Conquer the Cold

We are super excited about our upcoming ‘Conquer the Cold’ event.  There will be so many fun winter activities – and it is FREE! (Donations to support our charitable organization are humbly accepted).  Mark January 20th, 2018 on your calendars and head on over to Living Prairie Museum from Noon – 3pm.  Dress for the weather – this is an outdoor event!

Please register here so we know how many people to expect.


Click the link below if you want a poster to share or print & post.

Conquer The Cold Poster -linked

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Summit 2018 Request for Proposals

The Manitoba Nature Summit would like to invite you to send us your workshop proposals for the 2018 Nature Summit which will be held September 14,15 & 16th at Camp Manitou (850 Green Oaks Lane, Headingly, MB).  Check out our fantastic keynotes this year.

Manitoba Nature Summit is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides opportunities for educators to learn about nature, alleviate fears, and pass a renewed sense of wonder on to the children in their lives.  We aim to engage educators in the outdoors and give them the inspiration and confidence to foster creativity, adventure, and an appreciation of the natural world in their students.

Our goal is to provide workshops for educators that are hands on and develop concrete skills that they can use to get children outside. Topics can range from birding, fishing, geocaching, art, drama, music to orienteering, outdoor cooking, wild crafting, tree climbing, group games, risk assessment, forest school, and much more!

Some activities may fall outside of the official workshop time. For example: morning yoga, night hike, sit spot time, campfire storytelling/singing etc. If you would like to facilitate one of these activities you can also fill out a proposal form.

While most of our participants work with children between 3-12 years of age we also have participants that work with infants and youth.Workshops are also required to emphasize inclusive practice.  Please specify what age group(s) your workshop is best suited for e.g. Infants/Preschool (3 months-5 years), School-Age (6-12 years) or Youth (10-18 years).

Workshop time slots can be your choice of 1.5 hours, 2 hours or full-day (4-5 hours), including hiking time (getting into the woods to your site). (We are pretty flexible, tell us what you are thinking and we’ll see if we can swing it) For examples of past workshops check out our History.

*The Manitoba Nature Summit is an outdoor conference (rain/snow/shine). Indoor time should be very limited and power point presentations are discouraged* No really – don’t plan a power point!

If you are interested in presenting a workshop at the 2018 Manitoba Nature Summit please use either the fillable PDF or Excel version of the workshop proposal form located below.  Click on the link to open the form.  Use ‘save as’ to save it to your computer.  When you have completed all the sections please save the document again using your name instead of ‘naturesummit’ in the file name.  Email your completed proposal to and we will get back to you ASAP.

PDF version naturesummit-2018WP

Excel version naturesummit-2018WP

If you have problems completing or submitting your proposal please email

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Announcing 2018 Manitoba Nature Summit Keynote Speakers!

We are super excited to announce the keynote speakers for the 2018 Manitoba Nature Summit on September 14-16th, 2018 at Camp Manitou!

Dr. Gillian Judson is one of the Directors of the Imaginative Education Research Group and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Her published work and teaching show how we can routinely engage students’ imaginations (pre-K through graduate school) to ensure effective learning across the curriculum. She is particularly interested in sustainability and how an imaginative and ecologically sensitive approach to education can lead to a sophisticated ecological consciousness. Her recent books include Engaging Imagination in Ecological Education: Practical Strategies For Teaching (UBC Press, 2015) and Imagination and the Engaged Learner: Cognitive Tools for the Classroom(Teachers’ College Press, 2015).

Here she is in a TED X talk! 

Our second keynote is actually a team, which is new and exciting for us!

Chloe Dragon Smith is a young Metis woman from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Of Chipewyan and European heritage, she grew up close to her Indigenous cultural values and learned traditional skills for living on the land. This northern upbringing helped shape her values today. 
Dragon Smith holds a degree in Earth Science from the University of Victoria. While educated in Science, she is keenly interested and has found her niche in working with people on the social/cultural benefits of the natural world, particularly where those values meet science and conservation.
Dragon Smith works with the Canadian Parks Council. Among other work, she co-chaired an intergenerational citizen working group that created a document called The Nature Playbook: Take action to connect a new generation of Canadians with Nature, which she continues to share across Canada. This project spans the continuum of Nature, reaching all generations in cities, regions, states/provinces and countries. Chloe was also recently appointed to the National Advisory Panel for the Pathway to Canada Target 1.
Download the Nature Playbook

Chloe is presenting with her Mom Brenda Dragon and her Setsune Jane Dragon.

Brenda Dragon was born and raised in Fort Smith, NWT, and has lived most of her life in the north.  She moved back in her home community with her mother two years ago.  She is also entering her second season of her new business, Aurora Heat. They make fur hand, foot, and body warmers of sheared beaver –  “Like most northerners, my family proudly wears fur and we want to encourage the sustainability of and the widespread acceptance of fur for warmth.”  Brenda also works as a consultant for Indigenous Tourism for the Government of the Northwest Territories.  She promotes the power of tourism to preserve culture and build pride in the Indigenous community.

Mrs. Jane Dragon, is a Chipewyan Dene woman, originally from northern Saskatchewan.  Setsuné, grandmother in Chipewyan) is a talented seamstress; sewing with furs and hides for most of her life.  She is a lifelong volunteer and last year was inducted into the NWT education Hall of Fame for her profound commitment to education and sharing Indigneous culture.


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PUAP Review

Here’s Erin’s review of Winnipeg’s 1st Pop-up Adventure Play

The Manitoba Nature Summit partnered with Riverview Community Center on October 21, 2017 to bring Winnipeg the very first Pop-up Adventure Play. The event was an overwhelming success.  A sunny warm fall day (temperature reaching 19 degC) welcomed an attendance of over 125 people. Families from all over Winnipeg, together with South Osborne families came to Riverview Community Centre for three hours of fun creating, building, smashing, risk taking, laughing, and, snacking.

A key part of a Pop-Up Adventure Play is the “loose parts” provided for the children to create.  Loose parts included: small and large card board boxes, dowlings, pallets, tires, planks, off cuts/deck ends, containers, lids, streamers, light switches, sticks, stumps, canning lids, chalk, rubber mallets, scissors, pipe cleaners, string, fabric, other craft supplies just to name a few………..and tons and tons of tape!

We saw babies in boxes, toddlers smashing egg cartons with rubber mallets, chalking on cardboard, making of giant tape ribbons, and stacking of deck ends. We also saw pre-schoolers balancing on planks and tires. School age children made houses, forts, and art creations.  Kids were encouraged to make a mess and take risks while parents sat back and relaxed while drinking coffee and chatting with neighbours and new friends. Everyone was encouraged to eat snacks and have fun!

Due to Riverview Community Centre and their excellent environmentally sustainable waste management, little garbage was degenerated. Everything was either composed or recycled. Even the plastics from wrappers (granola bars and cookies) as well as any styrofoam parts, were recycled through Winnipeg Recycling (

A Special Thanks to:

Charles Musto and Quinn from the Riverview Community Centre for providing the venue, advertising, coffee supplies, sound system, and help with set up.

Music supplied by Riverview’s own DJ Beefy D

Nat Kosteckyj for post-Pop Up clean up duties.

Board Members from The Manitoba Nature Summit ( for organizing the event and advertising through their vast network and Facebook page.

……….and all who helped collect and donated loose parts for our event!


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Pop-Up Adventure Playground at Riverview Community Centre

Hey! if there is anything we like more than getting the children outdoors it’s promoting quality play outdoors!

Bring your kids and join us at Riverview Community Centre – 90 Ashland Blvd on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10am-1pm.

Free Admission. Snack provided. Rain or Shine.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite

What to Bring:

  • If you have any loose parts (boxes, fabric, crates, pallets, tires, cardboard tubes, lids, containers, coffee cans, pop bottles etc.) that you don’t need back please bring them!
  • Play clothes. It could get messy- in fact we are hoping it will!
  • Re-useable mugs or water bottles
  • adults may want a lawn chair or a blanket and a book so they can stay out of the way of the play!
  • a sense of adventure!

If you are asking yourself- “What the heck is an Adventure Playground?” you should go here: or here:  or here:

If you’d like to know more about Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds try here:

A big thanks to the Winnipeg Foundation and Riverview Community Centre for partnering with us for this event!

An extra big thanks to the folks from Pop-Up Adventure Play who taught us how to do this!

Image result for adventure playground signs images

You can find the Manitoba Nature Summit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! See you there!


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Pop-Up Adventure Play meets Manitoba Nature Summit!

The folks from Pop-Up Adventure Play will be joining the us this August 18th and 19th for 2 fun events at Brant-Argyle School just past the Winnipeg Perimeter! Check out our Facebook event page for a ride-sharing.

They are:

The Amazing Benefits of Play A 2-hour workshop with Manitoba Nature Summit, as part of the Pop-Up Adventure Play’s Pop-Up Canada Tour 2017. Throughout this workshop Pop-Up Adventure Play aim to help participants bridge the gap between what early childhood experts know children and families need and the realities of life today. Decades of empirical research show that ‘free’ play is absolutely essential to healthy human development and well-being, and yet barriers to children’s self-directed play remain. This public presentation showcases inspiring play provision from around the world, aiming to broaden participant understanding of play and its importance in a wider context adding a ‘next level’ for those who already believe in the benefits and importance of children’s self-directed play. We will explore some basic playwork techniques and theories giving participants the opportunity experience play for themselves and to take home ideas and action points back to their working environments.

This workshop will be held from 2:00-4:00 pm at Brant-Argyle School. Snacks and Beverages will be provided. Tickets are $15 and are available on Eventbrite, but there are only 50 tickets available! Proceeds will be donated to the Ruth Lyndsey-Armstrong Scholarship Fund.

Family Pop-Up Adventure Play Event Join the folks from Pop-Up Adventure Play, The Manitoba Nature Summit Inc. and Brant-Argyle school for 3 hours of pop-up adventure play on Saturday, August 19th. This event is free of charge but please pick up tickets from Eventbrite so we know what snacks and beverages to bring!

This event will be start at 10:30 and end around 1:30. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Please bring some loose parts along with you for the event!

The Manitoba Nature Summit would like to thank the Winnipeg Foundation for supporting these events and making quality outdoor play accessible for Manitoba educators and families!


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Strategic Planning 2017 Manitoba Nature Summit

It’s been 5 years since our last Strategic Planning and we’ve got a new crew so it looks like it’s time to do it again!

We’d like everyone who knows and loves the Manitoba Nature Summit to join us for the planning- but we get it if you can’t make it…

The planning will be Monday, June 12th from 6:30-9 ish at Stanley Knowles Preschool  .

You must RSVP by Wednesday, June 7th and we are going to cap the event at 30 people so that we can get things done- so  first come first serve!

Please email to RSVP.

Come ready to answer the following questions: If Manitoba Nature Summit could become/do anything what would it be? What are the best parts of the MNS? Where should we go from here? Who should we recruit? What do we need to do to get there?

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Meet The Manitoba Nature Summit Organizing Committee: Erin Waterman

Meet Erin Waterman the Manitoba Nature Summit’s new Volunteer Coordinator!

I love being outside! Growing up on Vancouver Island camping, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking helped me develop my addiction for nature and being outside. When I moved to the Yukon I developed a love for winter…the colder the better! One of my favourite feelings is when I feel my eyelashes freeze (though having spent a winter living in a wall tent, I know the cold can have its drawbacks…it’s hard to wash your hair with frozen shampoo!)

I try to pass down my outdoor passion to my two kids. I love seeing kids running around outside creating, imagining or just cloud-gazing.  As a family we love camping and canoeing, cross country skiing, and playing around in the backyard in our outdoor kitchen. The kids think I’m crazy when I pick them up on their bikes from school in the winter or when we grow 5 apple trees in our house, but whatever we’re doing we make it fun!

I have a background in Environmental Management and I love hugging trees. I am thrilled to be on the board with all these inspiring members who share a passion for getting people outside!

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Meet The Manitoba Nature Summit Organizing Committee: Giselle Oakley

Meet Giselle Oakley the Manitoba Nature Summit’s new Secretary!

Giselle Oakley has been an Early/Middle Years educator in Manitoba for the past ten years. As an educator, through outdoor exploration and education she aspires to teach children to fall in love with nature and then to promote them as natures safe keepers.

She has enjoyed coaching student’s sports teams and implementing Environment Clubs with students. In her personal time her hobbies include trail running, hiking, yoga, camping, and gardening.

Giselle grew up in the Interlake and was fortunate to spend countless hours in nature, building rafts, watching animals, exploring forests, sketching wildlife and nature, and examining rocks. She respects nature and believes that it is our most valuable teacher.

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Meet The Nature Summit Organizing Committee: Stephen Arnold


Hi Everyone, I’m Stephen Arnold. I am a husband, father, and early years teacher. I have been spending as much time as possible with family, friends, and students learning in Nature. From the forest, to the farm, to the frozen and snowy days, I believe it’s vital that we all grow our connection with Mother Earth, and foster care and respect for her in ourselves and our children.

I love music, building and woodworking, yoga, energy work, biking, hiking, exploring, plants, and animals! This is my first year working with the Nature Summit and I look forward to learning and working to make the Manitoba Nature Summits of the future the best they can be!

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