Learning Through Adventure!

Education & Outdoor Recreation

Great Moose Adventures

Outdoor Education, Wilderness Retreats & Canadian Culture

The Great Moose Team

Deanna Beggs

For the past 15 years Deanna has been teaching children from the ages of 3 upwards in several different countries and educational systems, giving her an insight into different teaching & learning approaches from around the globe. Her teaching journey began in Seoul, South Korea where she developed a passion for teaching children in the early years, which she has continued to focus on as a  Kindergarten Teacher in the UK, at the British School of Bucharest, and locally with the Trillium District School Board.

Deanna is an Ontario Certified Teacher and specializes in early literacy, outdoor inquiry and child directed play & learning. She developed the Nature Preschool and Kindergarten Program at GMA Academy and is the Head of Lower School in addition to teaching the Kindergarten Class. 




Brad Hamacher


Brad has been teaching in traditional and non-traditional classrooms for the past 25 years. He is an OCT qualified educator who specializes in citizenship and character education, including co-operative skills, social studies, phys-ed, communication, behaviour management and self-esteem development. For the past 7 years he has been focusing on utilizing creative, hands-on learning in an outdoor setting for academic success and personal growth; designing and facilitating outdoor education for children aged 4 - 16 and teaching the Senior Class at GMA Academy. He also has extensive experience working with and teaching children and adults with a wide variety of special needs; while working for Community Living South Muskoka, Reach for the Rainbow and Camp Alternative Wilderness

Brad is a certified Outward Bound canoe guide with over 500 days leading youth and young adults on wilderness trips. He holds an Orca Canoe Instructors Level 1, a Ski Instructors Certificate, a National Life Saving Certificate, YMCA Swim Instructors, Wilderness First Aid and Safe Management Crisis Intervention for individuals with developmental delays. 


Sonny Leese


Sonny has been teaching in the indoor and outdoor classroom for the past 16 years. Originally from the UK and France he has had the opportunity to teach children of all ages from 3 different continents. He is an OCT certified teacher with experience teaching and leading in a wide range of educational environments. In recent years his focus has been the founding & development of GMA Academy - a private school for elementary aged children.


He is the GMA Academy Principal, Junior Class Teacher and whole school French & Science Teacher. He is also the Head of Curriculum Development &  Assessment, a role which has seen him bring in curricula and educational approaches from all over the world to create a dynamic, holistic and high quality learning community for the students and teachers at GMA Academy.


During the summers he is a lead guide for wilderness canoe trips with over 200 days of guiding experience. Outside of regular class teaching, his educational specialties include: Forest School, Emotional Awareness and Wilderness Survival.

Becki Dickey


Becki’s path as an educator has been very diverse with experience teaching abroad as a humanitarian on a project development team in Bulgaria, facilitating interactive animal presentations with Speaking of Wildlife, youth programming and aquatics at the YMCA and providing lessons about Medieval Life for primary students in Chivalric Productions. 


In 2012 Becki traveled to Nicaragua to study Yoga and become a Yoga Alliance Certified, Hatha instructor and now holds a RYT 200 hr yoga teacher certification. Becki is also a qualified Rainbow Kids yoga instructor.


In addition Becki holds a National Lifeguarding certification, YMCA Swim Instructors, YMCA Aquafit instruction as well as a post grad certificate in Health and Wellness.  Most recently, she has become a First Aid and CPR instructor for Red Cross.


Becki’s passion as a yoga teacher and wildlife educator is deeply rooted in her sense of adventure, love of lifelong learning and her desire to connect with people through meaningful experiences in mind, body and spirit.

 


Stephanie Strang

Stephanie is an OCT qualified teacher who obtained her post-secondary education right here in Muskoka at the Nipissing University Campus. She spent her summers working with children including a position as the Summer Children’s Programmer at the Gravenhurst Public Library. Throughout her placements in university she has planned and facilitated age-appropriate programs and implemented a variety of behavioral intervention techniques within and outside of the classroom.  


She is also a Registered Early Childhood Educator and has worked in many preschools and childcares including the YMCA Bambi Club at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville. During her placements for her ECE she has worked in before and afterschool programs as well as shadowed therapists in a specialized education program for children with exceptionalities at Zareinu Educational Center in Richmond Hill.


Stephanie is very passionate about physical education and has dedicated many years to volunteering as a basketball coach and referee in Muskoka.  She also enjoys using her creative side and teaches children how to express themselves using art. Her favourite art projects combine both paint and natural material found in the forest.   




Meaghan Wells

Meaghan began her career teaching English in Gimhae, South Korea and quickly recognized the power and beauty of facilitating student growth and learning.  She is a certified Ontario teacher, with specialities in mathematics and science, and holds her additional qualifications in special education.  She has been teaching children of all ages in various indoor and outdoor classrooms for the last 10 years.  These experiences include teaching an outdoor based secondary school leadership program, team building programmings in camp settings, and developing children’s programming for camps. She is an outdoor enthusiast with many experiences, including leading children and teenagers on wilderness canoe trips and other experiential education opportunities. 



Jacqueline Kerr

Jacqueline has been working with children and families for over a decade, in a variety of roles.  Her experience ranges from licensed childcare centres to community recreation, and art programs.


She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, with additional training in Positive Behaviour Support and Special Needs support. Jacqueline also holds a diploma in Parks & Outdoor Recreation.


Currently, she is pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Visual Arts.  She believes that an educator is also a life-long learner.  In the past, she worked for a local land trust organization, assisting in ecological restoration projects and community outreach.  Drawing from all of her experience/education when teaching, allows her to be adaptable and resourceful.


She is passionate about inspiring positive connections to nature, community and self through experiential  learning and creativity.




Rebecca Clark

Rebecca is an OCT certified teacher who has been teaching in a variety of educational settings since 2005. She has a passion for inquiry-based learning, and creating a growth mindset. 


Rebecca has taught in a variety of settings including the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Parks, and in the UK and Ontario schools. She specializes in conflict resolution and collaborative learning, and in creating positive classroom communities using the TRIBES learning communities. 

Rebecca is a certified babywearing educator, and she volunteers her time to the EarlyON, Making Connections, and Muskoka Babywearers groups to teach babywearing techniques and the benefits of babywearing. 

She is passionate about helping youth fulfill their potential and become happy and active members of the community.