Our experience leaders are highly competent, enthusiastic and caring individuals who conduct themselves professionally yet informally and are very responsive to the safety, comfort, and learning needs of the customer. The primary leaders for Yours Outdoors are:
Barrie is the owner and operator of Yours Outdoors. He has been creating and leading learning experiences his whole career starting with his summers working in Ontario Provincial Parks, followed by 28 years of experience with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources where he worked as Education Specialist at the Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre, and most recently (and currently) as an educator with Out to Learn, a division of Glenside Ecological Services. Barrie has extensive experience in experience development, curriculum development; and event, workshop, and conference planning.
Barrie is an active community volunteer. He co-founded the Haliburton Highlands Trails and Tours Network and served 6 years as President. He currently is a director on the Boards of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust and the Haliburton County Community Cooperative. He is a member of the Communities in Action Committee, Head Lake Trail Committee, Haliburton County Folk Society, and the Friends of Ecological and Environmental Learning (formerly the Friends of the Frost Centre)
Barrie lives in a log house with his wife, Patricia, who is a planner with a local municipality. Patricia and Barrie have two sons—Aaron, an engineer in Montreal, and Adrian, at the University of Western Ontario in Music Administration.
Sean arrived at Yours Outdoors with a checkered past. He began his professional career as a Veterinary Technologist in Guelph. After 8 years building and directing the Guelph Humane Society, he moved to the Guelph United Way Social Planning Council and took the helm of the newly created Community Information Center. Some years after that, he and his wife gave their lives a bit of a shake and purchased a nearly derelict business that they ran successfully for 15 years, crediting their success to hard work and exceptional customer service. In 2000, Sean returned to school to study Ecotourism Management at Fleming College in Haliburton. After graduation, he was offered an annual, seasonal position at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve guiding the "Walk in the Clouds" canopy tour and piloting a fresh water tour submarine. Sean and his wife Gwen spend part of each year exploring the world as cycle-tourists.
Combining his B.Ed. and specialty certificate in Outdoor and Experiential Education with 18 years working in a wide range of capacities and settings, Rick has joined the Yours Outdoors team offering a rich teaching and leadership background. Rick has worked several seasons as a wilderness and ecotour guide in Ontario and Costa Rica, as an environmental educator at a variety of outdoor centres, and is well grounded in adventure education and nature tourism having worked with Outward Bound Wilderness School and Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve. Rick taught part-time for Fleming College in the Eco and Adventure Tourism Management Program and is the past editor of Wolves, an annual publication of the Wolf Centre. Presently Rick works for Fleming College in Lindsay, heading up a new certificate program called Outdoor Adventure Skills.
Heather's formal training and experience in the outdoors started in Nova Scotia. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees both focused on outdoor education and leadership. Heather was an instructor with the Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program and co-developed the Women's Outdoor Leadership Model. She was very active in the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) Program, and worked with youth on outdoor and environmental education programs. Heather has also been part of the retail world, selling outdoor equipment and clothing and leading day trips hiking, biking, and snowshoeing. Heather moved back to the Haliburton area in 2005 and enjoys being immersed in the outdoors and sharing that experience with others. Her current work at the U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research has connected her with in the community and also allows her to make time to be outside!
Irene is a wildlife biologist with extensive field and public relations experience. She was an instructor at the Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre for four years and a wildlife biologist at the Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve for seven. Irene's responsibilities at the Haliburton Forest included interpreting the behaviour of a captive wolf pack, editing and writing for the Wolf Centre's annual magazine Wolves, developing a fisheries management plan and an ecological monitoring study to determine the differences between various Silvicultural systems. Irene also monitored the annual deer, bear and moose hunts at the Forest. Internationally, Irene was a research assistant and scientific interpreter for a guanaco (wild form of llama) study in Patagonia, Chile and a group leader for a sea turtle nesting program in Belize. Irene has hands-on experience working with sea turtles, Belizean river turtles, snapping turtles, waterfowl, songbirds, white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, stump-tailed macaques, Harbour seals, guanacos, flying squirrels and wolves. Irene currently works for Out to Learn where she develops and delivers environmental and outdoor education programs for schools, Discovery Days, Naturally Kids Discovery Day Camp, and Junior Naturalist Camps.
Paul is a consulting ecologist who conducts floral and faunal inventories, environmental impact assessments and wetland evaluations. In Ontario, he is working closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited Canada and municipal governments, mapping wetlands and developing protocol to ensure wetlands are properly protected. Paul is a Managed Forest Plan Approver and develops forest management plans for private landowners. Paul directs and oversees all aspects of studies and research projects, as well as field work and data collection, conducted by Glenside Ecological Services Limited.
Paul's international experience includes developing an ecological monitoring program to minimize the impact of the clearance of unexploded ordnance from the Panama Canal rangelands; developing a database for the Monterey Bay Sea Otter Rehabilitation program in California; and conducting radio-telemetry for a guanaco parental investment study in Chile.
Paul has enjoyed applying his practical expertise to ecological and natural resources education as part of the Out to Learn and Yours Outdoors team.
Thom Lambert is a superb naturalist, with a passion for birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Thom can often be heard on the community radio station Canoe FM dispensing helpful tips and call-in queries about the natural world. Enthusiastic adventurer, cyclist, kayaker, angler, outdoor educator are all words that describe the many outdoor talents of Thom. He also instructed at Sir Sandford Fleming College's Ecotourism and Adventure Management program. Thom is also actively involved in Haliburton's vibrant arts community as an accomplished potter, singer/songwriter and President of the Haliburton County Fall Studio Tour. Thom's Singing Dog Pottery Studio is found along County Rd. 1 and is a must visit stop on the Studio Tour.
Maria Paterson holds a Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies with a major in Inclusive and Therapeutic Recreation from Brock University (2010). She also holds Diplomas from the Parks & Forest Recreation Program, Sir Sandford Fleming College (2001) and from the Adventure Tourism Program, Sandford Fleming College (2002). She has worked as an Outdoor Facilitator and lead dog sled guide at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve and as a Wilderness Field Coordinator with Pine River Institute, supporting youth who are dealing with addiction. Currently, Maria is the Challenge Course Manager and Event/Program Coordinator at Bark Lake Leadership Centre.
Maria is an avid traveler and her journeys have taken her around the world. Her most recent trip included India and other South Asia destinations. In her limited free time, Ms. Paterson is the Volunteer Coordinator for both the Forest Festival and Hike Haliburton Festival. In addition, Maria can also be found riding the local mountain bike trails, reading a good book or guiding you on your next adventure with Your Outdoors.
Yours Outdoors also employs numerous local guides, specialists, and service providers who share our commitment to excellence.
Yours Outdoors works with many individuals, organizations, and businesses in the Haliburton region and beyond who contribute to the success of our experience packages. We are very pleased to be associated with the following partners:
Haliburton County Tourism
Amy Brohm, Ann Lavery and Bob Smith of the tourism department of the County of Haliburton do an excellent job of promoting attractions, events and experience packages. For more information visit www.haliburtonholidays.ca.
Out to Learn
Out to Learn, a division of Glenside Ecological Services Limited, develops and delivers natural resource, ecological and environmental educational programs to schools at Kinark Outdoor Centre and other locations. These programs are science and geography based with direct links to the Ontario curriculum. Out to Learn also offers workshops, camps, and professional development to a variety of groups including educators, professionals, and children. It is a pleasure working with Irene and Paul Heaven of Glenside Ecological Services. They are wildlife biologists with lots of field experience and make great guides. Please visit www.outtolearn.ca.