging in the natural world while enhancing student learning. The workshop on Hjemstedslaere Again will take place outside, whatever the weather to help explore the opportunities Home Environment Learning offers in our communities—be they in Newfoundland, Ontario, or British Columbia.
Minka Chambers, Innisdale Secondary School, SCDSB
This workshop will be a hands-on creative experience! Have you ever wanted to try painting a canoe paddle? Well, not only will you get to paint a paddle, you will also learn how to lead students through the design and painting process. Participants will be shown basic design ideas and the required equipment. Each participant will leave with a personalized custom paddle designed and painted throughout the weekend.
*This workshop has a $37 materials fee, to be paid to presenter at start of workshop. Also, please keep in mind that this workshop will take place over two sessions in order to allow enough time to complete the project.*
Plants with Purpose
Bonnie Anderson & Sherri Owen, Simcoe County District School Board
Learn about all the plants around you from Indigenous and Settlers perspectives. Find out how to use the plants with purpose cards with students and community members alike. Discover how to build relationships with plants and their history in your area. Great for no mow zones and local green spaces.
A Critical Examination of Masculinity in Outdoor Education
Jay Kennedy, Lakehead University
This workshop will examine the evolution and current state of masculinity in outdoor education, according to recent case study research in the field. The implications for educational outcomes and models of leadership will be discussed. Participants will be asked to actively and critically consider ideas of gender (specifically masculinity) and the role such notions play in leadership and communication.
Natasha Khan, Outdoor Environmental Education Teacher
Exploring nature through a creative lens. Participants will use the time to get inspired by nature to write a poem, paint with water colour, or draw.
Bill Steer, Canadian Ecology Centre
Risk – need not be such a frightening word. Now as a teacher or trip leader there is even more of a need to create a comprehensive digital/visual trip overview that highlights risk management and trip learning objectives. Based on a template and through identified objectives – participants – through an outside, experiential session will become aware of a resource that can be created for risk management mandates and approval by others. This is a take away session.
Empowering Kids to Awaken the Skills Within Them to Work Towards Food Independence and Restoring Their Local Native Ecosystem at the Same Time!
Stefan Dixon & Magali Laville, Willows Green Permaculture
Teaching children to grow and cook their own food, in harmony with nature, using nature as guide, within a healthy biodiverse ecosystem that they themselves can reestablish, is perhaps the most important skill to teach in our times. Unlike any other, this theme will give children skills they can use to thrive throughout their lives. For educators, it facilitates learning in all curriculum areas. Your students can learn across the curriculum while you teach them to create a resilient biodiverse food forest and restore the environment, using Nature as Your Classroom. Join Willows Green Permaculture’s Stefan Dixon, former teacher and school administrator of 30 years, and consultant in food forests, permaculture and restoring biodiverse native habitats, to learn how to empower kids to awaken the skills they have within them to work towards food independence and restoring local native ecosystems at the same time! Please be prepared to go outside!
A Better Sense of Nature
Jacob Rodenburg, Camp Kawartha
In this workshop with Camp Kawartha Executive Director Jacob Rodenburg, you’ll be introduced to a whole suite of activities that practice using your sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste in new ways to help you and your children connect to nature. From following scent trails, to creating micro-trails, from drawing sound to creating beautiful nature sculptures, we’ll activate all of our senses so you can feel more connected to this wonderful world. Activities are drawn from Jacob’s new book: The Book of Nature Connection.
Holistic Farm and Forest Place Based Learning
Carly Ogryzlo, The Owl’s Nest Holistic Alternative School
During a worldwide pandemic we opened up The Owl’s Nest Holistic Alternative School at Reroot Organic Farm. The space is 75+ acres of farm, Forest, creek and nature access. Our school presents outdoor education in the light of authentic and place-based learning. Students are involved in farming and forestry and get to see the results of their work in real time and in their community. They build communication and inquiry skills, learn how to interact with the environment, and gain a better understanding of themselves, as well as their place in the world, all while receiving an incredible education. Join us as we dive into place based education at our school.
Land Education as Reconciliation
Megan Ungalaq & Shanshan Tian, Educators
Come learn more about Inuit Qaujimajatuqangi (what Inuit have always known), traditional vs. modern teaching and learning in Nunavut, and even some Inuktitut. We will explore Inuit history and land education as reconciliation by sharing stories, photos, tools, art, and observations from our perspectives. You can choose between making an Inuit style jewellery or crafting a mini qaumutik (toboggan) to take home.
Following the Sparks of Curiosity in Early Learning
Kimberly Squires & Starlene Ruttan, University of Guelph Child Care & Learning Centre
In this workshop, we will share stories of exploring nature-based curiosities and wonders within our early learning setting with children from 2 to 8 years old. We will share how “fanning these flames” has expanded these experiences, leading to deeper pedagogical inquiries and relationships with nature. We also aspire to create a safe place for sharing and encourage participants to share stories from their settings and experiences.
Introduction to Forest Therapy
Liz Kirk, Brock University
During this 90 minute session, a small group will come together to engage their senses while exploring the natural world. The group will be moving through the forest at a slow pace, much slower than your average hike, so please dress accordingly for periods of slow movement and being still. Tea will be served to conclude the experience. Foam mats will be provided to participants to sit on, but please also feel free to bring your own portable seat. Anyone is welcome to attend and participate.
Keep Warm and Crochet On
M Nowick (they/them) & Valerie Freemantle (she/her)
Gather around. Start with a loop… One stitch at a time. Get hooked on crochet. Keep yourself warm. All crocheters and those who aspire to crochet are welcome. The workshop will be catered towards the needs of the group. Participants will leave with the knowledge and materials needed to complete a small project.
*This workshop has a $5 materials fee, to be paid to presenters, which includes a crochet hook that is yours to keep.*
Climate Action: Empowering Young Learners in a Warming World
Judy Halpern, Learning for a Sustainable Future/Wilfrid Laurier University
Empowering Young Learners in a Warming World (EYLWW) is an online resource, launched in April 2022. This resource is the young companion to ELWW grades 7-12. It contains a series of guided inquiries, for K-2 and 3-6, exploring climate change education and action. This workshop will sample parts of the inquiries that focus on interactive outdoor activities.
Data Science in Experiential Learning
Colin Pattison, Indian Creek Road Public School – LKDSB
Data science is a hot topic right now. Across every employable field, people are finding new and exciting ways to use real world information to identify issues, solve problems and design better products. Students are often presented with data to evaluate in Math and Science classes, but get very few opportunities to collect their own information in authentic learning environments. Our phones are full of complicated sensors and we now have tools that can allow students to access that data to create their own experiments and investigate the results in real time. In this workshop, we will use the Arduino Science Journal app, along with a series of Vernier handsets and sensors to explore some engaging, student friendly experiments that can be conducted in a variety of outdoor settings. Be prepared to engage, move and have fun!
Advocacy for Outdoor Education
Liz Kirk, COEO & Tanya Murray, YRDSB
School-based outdoor education programs across the province have faced two years of limitations and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we collectively emerge from a time of unprecedented reliance on screens and technology to gather, learn and connect with others, the importance of outdoor education programs and experiences to reconnect students with the natural world is paramount. Join Tanya and Liz for a discussion about how each of us and the organizations we are part of can advocate for these valuable programs to continue and thrive in our local schools and communities and learn about what resources already exist to support your advocacy efforts. We hope participants will come away from the session with a renewed sense of hope and the tools necessary to re-light the support for outdoor education programming in their local schools.
Silk Screening Advocacy
Zabe MacEachren & Soraya Olszewski, Queen’s University
Silk Screening is a cost effective, hands-on way to teach others to take control of the media messages that they wear. With basic supplies and know-how your class, campers or group members can make a logo for their cause, learn the basics of making a screen and then print your own posters and clothes with the causes you believe in. No need to advertise brands names from the big box stores. No need to fill your closet with more fast fashion items. You can make it personal and keep it simple. Start with stylish patches and bandanas then work up to personalized fabric and T-shirts. Silk Screening is a great group building activity or a personalized way to promote what you believe in. This is a hands-on workshop, come prepared to silk screen and get empowered to let your creative juices flow.
The Art of Visible Mending
No need to throw out your favourite jeans or work coveralls just because they have holes or worn spots! Visible mending is a Sashiko-inspired art form that extends the life of textiles. Come and learn about Sashiko, a traditional Japanese style of embroidery with geometric designs used for mending and creative embellishment. Our time together will mostly be spent on preparing and starting your own visible mending project. Bring a pair of jeans, coveralls, a jean jacket or other clothing with holes in them to start work on your own project. If you don’t have anything that needs mending you may make a sampler patch. If you have scissors that will cut fabric they would be useful also. Please label any tools you bring with your name.
*This workshop has a $4 materials fee, to be paid to presenter, which will cover the cost of a needle and a skein of Sashiko thread for you to keep. A variety of patching materials will also be provided.*
Grounding Learning in the Heart: Reconciling Environmental Education Through Natural Curiosity
Haley Higdon & Rosa Na, Natural Curiosity
Inquiry-based learning reflects a simple, profound truth: learning is most powerful when rooted in the heart. Natural Curiosity’s transformative environmental inquiry pedagogy, deepened by an Indigenous lens, supports integrating heart-based learning into environmental and all education. Connecting to time-honoured Indigenous perspectives on living in reciprocity with the natural world, Natural Curiosity provides a starting point for all educators to consider how Indigenous perspectives can inform their teaching practice over time, as they explore lasting connections to the natural world with their students. This workshop will refer to examples from leading Indigenous and environmental educators across Turtle Island, and guide participants through interactive inquiry activities such as knowledge building and reflective discourse, which can in turn be applied with students. Participants will leave this workshop feeling inspired to effectively and sensitively integrate heart-led inquiry, outdoor experiential learning, and Indigenous perspectives towards a just recovery of relationships that “breathes with the world”.
The Song my Paddle Sings
Bill Elgie, ORCKA Canadian Style Paddling Instructor
For many people, canoeing and canoe tripping has been the spark that ignited a passion for spending time in nature. In this workshop, we will share tips and tricks to help make teaching canoeing more fun and also build your own canoeing skills. New canoeists and experienced paddlers all welcome. Come join us on the water as we “share the songs that our paddles sing”. Bill Elgie has been an ORCKA Canadian Style Paddling Instructor for nearly 40 years.
Call of the Wild
Ian Faulds, Kortright Centre for Conservation (TRCA)
We share our planet with an incredible diversity of wild creatures. Still, most animals remain a mystery to us and are rarely encountered. Participants will learn a variety of animal communication and tracking techniques that will improve opportunities to see wildlife. They will become “wildlife detectives” searching for the many clues that animals leave behind. Through a variety of hands-on activities (head, heart, hands), participants will gain a greater awareness of our animal neighbours and the challenges they face to survive. Ultimately, they will understand that we, too, are members of the wild kingdom. While our specific focus will be wildlife, participants will learn that the foundation of each sensory activity can be applied to all curriculum planning when leading students in the out-of-doors. The animals are speaking… are you listening? Join me on an amazing journey as we experience the “Call of the Wild.”
Happy Campfire, and introduction to your happy hormones
Melissa Tong, Nuwa Health and Wellness
What makes you happy? How do we push happy?? First, we need to understand how happy happens. In this workshop, participants will be invited to play, laugh and learn while filling up their toolbox to help and foster a happy mindful community. We will be addressing the foundations to mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing. Ignite your fire with this interactive workshop that focuses on the happy hormones and how to keep your fire burning!
Where Would We Be Without Music?
David Spencer, Beyond Our Classroom
We all have our favourite songs. Songs can take us back to memories of a summer camp, a canoe trip or a moonlight rendezvous by snowshoe. Songs can feed the fire of learning and inspire us to act on the environment, peace, relationships and social justice. Join us to reflect on lyrics and sing some songs from the past 50 years that have touched you and other outdoor educators. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments. And digital DJs are invited to share recordings of these significant songs from our camp radio station.
Braiding Indigenous Knowledge, Science, and Curriculum
Emily Verhoek, Queen’s University Biological Station
This workshop will explain the process of creating the QUILLS (Queen’s University Indigenous Land-based Learning STEM) program. We will discuss the process we undertook to bring together Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Scientists, and Educators to create lessons for students in Grade 7 to 10 science.
Build Your Own Wanigan Workshop
Arthur Murgatroyd, Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre
Join outdoor educator and canoe guide Arthur Murgatroyd for a DIY construction project. What the heck is a wanigan (or a wannigan)? Why it’s a simple wooden box of course! Traditionally used on canoe trips to carry kitchen supplies using a leather tump line, it also makes a great gift or decorative storage for home or cottage. The group will work step by step together while we ponder the history and argue pros and cons of lugging a wooden box around the wilderness! No previous carpentry skills are required. Build solo or bring a partner. Closed toed shoes are recommended.
*This workshop has a materials fee of $80, to be paid to presenter.
Etuaptmumk – “Two-eyed Seeing”
Dr. Albert Marshall & Paul Strome
Etuaptmumk is a Mi’kmaw word meaning Two-Eyed Seeing. With one eye, we view the world through Indigenous ways of knowing and with the other eye, we view the world through Western, or Eurocentric, ways of knowing. A guiding principle for intercultural collaboration, Two-Eyed Seeing provides the gift of multiple perspectives. “It encourages the realization that beneficial outcomes are much more likely in any given situation when we are willing to bring two or more perspectives into play”
*Dr. Albert Marshall will be coming to the conference via Zoom, with Paul Strome in person to help facilitate.
Firestarting Tips & Tricks
Walt Sepic, Firefly Adventures
Many of us have our own tips and tricks for getting a fire started. Bring your favourite weird firestarting tricks to share with the group, or just come see what others have to share. We will test out as many as we can! I will also have 15 bowdrill kits available for those wishing to test their muscle & determination.
MY TOP 6 LEARNINGS THROUGH 50+ YEARS OF OEE
Day / Residential Field Centres Instructor / Senior Teacher; Experiential Travel Guide; Bark Lake Resource Counsellor / Program Director; Students on Ice Facilitator; Climate Change Activist; COEO Activist; OEE Author; OEE Photographer; Recipient of several teaching and leadership awards; Lifetime member of the International Save the Pun Foundation: I am one very lucky person. I have experienced an exhilarating variety of OEE and, through words, photographs and music, I’d love to share some inspiring highlights, insights and speculative conclusions from my career.
Building Positive Change Through Building Positive Relationships
Jeff Sephton & Jason Blair, ECO Studies, Aldershot School, Halton District School Board
What makes outdoor education special and different from other forms of education? It’s not the place, it’s not the plants, it’s not the plat–it’s the people. There is nothing more powerful about outdoor learning than it’s power to build positive relationships. That is how outdoor education and educators change the world. In this play-based workshop, we will explore how we can become more intentional about building relationships and how we can build upon the great work we already do. Participants will leave this workshop with the tools to add some intentional relationship building into their program, and hopefully you will learn some new activities to use to this effect.
…And much, much more!