To promote and enable accessible education and recreation in the outdoor environment. 

Board of Directors

The National Board of Directors is made up of elected members from the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC). These individuals are elected during the Annual General Meeting and hold their positions for the term of two years. The Board meets regularly in person, and via conference calls, to help direct the path of the OCC.

The Executive Director of the Outdoor Council of Canada is Albi Sole

 AlbiSole has been guiding since 1979 and has spent the last fourteen of those years working at the Outdoor Centre at the  University of Calgary programming avalanche awareness, ski touring and climbing courses for the public. Albi has an  extensive resume including: writing the World's first waterfall ice climbing guide, first climbing ascents in Europe, North and  South America, and the Himalaya. Albi worked as a heli-ski guide for 13 years, has guided groups to Aconcagua, Huascaran,  and Denali, led two expeditions to Himalaya, and was a participant in lightweight sieges of the West Ridge of Makalu and the first ascent of the West Ridge of Everest from Tibet. In 2008 Albi completed an MSc. researching risk taking in avalanche terrain. Albi lives in Calgary and is married with three children aged 19-25.


Directors serving on the National Board are:

Bernie Woods: President

Bernie began the Company of Adventurers with a goal of passing on a love of wild places to generations of young people in the Calgary area. He grew up exploring the Canadian Rockies and continues his explorations with programs that appeal to students of all ages in our beautiful landscapes. For more than 35 years Bernie has enjoyed a career in the outdoors as a camp director, outdoor educator, teacher and guide. He relishes pursuing adventures of all sorts and maintains certifications in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and disciplines.



Jeff Storck: Vice President

Jeff Storck is the General Manager at the Tim Horton Children’s Ranch in Kananaskis, Alberta. The Ranch uses an adventure education approach to providing economically disadvantaged children with a camp experience that includes horseback riding, white water rafting, climbing and hiking. A graduate of the Adventure Guide program at the Thompson River University, Jeff holds certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, the Canadian Avalanche Association, Rescue Canada, Wilderness Medical Associates among others.  He has worked for the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, Mountain Equipment Coop, the YMCA and is now going into his eight year with the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. Jeff lives an active lifestyle in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys back-country skiing, climbing, backpacking and kayaking.


Kelly McDonald: Treasurer

Kelly McDonald has always been called to by the Rocky Mountains. As a child and youth, some of his fondest memories are of camping, hiking and backpacking in Kananaskis and the National Parks. Today as a father of two, he is active in Scouts Canada as a Beaver Leader, and is always eager to get his kids out into the mountains. During the week, Kelly is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Technology Strategy Practice and holds a MBA from Cornell University.



Nick Townley: Director of Associate Membership

Nick is an Outdoor Education Teacher and Program Director at Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education, near Vancouver BC.  As an avid adventurer, educator and sustainability crusader, he feeds his sense of wonder by self-propelling through the magnificent rivers, lakes, oceans and wild spaces of Earth Island.  He is a graduate of the University of King's College, Otago University College of Education, and University of British Columbia.  In 2005, Nick volunteered with the Otesha Project's Coast2Coast Bicycle Tour.  For five and half months Nick bicycled and lived communally with a group of 15.  They bicycled 8,500 kilometres, from Vancouver to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and presented environmental and social justice workshops to over 10,000 youth.  In the summer of 2009, Nick spent six weeks braving the rain and black flies of Northern Ontario, canoeing from Sioux Lookout to Hudson Bay.


Lara Soukoreff : Director of Membership

From an early age, Lara had a love for the outdoors and exploring the natural world. In her teens, she eagerly attended summer camp and hasn’t looked back.  In the last 14 years, Lara has worked in a variety of roles as a counselor, program director, outdoor educator, and assistant director along with holding a camp director position.  She has also facilitated specialty camping programs and wilderness adventures for at risk youth and kids living with chronic conditions.  Recently Lara has focused her attention on the education side of outdoor activity, working to inspire youth’s involvement in the outdoors and to appreciate the natural world.  Lara enjoys exploring the intertidal zone, kayaking, hiking, sleeping under the stars, cross-country skiing and photographing natural wonders.  


Ryan Barfoot: Director for British Columbia

Ryan is happy to serve as the BC Director for the OCC. After graduating from the University of Victoria, Ryan completed his Bachelor of Education specializing in Outdoor and Experiential Learning at Queens University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and Implementation at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include transformative education, contemporary Rites of Passage, place-based and ecological learning environments. Ryan has delivered education programs at the grassroots and governmental level. He has worked with Parks Canada, BC Parks, the National Forest Service and the National Parks Service before building the Outdoor & Ecological Learning department for the Powell River School District. He also chairs the district Sustainable Schools Committee and is the program coordinator for the Coast Mountain Academy. Ryan has piloted sustainability programs and co-authored curriculum documents with the BC Ministry of Education. He speaks & delivers workshops in the areas of Environmental and Nature-based Education and is a core team member of the Classrooms to Communities Provincial PD project. With a passion for pretty much everything, he puts his heart and soul into all he does. Ryan is guided by his belief that a better world is possible and relentlessly endeavours to be a net benefit to this world. He, his wife Karin and son Wren currently live in the old Townsite (Powell River) on the Sunshine Coast BC, Canada.


Shauna Heighton: Director for the Maritimes

Shauna currently teaches in a public high school in rural Nova Scotia and over the last twenty years she has had the opportunity to live, explore and teach in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.  During this time she co-founded and coordinated the TERRA Outdoor School in Port Coquitlam, B.C., authored curriculum for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, has written for PHE Canada,  has taught elementary, middle, and high school students, and mentors and supports fellow teachers in their efforts to bring experiential approaches into their programs.  Shauna has a BPe, BEd, and MEd, along with NOLS and Project Adventure courses. Shauna continues to ride, hike, paddle, ski, and snowshoe with her students and along with her partner shares her love of the outdoors with their daughters, Ella and Severn.



Shawn Quinton: Director for the Prairies

 Shawn has been going into the outdoors for his whole life. His first camping trip was when he was six weeks old. This has led to a passion of leading people in the outdoors for more than 20 years and working with more than 7 different camps and outdoor centers, in three different provinces: Ontario, BC, Manitoba. This includes getting into the backcountry with his family from sea kayaking in coastal BC, to canoeing on large lakes like Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg. Shawn has a broad interest in many outdoor pursuits and has instructed many different activities like Nordic skiing, canoeing, sea kayaking, orienteering, rock climbing, hiking, light mountaineering and caving. Shawn is currently working as Program Director with Camp Nutimik in eastern Manitoba.Shawn has a diploma in Forest Recreation from Sir Sandford Fleming College, is a grad from the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Program from Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre. A few years ago, Shawn went back to school and got a M.A. in Leadership from Trinity Western University.

Bob Sharp: Director for Canada North

Bob has been involved in outdoor and experiential education over the 43 years that he has been in the Yukon. During this time, Bob has held a wide variety of positions. He was principal, Director of Research, Superintendent, Coordinator of Curriculum Development and teacher throughout this period. Bob developed and taught a program of experiential studies in sciences that involved students participating in 45 days of outdoor experience each semester while teaching six academic courses. He now teaches experiential courses at the post secondary level and teaches other teachers how to conduct field studies.


Gina Marucci: Director for Ontario 

Gina is the Outdoor Education Resource Teacher at the Vivian Outdoor Resource Centre, located in the York Region District School Board. Prior to this, she was seconded to Waabgon Gamig First Nation School where she helped to develop the Mother Earth Mentoring Program, a land-based program that works to build students’ naturalist skills and nature awareness while integrating big ideas from the Ontario curriculum and indigenous knowledge. Her work over the years has allowed her to partner with Deep Nature Connection Practitioners to design curriculum that integrates core routines into daily practice. Before teaching, Gina had an extensive career in archaeology that allowed her to work throughout remote regions of the continent. She is passionate about transformative education, hands-on experiential, inquiry-based learning that embraces indigenous knowledge. Gina spends her free time playing in nature with her husband and two boys. To contact Gina: georgina.marucci@yrdsb.ca


Margaret Ford: Director for Quebec

Margaret Ford is the co-founder and Program Director of Benny Camping Group, a volunteer based youth organization in Montreal, providing year-round outdoor recreation and leadership opportunities for urban and at-risk youth.  In addition to her personal interest in skiing, canoeing and astronomy, for the past 30 years she has been working closely with local community groups and schools, developing a wide variety of accessible & affordable urban outdoor leadership programs, as well as organizing wilderness trips with local youth. 

Margaret has a Bachelor of Education from McGill University and after 35 years with the City of Montreal, recently retired from her job as Division Head of the Recreation, Sports and Community Development Department in the multicultural Borough of Côte-des-Neiges / Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. She finally has the time to follow her true passion, introducing urban youth to the outdoors full-time!


Bob Henderson: Director-at-Large

Bob Henderson is an author, traveller and storyteller with 30 years plus of university teaching in Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies 29 years of which at McMaster University. He is now an Adjunct Professor at Brock University within the Outdoor Recreation Programme.  Central to Bob's professional life is a love of outdoor travel and Canadian heritage themes.  He is author of Every Trail Has a Story: Heritage Travel in Canada and co-editor of two books:  Nature First: Outdoor Life the Friluftsliv Way and Pike's Portage: Stories of a Distinguished Place. 

Bob has served as the long standing editor of Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education. Bob is an active speaker on topic concerning a range of topics including: experiential education in the classroom, Scandinavian approaches to outdoor life, the value of story/place/technology in outdoor travel, Canadian heritage themes.

 He can be seen regularly on the trails of the Oak Ridge Moraine and Algonquin Park, places he calls home and regularly heads to the Canadian North and Norwegian mountains and fjords. Bob's students continue to be a source of inspiration and he thrives on working with them on many projects. Recently Bob has traveled to Iceland and Norway giving talks on outdoor education. He regularly co-guides a ski tour in Norway with University of Edinburgh students and runs a small business guiding canoe trips for seniors.


Indigenous Director

Tim Patterson is a member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band that belongs to the Nlaka'pamux (Thompson) Nation in Merritt, British Columbia. Tim is a certified Hiking Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG); and the Interpretive Guides Association (IGA) Tim served on the Interpretive Guides Association Board of Directors as the Indigenous Liaison (2013-2015) and still consults on matters of Indigenous Ways of Knowing in the mountains with the Guiding community in Banff and Canmore. Currently, Tim works as a guide and outdoor educator with the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, and Mahikan Trails as well as an Indigenous Interpretive Guide for Brewster’s Gondola in Banff.




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