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THE WILD ONES

Our ‘Wild’ team is a group of skilled woodsmen/women and professional outdoor educators who are eager to share their passion(s) with you. We bring a few hundred years of collective experience in a wide range of pursuits. From the classic story of building a log cabin in the northern wilderness to living on the land in the Arctic, from guiding wilderness canoe trips to studying Canada’s top predators, the ‘Wild Ones’ offer you a wealth of knowledge (and stories galore). Read our bios below to find out more about these dynamic leaders who are keen to meet you.

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HONDO

(AKA Jamie Honderich)

Wildly Creative Director

705-380-4479


‘Hondo’ wears many outdoor hats and ‘Find Your Wild’ is his attempt to wear them all at once. He has instructed at a variety of outdoor education centres and schools, developing and delivering a wide range of presentations and multi-credit programs. His passion for wildlife led him to field research with wolves, cougar, polar bears … and blackflies among others. Guiding international clients on canoe trips in the Algonquin Park wilderness is an honour that he has enjoyed for over two decades. Volunteer firefighting helps fill his spare time.

MARGHITA AUSTIN

Find Your Wild Crew


Marghita’s fascination with our natural surroundings lends an element of fun and discovery to every adventure. Her background in astronomy, mythology, flora and fauna, art and physical activity opens the doorway of connection under a starry Muskoka sky.

TERRY GRAHAM

Find Your Wild Crew


Terry has 25 years experience in planning, leading and organizing wilderness excursions with organizations such as Outward Bound, Kinark, Camp Kandalore, and Canadian Wilderness Trips. Serving as the director of Canadian Wilderness Trips for 17 years Terry has strong technical skills as a guide and leader. Terry is passionate about climbing, canoeing, and skiing and has been a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol since 2010. Terry lives in the Huntsville area with his wife and two kids, maintaining a large garden and sugar bush.

JEFF MANN

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Jeff is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and outdoor educator. He holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, as well as a B.Ed. from Nipissing University. Jeff is a lifelong skier, both alpine and nordic. He began telemark skiing while in university and has been an enthusiastic practitioner since. Jeff’s telemark skis have carried him to many places in the past twenty years including numerous backcountry journeys in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the United States. He is a CANSI certified telemark instructor and enjoys sharing his passion for skiing with beginners and experts alike. When not skiing, Jeff can be found teaching grade 7/8 and outdoor ed at the local Montessori school.

STEPHANIE AYKROYD

Find Your Wild Crew


Co-author of Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba, Stephanie guided wilderness canoe expeditions and retreats for over a decade. With years of experience and a versatile background, she works as an Outdoor Educator for Trillium Lakelands School Board and loves any opportunity to share her passion for nature with others.

PAM CARNOCHAN

Find Your Wild Crew


Pam loves the outdoors, living on a farm and having sheep to inspire her artistic process. She shears her sheep, dyes the wool and then uses it to create unique landscapes which she calls ‘Watercolour with Wool’. Her works have been shown in numerous galleries as well as the Royal Winter Fair and the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour. She loves to inspire others to use her process; to play with wool and make art in a fun new way.

SUE JAMISON

Find Your Wild Crew


Experiencing Canada’s Wilderness by paddle, by trail, and by dog team continues to inspire a great appreciation and respect for the vast beauty and the intricate balance of nature. A background in guiding, primitive skills, and adventure travel led to co-managing a Wilderness Education Centre, followed by a year of remote living in the Boreal forest of the Wabakimi area, in Northern Ontario. Accessible only by bush plane or by canoe, daily survival depended on being resourceful, and by having the ability to work with nature in difficult times. Residing in Muskoka, Sue continues to explore the wilderness from an artistic perspective as well with the desire to share this appreciation and knowledge with others.

MIKE MCINTOSH

Find Your Wild Crew


Interested in wildlife and their behaviour, Mike became fascinated about the “perceived” dangerous predators and our general misunderstanding of these resourceful animals as a child. For most of his life bears have been his focus. Mike has been to Kamchatka Russia walking among some of the largest bears in existence, and has travelled to Alaska and the Rockies, observing bears and their behaviour. He has operated the Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for Bears in Ontario for more than 20 years.

RANDY PIELSTICKER

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As a guide, Randy has led international mountaineering and paddling expeditions and has more than 20 years of experience guiding canoe trips in Algonquin Park. Holding three university degrees, education is a significant aspect of his life, as a student, teacher and instructor. Randy has also been very involved with AboutFace, a charity which provides non-medical support for individuals with facial differences. At the age of 25 he embarked on his first international solo self supported cycling tour in Australia. This is where he discovered the true zen of cycling, travelling and exploring remote corners of the planet. In the last decade he has pedaled more than 83,000 km across 42 countries, including 6 crossings of Africa from north to south.

SUSAN VERKUYL

Find Your Wild Crew


Susan is a true Muskoka wilderness woman. Her joie de vivre extends past her love of canoe tripping to Huntsville High School where she teaches the french immersion outdoor education program, as well as supervising the Outers Club. She looks forward to sharing her experiences with others who have similar interests, or who simply want to expand their appreciation for and knowledge of the nature around us!

TOM HAMPTON

Find Your Wild Crew


Tom is an Aboriginal Studies teacher with a passion for the Arctic. He has lived and worked in First Nations and Inuit communities throughout Canada. He co-coached the Arctic Games team while living and working in the small hamlet of Whale Cove Nunavut and has returned north with high school students from Ontario to share the rich relationships he has cultivated with the Inuit.

ALLY MYERS

Find Your Wild Crew


Ally is an educator who has worked as a guide and facilitator of outdoor education programs for more than 20 years. She has worked with such organizations as Boyne River Outdoor Centre, Mono Cliffs Outdoor Centre, Camp Wanapitei, Canadian Wilderness Trips, Camp Kandalore, and the Bronte Creek Project. Ally was also one of the founders of Paddle to a Cure, a sea kayaking expedition that raised close to $1 million dollars for Breast Cancer research over 5 years.

BARRY ‘Bazza’ HAYWARD

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Barry is a master of percussion who encourages you to take risks, shed inhibitions, deepen your listening skills, release your passion, and come to respect silence and space, as well as sound. The spirit and magic of drumming and rhythm transcends all ages, genders, religions, races, and cultures. Drum circles have the power to heal and empower, to foster unity and community, and to liberate our primal souls!

CHRIS GILMORE

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Chris Gilmour is a professional outdoor educator, wilderness guide, survival skills instructor and emergency and disaster preparedness consultant. He has over 15 years of experience helping people of all ages deepen their knowledge of the natural world through experiential education, guiding and wilderness & urban survival training. Chris has guided back country canoe trips, led dog sledding expeditions, directed summer camps, facilitated intensive wilderness survival expeditions, conducted corporate team building and leadership retreats and much more. He has a forestry diploma from Sir Sanford Fleming & is currently completing a post graduate in Emergency & Disaster Management through George Brown College.

GEOFF CORBETT

Find Your Wild Crew


Geoff has been an avid participant in the paddling and camping scene for over 20 years. His passion is to explore the outdoors, and to share his love of wilderness with others. He has paddled a variety of rivers all over the world, and continues to explore new areas. He is one of the leaders of the Huntsville High School Outers Club which caters to a wide range of students, from the greenhorn to the experienced camper. An educator for 12 years teaching history, geography, english and life skills programs, Geoff continues to enjoy bringing others outside to experience everything the outdoors has to offer

Ruth Cassie

Find Your Wild Crew


Ruth is a singer/songwriter, musician, performing nationally and internationally on her own and supporting other artists. She is also a music educator with the local school board, and teaches piano and singing privately, and leads a children’s choir and a senior’s choir.

Her primary outdoor passion is the dirt; the earth of Muskoka that has been home to five generations of her family. Ruth loves discovering old trails and paths through still wild places, and old homesteads, as well as collecting stories of how the area’s landscape has changed, and how it is adapting to our handling, managing and partnership of it/with it. She plants, paddles, hikes, harvests, swims, snowshoes, camps, creates in the wonders of this neck of the woods and hopes to share the challenge, work, delight and joy of these with you.

TARA SCHMIDTKE

Find Your Wild Crew

Photographic Pro


Tara did not find photography, photography found her. A graduate of Georgian School of Design and Visual Arts, Tara studied many mediums including film photography. After a lengthy and varied career, she found herself teaching photography and has been doing so happily since 2010. Tara’s personal portfolio of work demonstrates her love of people and photographing those rare moments that are difficult to capture and would otherwise go unnoticed. Her boundless energy and her ability to put her subjects at ease ensures that her photos always capture the moment beautifully. She looks forward to capturing your adventures.

STEPHEN MORTON

Find Your Wild Crew

Photographic Pro


Stephen is a design professional working in the private and public sectors with over 25 years in the business. As an advertising agency owner, he has helped clients to realize their potential in retail and corporate advertising, international packaging, B2B, media and marketing campaigns, Customer Relationship Management and more. As a teacher, he enjoys educating students on the methods of advertising, art, photography, graphic and technology design, encouraging them to explore the world around them without fear, through international and local field trips.

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