Meet Our Team

Meet our education team

We are delighted to introduce this year’s Program Team who will be ensuring our visiting teachers, students and volunteers have a fun and memorable learning experience at Cheakamus Centre. Joining Conor, Kate, Teresa, Heidi, Ellyn and the rest of the core team are 5 new and returning staff members who are multi-talented and bring many years of experience and passion to their positions:

Gini “Juniper” Beaumont

Resident Program Coordinator

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Gini is excited to be joining Cheakamus Centre. Gini brings over a decade of experience in program development, planning and coordination across three provinces. Previous work experience includes program coordnation roles with YoWoChAs Outdoor Education Centre, Tim Hortons Onondaga Farms, and most recently with The Yellow Fish Road. Gina‘s responsibilities at Cheakamus Centre involve coordinating programs and activities, overnight supervision and managing youth leaders and other program volunteers. Gini graduated from the City of Edmonton’s Master Naturalist program and currently sits on YWCA Canada’s Young Women’s Leadership and Engagement Committee.

Cassandra “Lupin” Gunton

Program Support Assistant

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Cassandra has been a valuable member of the program team since 2014. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her previous role as Program Support Specialist, and past work experience as an outdoor educator and guide at Strathcona Park Lodge. Cassandra resides in Squamish and continues to teach children’s programs at Brennon Park Recreation Centre in her spare time. In her new role as Program Support Assistant, Cassandra is responsible for providing administrative and program support to the education team. Her goal is to make the planning process as smooth as possible so that visiting school groups can focus entirely on their immersive experience.

Alison “Nimbus” Sokalski

Program Support Specialist

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Alison is a new member on the program team. She brings an understanding of children’s emotional & development needs from her volunteer and work experience at BC Easter Seals Camp Squamish, Camp Goodtimes, & Alberta Easter Seals Camp Horizon. Alison has also worked as a Lifeguard, Swim Instructor & First Aid Instructor for the City of Edmonton & the District of Squamish. As Program Support Specialist, Alison is responsible for supporting the physical, social & emotional well-being of students, youth volunteers & visitors. Her philosophy is to treat every day & new experience as an opportunity for growth. Alison looks forward to making the visitor experience the best it can be.

Temma “Poppy” Shandon

Senior Counsellor

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Temma is a familiar, friendly face at Cheakamus Centre. Temma is an avid volunteer and has held the roles of High School Counsellor, Counsellor Trainer and Environmental Education Leadership Assistant. She has also worked as a Camp Counsellor for Grouse Mountain Resort and the Paradise Valley Summer School of Visual Arts. Other volunteer experience includes School Program Assistant at the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre and Coach for the Carson Graham Improv. In her new role as Senior Counsellor, Temma assists the program team with afternoon and evening programming, and acts as a mentor for youth volunteers. Temma’s goal is to carry on the lineage of fun and approachable senior counsellors that positively impacted her as a high school counsellor.

Matt “Nembwe” Van Oostdam

Cultural Programs Coordinator

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After a successful Outdoor School Teacher Candidate practicum last spring, Matt is happy to be back as our Cultural Programs Coordinator. In this new role, Matt is responsible for the overall delivery and coordination of the Coast Salish cultural programs at Cheakamus Centre. Matt has a desire to explore cultures and especially water ecosystems through his passion for fly fishing and adventure. He has travelled extensively across East and Southern Africa, where he worked as a Program Assistant to Canadian International Development Projects and the Ministry of Agricultural Training Institute, and as an Instructor at the Peace Matunda School and Orphanage in Tangeru. Matt has a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Anthropology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is stoked to be here and excited for the upcoming year!