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 is from the Nlaka’pamux Nation located in the Fraser Canyon where the Fraser River meets the Thompson River. Lenaya has been with Fireside Adventures for over 6 years as a camper and now as a guide. Lenaya is a huge advocate for youth having access to outdoor experiential education and leadership training. She believes that building a connection with the land will give youth confidence, and allow for propelled self-development. She has a high level of energy and her main focus is on leadership development.
My favourite outdoor adventure as a teenager, was when I just finished hiking a long day through a rainforest with a huge backpack and I came out of the woods to see endless ocean and pristine beaches at Cape Scott….then I knew it was worth the sweat and sore muscles. Effort is part of leadership.”
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.
Daniel Macías Barajas - Latin American Sales Coordinator
Daniel creció en el mundo del campismo, de niño atendió campamentos en México y Estados Unidos. Daniel tiene un Master en Gestión y Dirección de Centros Educativos por la Universidad de Barcelona. Sus veranos de estudiante los pasó siempre trabajando como miembro del staff en varios campamentos en Estados Unidos, Canadá, Alemania y España. Desde 2007 dirige la corporación International Camps Network a través de la cual gestiona recursos y fomenta la promoción de una vasta red de Centros Educativos al Aire Libre especializados en técnicas de Aprendizaje a través de la Experiencia. Entre los programas que dirige se encuentran Camp Europe y Camps Canada, éste último programa fortaleció los lazos con Fireside Adventures para crear una sinergia donde Daniel es ahora oficialmente el coordinador para Latinoamérica de Fireside Adventures. Y está muy emocionado por ello!
Cristina Brichetti - European Coordinator
Based in between south of France and Northern Italy, Cristina's fluency in English, Italian, French and Spanish make her very approachable for any Europe related enquiries
Giselle was lucky enough to grow up in, leave, and return to the beautiful Sunshine Coast of B.C. where she now lives and teaches elementary school. She is absolutely passionate about bringing children of all ages into nature, and fostering a lasting bond between students and the land. Giselle is constantly learning more about the history of this place, it’s people and works hard to influence future generations to become true stewards of the land. As a passionate lifelong sailor, Giselle loves nothing more than to share the joy of sailing with anyone and everyone, and believes that sailing is an incredible way to teach leadership and teamwork skills. Giselle hopes to use the power of sailing to create meaningful women’s led and attended sailing programs to promote these skills.
Sophie Hong Truong
Sophie graduated with a Diploma of Teaching and has gained many experience in education field for the past years. She loves spending outdoor
activities with students. Sophie has always wished to introduce not only the beauty of Canada’s nature but also the thrilling, rewarding Fireside Adventure Camping Programs to everyone in Southeast Asia. Fluent in both English and Vietnamese, Sophie will be a great helper to provide you with many useful information about various Fireside Adventure Programs.
Allie has been playing in the dirt since she was a little sprout. Her love of the natural world has taken her in many directions (including up many mountains!) She has spent many years caretaking the land by working on organic farms, creating gardens, wandering through the woods, and wildcrafting. Over the past few years, her love of plants has taken root and bloomed into the world of herbalism. She is passionate about exploring and sharing the uses of the plants that inhabit our world, and creating dynamic learning environments to share this spark with others. When she’s not out exploring the forest, Allie has worked in youth centers, YMCA day camps, girls empowerment groups, after school programs, and is currently working at a nature connection and education centre in Ontario. She loves to bring people of all ages outside! She hopes that through her work with Fireside Adventures she can help others foster a deep connection and relationship with themselves, each other and with the land.
Born and raised a settler in Coast Salish Territory, Caleb is a passionate adventurer, musician, relationship builder, and connoisseur of rich life experiences. Driven to service at an early age, Caleb developed his leadership and outdoor education skills through youth programs like Scouts Canada and Royal Canadian Army Cadets prior to venturing deep into the professional world. As a testament to the ingenuity and resilience he gained through his training in the wild, Caleb founded his own consulting practice at age 19 before going on to hold management-level positions with various firms, non-profits, and community associations in his early twenties. Since returning to his roots to live in alignment with his values, Caleb has been honoured to deliver outstanding outdoor programs for youth and adults from all walks of life. Caleb is known for his abilities to connect meaningfully with participants, facilitate inclusive discussions, and leverage the wisdom of nature to assist individuals in discovering their best amidst physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Caleb is a veteran instructor with professional certifications in canoeing, sea kayaking, and wilderness medicine.
Jess Dick is thankful for her small town start to life in Alberta, Canada. At the age of four, she began to explore by horseback, quickly developing a sense of adventure, a strong work ethic, respect for nature, and how to nurture that which you love. When she finally climbed down from the saddle, Jess found herself on a volleyball court. After years of hard work, an amazing opportunity to play university ball arose in New Hampshire, USA where she divided her time between passions: the environment and volleyball. Graduating with a BSc in Environmental Science: Soil and Watershed Management, Jess set off to provide support for organic agriculturalists throughout India. This one-way ticket resulted in six years in 6 Asian countries, where she worked as a farmer, teacher, SCUBA Divemaster, travel writer and experiential education guide. These experiences allowed her to become deeply connected to nature, increase her understanding of self, and create a passion for her to share her knowledge with others. With a recent transition back to Canada, Jess wants to better understand, support, grow and explore the local cultures.
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