The Team: As talented in the outdoors as they are adventurous, we hire the best outdoor leadership instructors to create and amazing summer experience for our campers.
Jeff Willis, Owner, Founder
Since 1991, Jeff (aka Willy), has been developing and leading various camps, expeditions and outdoor programs throughout Canada, Japan, Germany and the Arctic. His love of outdoor education coupled with formal training and years of experience in youth and family work led him to create Fireside Adventures. He is the quintessential camp director – an energetic leader, creating meaningful experiences for campers and having a load of fun along the way!
lenaya sampson, instructor
Lenaya has been with Fireside Adventures for 6 years with 2 of them being a camper, while the remaining as a guide. With Lenaya’s aspiration to become a secondary school teacher, she finds working in outdoor education provides endless teachable moments from a broad range of curriculum, including her favourite, Human Geography. Lenaya’s contribution to our Fireside programs is definitely her high level of energy and her ability to facilitate each camper’s outdoor experiences ensuring it is unique to them. “My favourite outdoor adventure moment from when I was younger was when I just finished doing a days worth of hiking with a huge backpack and I came out of the woods to see endless ocean and pristine beaches at Cape Scott.”
Tomas Lang 'potato', instructor
Tomas (better known as "Potato") is a Fireside alumni recently returned from a 14-month trip in Europe, 6 months of which were spent backpacking, hitchhiking, and rock climbing all around the continent. Tomas' first outdoor adventures consisted of splashing around in Vancouver rainstorms as a young child, and that love of being in the elements has stuck around. As a new addition to the Fireside team, he is looking forward to sharing his love for being in nature and the opportunities for growth, self-reflection, and -- most importantly – the fun it provides.
josie moore, Instructor
Josie is a secondary school teacher who lives and plays in Squamish, BC. She currently works at the Sea to Sky Alternative School, a small learning community focused on attachment and engagement. Josie has worked in outdoor education for 12 years as a program facilitator and guide, for organizations such as Outward Bound, The YMCA, and Fireside Adventures, and is currently working towards a Graduate Diploma in Nature-Based Experiential Learning through Simon Fraser University. Her personal and professional passions are closely aligned, and generally focus on community building and connection to the natural world, as well as re-engaging traumatized and at-risk youth with the outdoors, and using nature as a tool to address and heal the effects of trauma on the body and mind. Josie loves to mountain bike, hike, ski and canoe, and act as an advocate for females of all ages in the outdoors.
Emanuelle Carrier, instructor
After being a camper for 10 years as a kid, Ema decided she wanted to give back and became a counselor in a canoe-camping summer camp in Quebec. During her last years there, she worked on a leadership program that she was eventually in charge of. These experiences made her realize how outdoor expeditions are beneficial for self-knowledge and personal development. “It's through challenges that you get to know who you truly are and it's in the quietness and simplicity of nature that you get to think about who you want to be.” She decided she wanted to pursue working professionally with youth in an outdoor environment, helping them to develop their own potential. She has completed a bachelor in psycho-education which provides her the exceptional ability to manage group dynamics and behaviour.
Carmen Chandler, instructor
Carmen Chandler Torontian by birth, west coaster by choice is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria’s Teacher Education program. With a passion for nature and the great outdoors Carmen spends a lot of her time exploring, learning, and teaching. She has volunteered with Girl Guides of Canada, specifically with the Trex program for 3 years running outdoor programs all over Vancouver island and the lower mainland. Other experiences include working in international summer camps, community centre after school programs, Indigenous camps, and as an intern with Outward Bound Canada. The idea of Paying it Forward is one of the biggest driving factors for Carmen's passion for Outdoor Education. As a teenager Carmen had the opportunity to take part in many different experiences. Being a part of the Fireside team is her chance to facilitate similar life changing experience for the next generation of youth.
We hire the best instructors to lead all our summer camps. The same qualified staff lead, teach and guide for the entirety of each program, ensuring consistency for campers. Our instructors must have the following:
- Valid driver's license
- Wilderness first aid and/or First Responder training
- Lifeguarding (at least one instructor per program will have this)
- Outdoor wilderness training
- Criminal record check
- Post secondary education
- English-teaching ability (for ESL camps)
- Each camp will have one to two interns who are Fireside Alumni
Ratio: 1 instructor/intern per 6 campers