Steve Leckman – Director, instructor
Stefanie Dimitrovas – Instructor, administrator
Stefanie is an enthusiastic human that loves to sing, dance, play, craft, and marvel with others in the out-of-doors. She has worked as an artistic / cultural director with the p.i.n.e. Project in Toronto for the past several years, as a youth program mentor at the Ontario Art of Mentoring, and as a multi-purpose coordinator at the Concordia Greenhouse. She graduated with honor from Concordia University with a BSc in Environmental Science, and is particularly passionate about birds, plants, wood crafts and song. She believes that it can only be through the heart that future generations will come into a role of stewardship of, and not dominion over, the natural world.
Kawisente McGregor – Kahnawake site director, instructor
Annie Preston – Instructor
Arndell LeBlanc – Instructor
Arndell is originally from Les Iles de la Madelaine where summers are spent exploring caves, diving into crashing waves and long nights spent stargazing. Adventures found him sleeping outdoors from mountain tops to deep jungles. Trained as a Journalist at Concordia University, he has spent most of his career working for Doctors Without Borders but he also works to train humanitarians on how to work within conflict zones. He thrives in navigating moments of chaos. Spare time is spent in the woods or on the water: guiding, coaching and being a medic but most likely he is to be found with a cup of tea in hand or diving into a river. The North Star program and Nature Mentor Training were instrumental in his journey into instruction as well as additional mentoring from Coyote Programs staff. He is also a student of Karamat Wilderness Ways. If you want to nerd out with him some topics include: teas, backpacks or Mors Kochanski.
Benoit Berard – Instructor
Benoit has a Bsc in Environmental science with a specialization in Wildlife Biology. He took our Nature Mentor Training a few years ago, and after some adventuring all over Canada for a year, he ended up volunteering with the Coyote Programs when he got back. He has worked at the Fauna Foundation, a chimpanzee sanctuary, for 7 years, in the gardens as well as in animal care. He has a great love for ecology and exploring the interconnection of all things, which has fuelled his interest in permaculture, including classes on the self-fertilizing garden. He has great hope for the future because of all the awesome humans he keeps meeting, and feels that reconnecting our youth with Nature is an essential ingredient for creating strong leaders who are resourceful, resilient and happy humans.
Jesse Grindler – Instructor
Jesse is from the rocky coast of BC and grew up climbing the trees and eating the fish of that beautiful region. He is a passionate explorer of the play instinct and loves blending the arts with nature connection. He has trained in and practiced Arts-Based Facilitation, Puppetry, Physical theatre and Clowning for over a decade and sneaks these things into his work with youth in nature. Always curious about how stories shape our world, he sees this work as a way to transform lives and cultures towards a state of connection, integrity and creative possibility. Jesse enjoys making things with his hands and exploring the natural world– he makes musical instruments and carves, eats wild plants and loves to tend a good fire.
Muriel Bontemps – Instructor
Muriel is a mother and a teacher who loves to find nature in the city. She grew up riding her bicycle around her Laval neighborhood, going on Girl Guide trips and working as a camp counselor. After completing a B.Ed. in Kindergarten and Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University, she furthered her education with Coyote Programs’ Nature Mentor Training and The Lion and the Mouse’s Forest School/Playwork trainings. Coyote Programs have helped her develop a better understanding and love of nature and she believes this connection should be accessible to all. Muriel loves to sing, to ice skate outdoors and to read with her three boys. She can often be found working on a Land Art project at the neighborhood park.