Presenters

Tim Jones & Jessica McCullum

Forest School Practitioners Tír na nÓg Forest School

Topic

Play the Forest School Way!

Tír na nÓg Forest School is as much an experience as a course. We will give you:

  • An introduction to the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work with children in the outdoor learning environment.
  • Explore ways to plan sessions and programs for maximum benefit.
  • Launch participants on a journey into the extraordinary realm of outdoor learning.
  • Prepare for hands on learning outside and to have plenty of fun!

Tim’s Biography

Tim is a Forest School Practitioner that loves all things outdoors! Tim’s connection with nature started at an early age in Kennebecasis Valley where he played for endless hours in the forest surrounding his family home. That experience inspired a lifelong pursuit of engaging in activities that connect him with nature.

As an entrepreneur, it made perfect sense for Tim to explore a business opportunity that allowed him spend even more time outdoors but it was his role as a father that lead him down the path to Forest School.

In 2013 Tim happened upon a newspaper article about Atlantic Canada’s first Forest School that was scheduled to open that fall in Sussex, New Brunswick. As the father of a preschooler who shares his love for the outdoors, he knew immediately that he would do whatever it took to give her the gift of a Forest School experience. Over the next year, Tim spent over 3 hours a day, twice a week driving his daughter Jenah to and from the Tír na nÓg Forest School in Sussex. It was during those long drives back and forth that Tim began to truly understand the positive impact that this was having on his daughter’s life.

As an entrepreneur for over 20 years, Tim found himself in the unique position to explore a new business opportunity when he sold Discount Car & Truck Rentals, which he had owned and operated for 10 years. Tim’s passion for nature and his desire to bring the experience his daughter had to other children in his own community lead to a partnership with Lisa Brown of Tír na nÓg Forest School. Tim believes that the social, physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature will follow these children throughout their life. He is committed to getting kids outside and helping them make this connection with nature.

Tim traveled to London in the UK to study and explore the benefits of a Forest School program for Saint John. This training and his experience has allowed him to provide significant input while working with the Province as policies are developed that will support Forest School Practitioners who want to run inspiring, effective and safe Forest School Programs.

Tim currently resides in Millidgeville with his wife Christine, their two children, Jonathan and Jenah along with their dog, Bailey. They have a keen interest in the outdoors with a passion for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, kayaking, landscaping and even beachcombing some of the wonderful islands on the Saint John and Kennebecasis Rivers.

“It is only looking back now that I realize how fortunate I was to grow up with the freedom to explore the outdoors! The majority of my childhood memories are filled with stories of my 3 brothers and I playing outside…. where the sticks became swords, the trees became swings and, on a double dare, worms were a snack!”

  • Tír na nÓg Forest School – Saint John
  • Cloudy Sundays Corp. and Sales Inc.
  • Hooked on Hockey Inc.
  • Randy Jones and Family Foundation
Read Full Biography

Jessica’s Biography

Jessica was born and raised on her family dairy farm in Pearsonville, New Brunswick . When she was 16, Jess started working at Lisa’s Playhouse as a summer job.  It didn’t take long to know that working with children was what she wanted to pursue! She attended Holland College in the Early Childhood Care and Education Program in Charlottetown PEI .  After her diploma, Jess studied a Bachelor of Child and Family Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.  Jessica then moved to the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Alberta and made Jasper her home.  While working for the childcare center in the town of Jasper, she fell in love with hiking and enjoyed discovering a whole new and unique environment. 

Jessica attended Forest School Canada’s Forest School Practitioner Course in Bow Valley Provincial Park, in Alberta.  With a lot of hard work, Jess became Atlantic Canada’s first Forest School Canada certified Forest School Practitioner in September of 2015. 

Jessica now lives back on her family farm just outside Sussex and enjoys camping, working in the sugar bush, raising orphaned lambs, hiking and exploring with her Border Collies, Bell and Ritz. She is proud to be a part of the Tír na nÓg team and part of the movement to get children back outside!  

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” – Thomas Berry

  • Holland College, Diploma of Early Childhood Care and Education
  • University Prince Edward Island, Bachelor of Child and Family Studies
  • Forest School Canada certified Forest School Practitioner
Read Full Biography

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