Learning Through Adventure!

Education & Outdoor Recreation

Great Moose Adventures

Outdoor Education, Wilderness Retreats & Canadian Culture

The Great Moose Team

The Directors

Brad Hamacher 

Brad has been teaching in traditional and non-traditional classrooms for the past 25 years, starting in summer camps and graduating to the creation of Great Moose Adventures.  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.  Since opening Great Moose Adventures, he has been designing and facilitating inquiry based education - utilizing creative, hands-on learning in an outdoor setting for academic success and personal growth.

Within his roles at Great Moose Adventures, Brad has enjoyed the responsibility of guiding the wide variety of educators who have joined our team, including developing our LIT, CIT & Junior Guide summer programs and mentoring many of the teachers who join our summer staff or  teacher candidates completing their Bachelor of Education placements at our school. From the hiring process to developing achievable goals, the focus for professional development is rooted in a growth mindset and lifelong learning. 

Brad is a certified Outward Bound canoe guide with over 550 days leading youth and young adults on wilderness trips. He holds an Orca Canoe Instructors Level 1, an Alpine Ski Instructors Certificate, Jack Rabbit Ski Coach, a National Life Saving Certificate, YMCA Swim Instructors & Wilderness First Aid. 

Deanna Beggs

Deanna is a multi talented educator and leader. An Ontario Certified Teacher,  she specializes in early literacy, outdoor inquiry and child directed play & learning. For the past 16 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. Using this experience, she developed the Nature Preschool and Kindergarten Program at GMA Academy and is the Head of Lower School in addition to teaching the Kindergarten & Early Learners Class.

She also leads the kitchen and has created an approach to menu planning, cooking, food studies & dietary education which is specifically designed for children. She incorporates home grown ingredients, alternative diets, international cuisine and healthy dishes to make sure everyone at GMA is refueling properly after a big day outside or in the classrooms. Making sure the children are involved has been key to her approach - from kitchen helpers cleaning up after lunch, to gardeners and bakers, she makes sure everyone is involved and invested in our food.

Jean-Yves Sonny Leese

Sonny has been teaching in the indoor and outdoor classroom for the past 17 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, centered on blending traditional academic studies with experiential, hands-on outdoor play and learning.

He is the GMA Academy Principal and Forest School 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 and Great Moose Adventures.

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 her role as Nature preschool teacher, she has helped develop and facilitate our early years program both at school and camp. Holding her RYT 200 and Rainbow Kids yoga instruction certification she provides expertise in the area of children’s yoga as well as play and inquiry based education. As the Mixed Arts teacher, she brings elements of music, drama and dance to her programs for the students at GMA Academy and summer campers - challenging her students to push their comfort levels in body, mind and spirit.

When not spending time with the little people of the world, Becki is a Red Cross First Aid instructor and holds a National Life Saving Certificate. Focusing mainly on the Wilderness First Aid program, she offers interactive courses certifying all of our summer and year round staff.  Lastly, she is the Head of Waterfront for our summer program, ensuring that all our campers are safe while swimming and  canoeing.  

Year Round Teachers

Meaghan Wells

Lynlee Armstrong

SR Class Teacher  

Outdoor Education Program Developer 

STREAM Teacher

Meaghan began her career as an educator teaching English in South Korea and quickly recognized the joy and privilege of facilitating student growth and learning.  She is an OCT certified teacher, with specialties in mathematics and science, holds her additional qualifications in Special Education and Reading, as well as a certificate in Wilderness First Aid.  

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, leading wilderness canoe trips, and developing children’s programming for camps. Most recently, Meaghan has delivered professional development for all the Grade 1 teachers in the Simcoe County School Board for outdoor education. 

Meaghan’s roles are interesting and varied at Great Moose Adventures. She develops outdoor education programming for students in kindergarten to grade 8 for school based programs and for students on field trips at Great Moose Adventures. She enjoys ‘Exploding a Story’ for her younger students where they experience the story with hands-on, open-ended educational games and activities related to the plot and characters in the chosen book. Lastly, she develops curriculum for and teaches the STREAM classes that integrate Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics with inquiry-based rich-tasks

Nature Preschool - Lead Teacher

Summer Juniors - Lead Teacher

As an Ontario certified teacher, specializing in science and additionally qualified in intermediate math Lynlee has also taught ESL, the arts and early reading intervention programs to children throughout Muskoka the past 5 years. She feels lucky to be teaching in the same area she grew up in, following in the footsteps of her mother, grandmother and many aunts and uncles. Lynlee has also lived in the United States and abroad in Slovakia. It was during her time abroad that Lynlee was introduced to Forest Schools and her desire to teach outdoors began. After finishing teachers college Lynlee participated in the inaugural Canada Forest School Practitioners course. This course gave her insight and inspiration to take learning outside and highlighted the many benefits outdoor play and learning has on the development of a child.

In her spare time, Lynlee coaches a girls soccer team and is a member of the charitable organization- Rotaract. She enjoys camping, kayaking, playing soccer, swimming, hiking, reading and doing puzzles. Her friends, family and her dog Oliver are very important to her. Lynlee strives to make a positive impact on her students by showing kindness, enthusiasm and spirit in her teaching profession.