How Lessons from Belize Could Help At Home

16 04 2018

Here is an article I wrote for Rrampt, a Georgian Bay-based arts and culture website. The article is a reflection on my observations while travelling in Belize, and their implications for tourism on the Bruce Peninsula.


A private school education for free!?!

16 05 2017


Seems a bit too good to be true, right? Small classes, interdisciplinary projects, experiential learning, supportive individualized mentoring, community engagement, and social and environmental consciousness. Free? Yes, it’s true, and available right here on the peninsula! Our community is fortunate enough to be the home to BPDS, an incredible K-12 UNESCO school that offers many of the features of a private school, for free, and it’s the default option if you live in Northern Bruce. Yes, it’s not perfectly free, because we pay taxes, but at least it won’t set you back $15,000 a year, as some private school parents pay. Yet it remains a mystery why parents and students are opting out.

I have been involved at BPDS in various capacities – as a volunteer, supply teacher, supply educational assistant, school bus driver, and perhaps most importantly, a student. I was also on the steering committee for the Peninsula Action Committee for Education (PACE) and was involved in a research project that surveyed about 300 community members and 80 former students on their local school experiences. Through these roles, I feel qualified to attest to the high quality of programming at BPDS.

I was fortunate enough to attend a private, nonprofit university after graduating from BPDS. Many of my peers attended private high schools and prestigious international schools, so naturally, I worried that my small-town education might come up short. However, I was relieved to find out that I was sufficiently prepared and even excelled in many of my classes. Small classes, interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities, supportive teacher mentors and the wide range of volunteer opportunities equipped me with the work ethic and skills to succeed at university. And thanks to Mr. Rodgers, I was more comfortable using Excel than many of my peers!

So of course, no school is perfect and certainly no high school experience is clear sailing, however continue to support our local school, not only because the school plays an important role in the vitality of the community, but also because it is a good school that offers unparalleled opportunities. The grass will always seem greener elsewhere, but I would encourage students and parents on the peninsula to take a moment to recognize just how green the grass is here.

This letter was published in Issue #6 (May 16 – May 30, 2017) of the Bruce Peninsula Press

The Fitz Hostel set to launch

28 03 2016

Hello friends,

As many of you know, I’ve spent the last two years thinking about and the last four months steadily planning and preparing to open a hostel in Lion’s Head. At last, it’s becoming a reality!

tfh_logo_cropThe Fitz Hostel is a small hostel opening on the Bruce Peninsula this May! The Fitz offers both private and dorm room options – one private double room and two 4-bed dorms. There will be shared bathroom facilities, a fully-equipped guest kitchen, spacious common areas and backyard. It is centrally located in the village of  Lion’s Head – steps away from the beach, amenities, and right along the Bruce Trail!

Like Captain Fitzwilliam Owen, the first explorer to chart Georgian Bay, The Fitz Hostel is charting new territory as the first hostel on the Bruce Peninsula. We, too, are explorers and travellers, and look forward to helping you make the most of your adventure – whether it be an action-packed week of as many outdoor activities you can fit in, or a relaxing weekend outstretched along Georgian Bay’s rocky shores. We hope you’ll fall in love with the Bruce Peninsula as much as we have! Whatever your adventure, start it at The Fitz!

For more information, visit or drop a line to! And of course you can find us on Facebook and Instagram (@thefitzhostel).

In the meantime, I need your help getting the word out to those who love the Bruce Peninsula! Also, a huge thank you to all of you who have encouraged and supported me thus far, and thank you in advance for spreading the word! Stay tuned for more details about our official launch and hope you’ll stop in and check it out for yourself!

See ya at The Fitz,


Some entrepreneurial ideas…

6 05 2012

The gears in the back of my head are always turning when it comes to community development. I think the rural landscape is slowly fading away as the masses flock to the cities. However, fortunately, there is a resurgence of people moving back to the land and embracing a slower, quieter lifestyle. Even though small is beautiful, I do think many small towns would benefit from at least a handful of key establishments, either business or social enterprises. Because the Bruce Peninsula is near and dear to my heart, I specifically have a constantly running list of business I would start (or would recruit others to start) if I had sufficient capital. (Interested investors should give me a call!) So, here’s what comes to mind at the moment…

  • A good, used bookstore, possibly with an accompanying café, maybe a music collection too
  • A microbrewery & pub, no TVs please, but plenty of live music and maybe the odd night of karaoke (I’ve been inspired by the Brew Pub here in Squamish)
  • A local cheese maker. Pine River just isn’t close enough. Maybe one kind of like the one here on Salt Spring.
  • A little cinema, not a Galaxy or Famous Players. Just something with a screen or two, and maybe an outdoor screen out back for warm, summer nights. It would some classics and documentaries too, and maybe host a film festival now and again. Driving an hour each way to Owen Sound (longer if coming from Tobermory) is just too far and not a very good use of our precious energy resources. That said, I enjoy a good film as much as the next person. I particularly enjoyed “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” which I watched here on Salt Spring at the Fritz.
  • And last, but not least, a local credit union (or other form of financial institution) to make it all happen. It’s time we took our money off of Wall Street and put it on Main Street, where we can see benefits beyond interest. Check out this page from the New Economics Foundation as a launchpad for what I’m referring to.

Anyway, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What do you think our community needs?