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. 

Lou Corbett (she/her)

Lou is passionate about outdoor education and getting students outside as much as possible. Lou aims to foster strong relationships with students to guide them in their academic progress, while developing a reverence for the natural world and its complexities. Before becoming an OCT-certified teacher, Lou was a business owner, an outdoor educator, an aquatic plant biodiversity technician, a conservation scientist and a park naturalist, among other roles. When not at GMA, you can usually find Lou foraging for wild edibles and skincare, walking her dog 'Kip', adventuring with her partner, creating nature art, and paddling or hiking near Georgian Bay (Mnidoo Gamii). Lou has also completed her BA in Georgraphy (University of Guelph) and her Masters of Environmental Studies (Queens), where the latter was focused on citizen science initiatives related to water quality monitoring. She is the Junior teacher where she appreciates applying an inquiry-based and hands-on approach to education.