Heidi Verheul, Wild Child Program Coordinator
“Creating a bond with a special animal, plant, or a natural place, I believe is the key to understanding how we impact our world and how our world impacts us and ultimately this connection should help guide our decisions throughout our lives.”
Hailing from the deep dark woods of Belmont, NS, Heidi came to Halifax to complete a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from Saint Mary`s University and a Bachelor of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. Through environmental education she has been able to combine her love of nature with her passion for working with children.
She been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop and share her skills with Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Chapter, Brigadoon Village Children’s Camp Society, NS Department of Natural Resources, and Clean Nova Scotia. She is also completely smitten with Monarch Butterflies. Heidi is currently working on obtaining her Forest and Nature School Practitioner’s Certificate.
“Outdoor play time has been a vital component of my work with children, supporting their natural curiosity, regardless of their physical and/or mental limitations.”
Jacqui received her Early Childhood Education degree in England and continued to study and work in the field for more than 40 years! Her work has included programs for children with a variety of developmental disabilities in Canada, Portugal and Belize. She also volunteered in Thailand for 8 years, providing teacher training in Early Intervention and Inclusive Education for children with special needs, spending 4 of those years working in refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border.
During the past 2 years she has been studying permaculture with a view to incorporating some of the principles into her urban life! Many of these include a deep respect of the natural world and an interest in sharing this with the children who will inherit it!
Lauren Brady-MacAulay, Wild Child Educator
“Shaping a better society starts with our kids… giving them the opportunities they need to become healthy, happy people who are self-aware, caring and connected to nature.”
Lauren hails from Dartmouth, NS, where she was a free-range child of the 70s and 80s. She graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a BA in sociology, as well as from the University of Calgary, with a BSW, with plans to someday finish up her MSW. As a social worker, Lauren has worked with at-risk youth and families for the past 20 years.
Becoming a parent changed her perspective on just about everything and wanting to focus her energy on preventative rather than reactionary approaches to societal problems, she recently traded in her government career to focus on her true passions, which include holistic nutrition, vegetable gardening and fostering children’s outdoor play with Forest School, which she finds both rewarding and uplifting.
Karyn MacPherson, Wild Child Educator
“Children playing, exploring and being educated while outside is an “environmentally friendly” learning experience, helping them make decisions to become the best versions of themselves!”
Karyn comes from the small rural town of McAdam, New Brunswick, where her love for nature took root. Karyn has her Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University in Environment & Society and Anthropology. During her studies Karyn volunteered with Students for Sustainability, Best Buddies Canada, Anthropology Society and worked at the Nature Trust of NB helping stewardship and education initiatives.
After graduating Karyn began working at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick where she was able to work alongside the project coordinator of the “Learning Outside Project”, a project developed to help teachers teach curriculum outside. If not outside exploring somewhere new Karyn can be found in the public library browsing the racks.
Kati George-Jim, Wild Child Assistant Leader
“One cannot separate people from the land; we are the land and we must protect it.” -Anonymous
Kati is originally from Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. She is completing her BA Honours with a double major in Political Science and Environmental Sustainability at Dalhousie University. Kati is an active member of the Dalhousie community and beyond. She is the Co-Chair of the South House Gender Resource Centre, the student representative on the Dalhousie Board of Governors, and a member of the Dalhousie Student Union’s Office of Sustainability (DSUSO) Steering Committee.
Kati is a Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps (NSYCC) Youth Aboriginal Leadership Intern and is working with Wild Child Forest School for the summer and she will be researching ways on how Wild Child can incorporate indigenous knowledge into the vibrant learning space of forest school. We hope to have a sustainable plan to learn from the land and develop meaningful relationships with local Mi’kmaw communities.
Mallory Goss, Wild Child Assistant Leader
“Everything in the natural world, ourselves included, shares a common ancestry.” -Ani Mikaere
Mallory left the gentle island of P.E.I for the big city of Halifax to study Child & Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University with a minor in Psychology. What she loves most about the program is being able to jump in and get her hands dirty working with children and youth of varying ages and abilities through her practicum placements.
Nature has also always been one of Mallory’s great loves, from childhood summers spent on the Island’s north shore and hikes at Greenwich to her little indoor garden and weekend birding excursions. She is over-the-moon excited about pursuing two of her passions at once and helping young people re-connect with their environment, their peers and themselves.