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.  Combining his outdoor educational background with his experience as a teacher & leader, he has been designing and facilitating inquiry based education - utilizing creative, hands-on learning in an outdoor setting for academic success and personal growth. He is our Summer Camp Director and Head of the Upper School at GMA Academy.





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 20 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 our Kindergarten & Early Learners Program at GMA Academy.




Jean-Yves Sonny Leese


Sonny has been teaching and leading in  indoor and outdoor education for the past 20 years. Originally from the UK and France he has had the opportunity to teach children of all ages from 3 different continents and is an OCT certified educator.  Utilizing his experience in a wide variety of educational settings, he designed the learning approach and curriculum of  GMA Academy, centered on blending traditional academic studies with experiential, hands-on outdoor play and learning. He is the GMA Academy Principal and whole school French Teacher.


Becki Dickey


Becki’s experience as an educator is very diverse with experience teaching abroad, facilitating interactive science & animal presentations, and teaching art, music & drama. She is an  RYT 200 Yoga instructor and is certified in Rainbow Kids yoga instruction, providing play-based learning, focusing on movement, creativity, mindfulness and experiential education.  Becki is also a Wilderness First Aid instructor with the Red Cross of Canada, training our staff and keeping everyone safe at Great Moose Adventures.


 

GMA Academy Teachers

Meaghan Wells

Meaghan is an OCT certified teacher with specialties in mathematics and science, and holding her additional qualifications in Special Education and Reading.


She has been teaching children of all ages in various indoor and outdoor classrooms for the last 10 years, including teaching an outdoor based secondary school leadership program, team building programming in camp settings, leading wilderness canoe trips, and developing children’s programming for camps. 


At GMA Academy, she teaches our Senior Class (grades 3-5) and develops curriculum for our STREAM class that integrates Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics with inquiry-based rich-tasks.

Lori Cats

Lori has been educating young children for many years. After running a home-based childcare centre, she furthered her education to become a Registered Early Childhood Educator. 

She has worked in many different childcare settings and schools boards over the years. As an educator, she is creative, resourceful, and enthusiastic with a deep interest in stimulating children's cognitive and social growth. 

Lori strongly believes that connecting with nature helps foster patience, growth, resilience, mindfulness and joy in children and adults. At GMA Lori teaches in the Kindergarten class, facilitating an inquiry-based, creative curriculum.

Kristen Idiens

Kristen is is an outdoor enthusiast always looking for opportunities to share and spread the love and excitement of the outdoors with students.  She is a qualified OCT and has taught internationally in many diverse countries and educational systems as both a Physical Education and Outdoor Education specialist.  She is a trained yoga instructor, sea kayak instructor and guide, Wilderness First Aid Responder, and is currently completing the Forest School Practitioners program with the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. Her goal is to provide opportunities to develop a love for learning, a safe environment for allowing kids to take risks and develop a positive self-esteem and self-worth and she can't think of a better place to do it other than in the forest!  Kristen  is a teacher with the Forest Classes and is an  supply teacher for the regular GMA Academy classes too. 

Emily Metcalfe


Emily is an Ontario Certified Teacher, specializing in science. She is qualified to teach grades 1 to 12 and holds additional qualifications in Special Education. She has been teaching in traditional and non-traditional educational environments for over a decade. She began teaching as an outdoor educator at a wildlife centre and continued teaching in classrooms within Simcoe/Muskoka. 


Emily is passionate about nature and the environment and loves inspiring enquiring minds to delve into the natural world to discover the wonders it holds. Prior to teaching, Emily worked as an Environmental Scientist and uses her science background to facilitate her students own inquiry-based learning. She is the Junior (Grade 1 & 2) teacher at GMA.


Alyson Kittner

Aly is an Ontario Certified Teacher, recently graduated from Brock University with a passion to teach science and geography at the elementary level. She has experience as a teaching assistant, personal tutor, and camp counselor at GMA. Her love for science is centered around inquiry-based learning and encouraging children’s curiosity to lead the way for new discoveries! Aly prioritizes making strong connections with the children she works with, focusing on inclusion and interest-based activities.  She is excited to utilize her teaching knowledge, love for the outdoors, and sense of adventure to benefit all students she works with this year. Aly is an outdoor educator at GMA & supply teacher for the GMA Academy classes too.