GROWE Outdoor Education & Resource Staff

Meet the founders of Grand River Outdoor Wilderness Education (GROWE)... Tara Carpenter and Jessica McGregor.

 

MEET TARA...

Tara Carpenter has had a love of nature and the outdoors from an early age, thanks to growing up on a Norfolk County farm and regularly engaging in wilderness camping trips with her family as a child.

Travelling many parts of the world for 17 years expanded Tara’s knowledge of the natural world and her love for this earth, we call home.

The most memorable experience of her travels was being a deckhand on a sailing ship exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for 6 years.

Now being a mother to a very active, creative, and outdoor loving 7 year old, has inspired Tara to encourage other parents and their families to get outdoors.

She is a recent graduate of the Adventure Expeditions and Interpretive Leadership Diploma program at Fanshawe College, Simcoe Campus (video). During this time she received honors and multiple awards showcasing her leadership achievements and passion for environmental stewardship.

She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation. Tara holds certificates in: Wilderness First Responder, Team Building, Cross Country Skiing, Working on Ice, Introduction to Ice Rescue, Health and Safety, and Whitewater Rescue Technician. Being currently employed with Grand River Rafting as a supervisor, where hiking and river-guiding keeps her in the great outdoors. 

“My dream with GROWE is to instill in others the love, passion and respect I possess for nature. I believe that the benefits of engaging our youth in the great outdoors are immeasurable. I hope to inspire both children and their families to engage regularly in the natural world.”

 


 

 MEET JESSICA....

Jessica McGregor has had a special connection to nature since she was born, having a particular passion for animals and water.

Jessica has been canoeing since she was 2 years old, and kayaking from the age of 9. As a child, she spent most of her summers in Algonquin Park bonding with her family and the environment. Jessica attributes most of her passion for environmental education to Algonquin Park.

She has graduated from the Adventure Expedition and Interpretive Leadership course at Fanshawe College (video). During this time Jessica learned business management, proposal writing, plant and tree identification, animal identification, environmental sustainability, advocacy & leadership, basic environmental law and program development. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and ORCKA basic level 4. Jessica also received The Long Point Eco-Adventures Leadership Award.

Since finishing the Adventure Expedition and Interpretive Leadership program, Jessica has obtained certifications for Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants, Plant and Tree Identification, Team Building Certification and Introduction to Beekeeping. Jessica has also completed the Safe Hiker Program and is a Certified Hike Leader.

Jessica has a passion for the outdoors and through GROWE wants others to see the beauty and peacefulness it can bring to our lives. Jessica strives to show others the importance of the environment, the creatures within it and how we are all connected. 

 


 

Cancellation Policy: 

Full Payment Required upon booking. 

Groups of 15 or more need to pay 30% deposit  

Trips cancelled more than one week prior to event will receive a 70% refund. 

Trips cancelling less than one week will lose 50% of payment. 

Trips cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will receive no refund. 

Trips cancelled by Grand River Outdoor Wilderness Education due to weather can be rescheduled or fully refunded.

 

Risk Management: 

Our guides are highly trained, skilled and experienced in leading clients in the outdoors with the completion of many pertinent diplomas, certificates, training, and awards. 

  • We must stay together as a group as much as possible but if you are to ever go off anywhere by yourself we will have a buddy system that children will always follow.
  • No child is to go anywhere by themselves. Always leave space between you and the person in front of you when hiking in the bush.
  • Be aware of ticks and protect yourself by tucking your socks into your pants, checking your pant legs on a regular bases, and stay on the trails.
  • Poison Ivy is a three leaved plant that can cause severe reactions in some people. Stay clear of any three leaved plants by staying on the trails. Never pick any fauna without the guide’s instructions.
  • Allergies, asthma and all other medical conditions will be discussed and medications organized.
  • Always stay hydrated by drinking lots of water no matter what the weather conditions.
  • Always be aware of tripping hazards such as rock, sticks, logs, and slippery conditions on and off the trails.  

 

RECOMMENDED CLOTHING: 

Always dress for the weather conditions.  

Dressing in layers is always a good idea since you can always take layers off along the way.  

Winter can be cold and damp so we recommend wearing: 

Undershirt, sweater, wool socks, snow pants, long underwear, scarf, buff, balaclava, toque, mitten/gloves, winter boots, and down filled winter coat/parka, waterproof outer shell.

 

BRING:

Water, extra dry warm clothing, flashlight

 


For inquiries and reservations please email GROWE at GROWE.FiveOaks@gmail.com

The GROWE Program is located in the Grand River Valley at the Five Oaks Centre located south of Paris, Ontario (locate on Google Map)... within a 1 hour driving radius from Toronto, London & Guelph.