About Us

 

We are instructors and experienced environmental educators that offer pre-designed overnight school camp packages or customized field studies based on your budget and goals. We deliver these learning experiences in the classroom, neighbourhood, at a traditional camp or as an overnight camp. Core Competencies are met for any grade, and there will always be direct communication with you, the parents and the administrators.

Jeff Willis, Course Director

While being privileged to work within an amazing inner-city school, Jeff’s eyes and heart were fully opened to the importance of providing community and outdoor educational experiences, leadership training and connection with nature to the most deserving kids. It became clear to Jeff that all children and youth were being negatively impacted by the lack of access and opportunity to the great outdoor classroom.

Since then, Jeff has set out to make outdoor education a school, community, parent and individual a priority.

Jeff’s passion for experiential outdoor learning, education and community work is linked to:

Maria Jose, School Engagement Coordinator

Maria Jose (Majo) is from Ecuador, a South American country considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and with strong Indigenous roots. As a child, Majo grew up traveling and learning about the unique ecosystems and communities of her country, which has influenced her passion for nature-based learning and climate change education.
Majo has her master degrees in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Education which stems from her belief in creating a more greener and healthier world through the lens of community and outdoor experiential learning and land preservation. Majo joined Fireside Adventures and Creative Toolbox as a critical support and leader with
administration, community engagement and education in regards to our BC, Yukon and Ecuador locations and services.
As well, Majo is our sister company’s (Vancouver Outdoor School) role as Community and School Connector in constant communication with schools, parents and teachers in order to offer the best learning and fun experience to students.
She is excited about this new period of her life where she is seeking to make a positive impact in the community. She can be reached at office@firesideadventures.ca

Allie Livesey, Educator

Allie has a love of the natural world has taken her in many directions (including up many mountains!) She has spent many years caretaking the land by working on organic farms, creating gardens, wandering through the woods, and wildcrafting. Over the past few years, her love of plants has taken root and bloomed into the world of herbalism. She is passionate about exploring and sharing the uses of the plants that inhabit our world, and creating dynamic learning environments to share this spark with others. She recently graduated with her B.A in Indigenous Environmental Studies and Science and is working towards her Bachelor of Education. She loves to bring people of all ages outside! She hopes that through her work with Vancouver Outdoor School she can help others foster a deep connection and relationship with themselves, each other and with the land.

Lenaya Sampson, Educator

Lenaya is a Nlaka’pamux woman who lives, works and plays within the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. Her love for nature was rekindled when she attended numerous outdoor leadership programs. As she grew, her understanding and love for her culture also grew. She is sharing a more Indigenous perspective, not only the history of Indigenous peoples but also on topics such as climate change education, STEM, and outdoor education, just to name a few. She is looking forward to seeing you in the outdoor classroom!

 Our Belief Statements

 

 

  • We believe learning needs to be flexible, intentional, student-centred and inspiring.
  • We believe that curriculum needs to relevant and experiential.
  • We believe the earth is the greatest teacher and classroom.
  • We believe you are never too young to be a steward of the earth, and a responsible citizen.
  • We believe kids, families and adults should play, learn, and explore in the outdoors, while learning to respect each other and the world.
  • We believe we are responsible for making the world a better place through service, education and being. Whether this means picking up litter, or performing random acts of kindness, we fuel our learning days with caring.
  • We believe are all connected spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
  • We believe Indigenous people have rightful title to the land and to their culture. We also believe we have much to learn from Indigenous people, and their thousands of years of teaching and sharing experience.
  • We believe you have an entire lifetime to be an adult and a short time to be a kid. That’s why we strive to provide kids (and adults, too!) with the ultimate “kid experience!”

Wonder. Wisdom. Work. Wellness.
Core Competencies

Personal Awareness & Responsibility

Self-determination
Self-regulation
Well-being

Critical Thinking

Analyze and critique
Question and investigate
Develop and design

Positive Personal & Cultural Identity

Relationship and cultural contexts
Personal values and choice
Personal strengths and abilities

Creative Thinking

Novelty and value
Generating ideas
Developing ideas

Social Responsibility

Contribute to community and care for the environment
Solving problems in peaceful ways
Value diversity
Build relationships

Communication

Connect and engage with others
Collaborate to plan, carry out, and review constructions and activities
Explain/recount and reflect on experiences and accomplishments

Past Projects

Camp Suzuki 2015-2017

Upcoming Opportunities:

Invite the VOS Team to visit your school!

We’ll ask questions about your outdoor education needs and wishes, assess your facilities and brainstorm programming options with you. Contact us at info@vancouveroutdoorschool.com to arrange a time.