Million Tree Planter Bios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

Kelly Schneider

Total Trees: 1,784,102

Years with Outland: 10
Where have you planted? I started planting for a different company but after two years switched to Outland.  I have planted in Northern Ontario, Saskatchewan, with summers in Alberta.  After 8 years I moved to planting all season in Alberta. 
What do you do in the off season? I went to Wilfrid Laurier University, have travelled all over and worked other jobs with Outland. I'm currently living in Victoria, BC working, volunteering and playing in a dodgeball league. 
How did you get involved in tree planting? After my first year of university some friends were going planting and asked if I was interested.  I didn't know anything about it and didn't have a job for the summer so I decided to try it out.  I pictured us planting in farmers fields and was sorely mistaken when I got there and saw slash all over the place. 
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? That I'd still be planting at age 30 and I'm that much more out of shape every year I return.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything! 
What is your best advice for vets? Date the crew boss. But seriously, ask for advice and be humble. There are a lot of really skilled planters in your camp including your crew boss and they're there to help you pound trees. 
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Candy. 
What is your planting philosophy? "If you have the time to eat you're not planting enough trees." My crew can attest to that. 
What is your favourite planting memory? It’s tough to have one favorite planting moment. I have more of a top ten of ridiculous situations.  One memory that may not be a favorite to some, but was for me, was when a bunch of us had to walk out of a heli block. Some planters made it out with the heli before the fog and rain rolled in and grounded the heli so we couldn’t be picked up. I was laughing hysterically at how absurd the whole situation was. People were running through waist deep swamps down the seismic lines just trying to make it back. We finally made it back to camp and the planters that had made it out by heli lined up and gave us hi-fives and hugs. Thanks Chomey for leading the way. 
Also having Doug Finamore (our Regional Manager) show up in my piece on the day I planted my 1 millionth tree with a gift. I thought it was going to be a t-shirt but it ended up being an iPad instead!  I almost cried. 
What is your least favourite planting memory? When I injured myself this past season.  I had this pain in my chest and tried to plant through it for a while and had to eventually call it. In the end I had pulled a pectoral muscle and couldn't lift anything for a couple weeks. I felt so useless and didn't think I would ever plant again, which after 12 years would have been an emotional season ender. 

 

 

Wa-mundeba Mundeba

Total Trees: 1,608,097

Years with Outland: 7 years.

Where have you planted? Mostly Quebec, but Alberta and Ontario as well.  

How did you get involved in tree planting? Introduced by a friend in high school.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? I wish I knew how much planting was hard, yet fun at the same time.

What is your best advice for vets? Be focussed and be there for the rookies, because they are the future of the best job in the world.

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Good boots and lots of H20.

What is your planting philosophy?  Be positive all the time and accept each challenge every second.

What is your favourite planting memory? Planting my first 100,000 in four weeks and training a rookie planter.  She ended up planting 5200 in her forth week.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Driving my shovel on my toes wearing rubber boots.

 

Andrew Leonard

Total Trees: 1,298,865

Years with Outland: 8 years

Where have you planted? Northern Ontario (Kapuskasing and Heart), Saskatchewan, Northern Alberta (Athabasca, Fort McMurry and Grande Prairie).

What do you do in the off season? Eat, sleep and get huge.

How did you get involved in tree planting? Alex Miller and Makoto Kawano, and the rest is history.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? How bad the bugs would be.

What is your best advice for vets? Every second counts and go easy on the rookies, everyone`s gotta start somewhere.

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Popcasts.

What is your planting philosophy? Just accept it brahh.

What is your favourite planting memory? Hazy memories on days off.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Planting in the cold rain

 

Tim Flanagan

Total Trees: 1,292,055

Years with Outland: 7 years

Where have you planted?  Mostly Ontario and Manitoba springs, with Alberta summers.

What do you do in the off season? Odd jobs really; the highlights of which include, arborist, assistant, waiter, cook and car detailer, as well as an electrician apprenticeship.

How did you get involved in tree planting? John Hogervorst told me how much he made planting.  That was all it took.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

What is your best advice for vets? Get up early.  Eat more than you think you should.  Don't be afraid of bears.  Have camp fires and beers whenever possible. 

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? A watch.

What is your planting philosophy? There is a time and a place, so shut up and plant.

What is your favourite planting memory? The summer I went back to Wabasca, Alberta to reclaim my soul in 2010. 
What is your least favourite planting memory? The summer I lost my soul to Wabasca, Alberta in 2011.

 

Marc Domville

Total Trees: 1,264,035

Years with Outland: 6
Where have you planted? Grande Prairie, Alberta. 
What do you do in the off season? Student, Drug and Alcohol Counsellor.
How did you get involved in tree planting? After exiting the army reserves, I needed a summer job that was physically challenging.  Applied online and voila!
What do you wish you knew as a new planter?  Not to worry about speed, start slow.  Learn to plant an amazing tree.  Speed only comes through experience.
What is your best advice for vets?  Don't complain.  It's infectious!
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? 5 hour energy drink.
What is your planting philosophy? Look at every planting day as an opportunity to make a ton of money, don't take days off.  Save the partying for the days off, you've got work to do tomorrow.
What is your favorite planting memory? Partner planting with my fellow million tree alumnus, Dan Woudstra.

What is your least favorite planting memory? Partner planting with anybody else.

  

Salameh Al-Huneidi

Total Trees: 1,254,222

Years with Outland: 10
Where have you planted? Ontario springs with some Alberta but mostly Quebec summers. 
How did you get involved in tree planting? My girlfriend at the time had friends that were planting, I knew nothing about it. Found a posting from my first year Crew Boss and was hired on short notice.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? I wish I was a little better prepared and realized what I was really getting into. 
What is your best advice for vets? Come in focused and with goals. Know what you want to do and how you are going to accomplish it. 
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Good boots. 
What is your planting philosophy? Just keep planting.
What is your best planting memory? There are a lot of those. Setting any of my PBs (Personal Best) and planting my 1 millionth tree. I sat down next to the tree for a moment. But then I had to get up and plant the next one. 

What is your least favourite planting memory? I remember it well. It was the worst bugs in history. No one was talking, everyone was just super angry. We just grabbed trees from the cache and took off. It was a tense moment.

Colgan Edwards

Total Trees: 1,225,620

Years with Outland: 7
Where have you planted? Mostly Ontario springs with Alberta and Quebec summers.
What do you do in the off season? Volunteering and fundraising for various aid relief work/ projects in Africa.  Specifically for Howard hospital and Niachuru secondary school in rural Zimbabwe. I've spent much of my off season traveling and experiencing new and different cultures and enjoy spending my down time working here and there with as much time with friends and family as possible. Currently I am fixing up an old farm house with a small plot of land in hopes to become self sustaining.
How did you get involved in tree planting? Through friends who were Outland planters.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? How hard the work was and how bad the bugs were.
What is your best advice for vets? Keep a positive mental focus every day.
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Good boots and my lunch.
What is your planting philosophy? Zen planting. I meditate; it is a total out of body experience.
What is your favourite planting memory? Just fun times with the rest of my camp.

What is your least favourite planting memory? My first break down as a rookie. My gear had fallen apart and when my Crew Boss asked how I was doing I couldn’t hold it together, wasn’t doing so hot.      

 

 

Zach Barill

Total Trees: 1,208,517

Years with Outland: 5 years.

Where have you planted? Started in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with a summer plant in northern Alberta.  Mostly northern Ontario and some Quebec plants as well.

How did you get involved in tree planting.  I thought it was the kind of job I could excel at and so I applied online to various companies.  I got an interview at the Outland office and Tim Nosworthy hired my and became my first crew boss.

What do you do in the off season. I am currently doing my third year of an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Trent University in Peterborough.  On the weekends I am a server at my aunt and uncles Cora`s in Whitby.  My free time is spent playing music and spending time with my girlfriend.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? Planter etiquette.  Mostly just be courteous and generous and do not be afraid to ask for help; you`ll be appreciated in camp and you can create a supportive environment.

What is your best advice for vets? Efficiency trumps comfort; always plan what to do before you have to do it, but be willing to adapt as the unexpected arises. 

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Pregame.  Work ahead to make the things you need accessible; so you don't have to worry when you are actually able to plant.  This includes excessive food, water and sleep.  Always have bay powder as well.

What is your planting philosophy?  Even with five years of experience, I still experiment with planting style a lot.  I am always looking for ways to become more efficient.  During planting I slow down a lot and I constantly redouble my efforts.  No matter what I am always moving; if you are low move as fast as your able to, if you are high you should be moving as fast as you can; this isn't always the same, but effort dictates productivity to a greater extent than ability.  

What is your favourite planting memory? I have had the chance to have one on one conversations in the last five seasons with some of the best people I know. If planting has allowed me to make a deeper than superficial connection with you, than your my favorite part of planting.

What is your least favourite planting memory? The trust is I really enjoy the worst parts of planting; the challenges inspire me to achieve my potential and realize my limits.  the worst planting memory I have was the end of the my fourth season.  I looked back on the season with all the regrets knowing I should have performed differently.  I did not develop the relationships I should have, I lost motivation to plant and thought I had finished my planting career.  This season gave me a chance to make up for my regrets and learn from my mistakes.  I cannot express the appreciation I feel towards the people that made this season so great and know that next season can only be better. 

 

Ben Orr

Total Trees: 1,188,803

Years with Outland: 5 years.

Where have you planted? Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick

How did you get involved in tree planting.  My sister had planted for years, and I heard you could make a lot of money.

What do you do in the off season. Student in Victoria, BC.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? That the hardest part wouldn't be the planting itself, but the constant discomforts that come with it. 

What is your best advice for vets? Abandon any hope of feeling good, and accept that your only path to happiness is through planting lots of trees and making money.  Embrace the pain. 

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)?  Gatorade powders, baby powder and my iPod.

What is your planting philosophy?  Look good, feel good, plant good!  

What is your favourite planting memory? Double days off!

What is your least favourite planting memory? Planting hungover, with bronchitis. 

John Hogervorst

Total Trees: 1,185,483 

Years with Outland: 8
Where have you planted? Ontario springs with mostly Alberta summers and a summer in New Brunswick.
What do you do in the off season? I graduated from King's college at UWO, majoring in religious studies with a minor in history. I took a year off to travel through south and Central America. I also went to teachers college at the University of Toronto and am currently a teacher in Sarnia. I still enjoy working on the home farm and playing and coaching soccer.
How did you get involved in tree planting? A friend saw Outland at a job fair. My girl friend had been hired but no one wanted to hire me at first but eventually I got in.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? Well I brought insulated coveralls to plant in...So better gear and I guess just know that you can always work harder.
What is your best advice for vets? Don’t get lazy.
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Anti-chaffing cream.
What is your planting philosophy? To be the hardest working person on the block at all times.
What is your favourite planting memory? Teaching other people how to plant.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Planting in a blizzard. No wait, crew bossing in a blizzard. Everyone hated me.

 

Ryan Klages

Total Trees: 1,160,996 

Years with Outland: 8
Where have you planted? Ontario for several years with Alberta summers then a move to Manitoba for the past few seasons.
What do you do in the off season? Graduate from Ottawa University majoring in Poli Sci and now I am working as a Chef.
How did you get involved in tree planting? My sister was a planter with Outland and we got her crew boss to take me on.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? I spent a lot of time looking around for places to plant. Don’t get too stressed out about where to plant a tree, just plant a tree.
What is your best advice for vets? Never stop learning how to be a better planter. And relax.
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Music.
What is your planting philosophy? Shut up and plant.
What is your best planting memory? Planting with Karl Forbes.  He taught me how to take it to the next level and made every day interesting. For 2 years I never had a bad day with Karl at my side!

What is your least favourite planting memory? It would be my first day of planting. I was terrified, had no idea what to do. I was trying to climb in slash piles to put a tree every six feet. I made no money, thought it was impossible, and hated my sister for convincing me to go. After planting my slash piles all morning I was ready to plant the tiny little piece of nice land I had been saving and a vet ‘Lolly’ came and planted it in about 20 minutes while I ate a sandwich wondering what the hell I should do.

 

Francois Deslauriers 

Total Trees: 1,141,537 

Years with Outland: 8 years
Where have you planted? Mostly Quebec springs and one time in Ontario.

What do you do in the off season? I went to University and I just became a dad.

How did you get involved in tree planting? By a friend of a friend.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? How hard it is to come back to the real world.  Especially after 8 years.

What is your best advice for vets? Plant as many trees as you can but do it right.

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)?  iPod hands down.

What is your planting philosophy?  When you look at me in the land, you think I don't want to talk to you.  Damn right, I don't want to talk to you. 

What is your best planting memory? When I realised that I am really happy when I'm planting.  This could also be my least favorite memory.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Having to do a replant.  I felt ashamed and I wasn't making money.

 

 

Sarah Ambroziak

Total Trees: 1,110,765

Years with Outland: 7
Where have you planted? Ontario springs and Alberta summers. 
What do you do in the off season? I have a BA from WLU and majored in Poli Sci and have a business diploma from Humber College in International Project Management. I traveled a lot and am now working in Thunder Bay with First Nations youth.
How did you get involved in tree planting? I had friends that had planted. 
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? Not to think of it as a job but as a sport. At the end of the day your numbers should matter more than your pay check. And obviously to hand close sphagnum.
What is your best advice for vets? Always know it’s possible to plant more, even when you think you can’t. 
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Music.
What is your planting philosophy? Always be planting a tree and always have a tree in your hand. 

What is your best planting memory? Nights off with Ell, Ton, KA and Jo. Also anytime I heard the words 'delayed wakeup' or 'double day off', and most days with Hamish.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Year 3 in Ontario when we experienced the most rain and bugs ever recorded. 

 

Dan Woudstra

Total Trees: 1,110,476

Years with Outland: 6
Where have you planted? All my trees have been planted in Grande Prairie, Alberta. 
What do you do in the off season? I am currently a 3rd year Student at UBC, majoring in Forestry.
How did you get involved in tree planting? Some friends had planted and told me I should go.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? To bring two pairs of boots, better gear, and less crap. I also wish I knew there are no farmer's field and yes, we do plant in rain and snow.
What is your best advice for vets? No matter how bad things get it could always be worse. What comes around goes around so bag out your rookies; they'll get you back when they know what they're doing. 
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Smart wool socks.
What is your planting philosophy? Work hard, lead by example, and never spend more on night off than you can plant in one day.
What is your favourite planting memory? They're all favourites. It's why I keep coming back.

What is your least favourite planting memory? Planting below zero in sleet and snow, being soaked through completely, and losing all feeling in my feet and hands. It lets you know what you're capable of and helps you too appreciate all things, big or small.

 

Sabina Weber

Total Trees:  1,086,551  

Years with Outland: 6

Where have you planted?  I planted in Grande Prairie, AB, for 6 summers, in Amos, QC for a fall season and in St-Ludger de Milot, QC for another fall season.  

What do you do in the off season?  Planting got me through university, debt free and allowed me to save up enough money to travel around the world with the people i love.  I spent four months in South America, hiking to snowy peaks and working on organic farms.  I also spent another four months in South-East Asia, scuba diving, exploring lush rainforests and eating the most amazing food.  

How did you get involved in tree planting?  I come from a generation of tree planters... so i guess its in my blood :)  My Uncle used to plant back in the day, which inspired my two sisters to move out west during their summers to plant.  My brother began planting and came back with wild stories, so naturally, I just had to do it!  After my first summer planting, I was hooked.  I had goofy friends in every corner of Canada, a home in every city.  Planting has been such a huge part of my life, and I encourage anyone who has it in them, to try it, they wont regret it!

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? Try starting out planting ambidextrous (alternative shovel and planting hands).  Planting is a repetitive motion sport, and so alternating the strain you put on your wrists is extremely beneficial, it helps alleviate strains and further injury. 

What is your best advice for rookies and vets?  Attitude is everything.  If you are having a bad day, it will trickle down.  Take a breath, look around, and realize you are on lucky human to be out in the wilderness, getting a workout, meeting amazing people and making a pretty penny all at once!  It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed in your first season, and that you cannot learn the tricks of the trade overnight.  Like any sport, it takes time, dedication, perseverance and a positive attitude. Don't get caught up in numbers, you will naturally get quicker over time.  Always plant a good tree, it takes just as much effort to plant a good tree as a bad tree.  Have fun, listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, podcasts...!! Always help out when you can in camp life, we are all working together to make the well-oiled machine run smoothly.  Fuel your body with nutritious food and drink water in abundance!

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)?  My iPod.  Every now and then, I will plant without music, and it's refreshing, but for the most part, music is my savior.  I dance everyday in my land.  Sometimes I like to switch it up and listen to podcasts.  Audiobooks are amazing as well!  I have a waterproof speaker; I never plant with ear buds.  I am a salty sweater, so I eat dillpickle and cracked pepper Spitz everyday to keep my salt levels up.  I put a handful in my mouth at the cash and plant with them for my whole bag-up.  I don't recommend doing it if you are not a skilled spit eater! :)

What is your planting philosophy?  Smile; you are lucky to be alive and surrounded by goofballs!  Just DO IT!

What is your favorite planting memory?  I cannot think of one, there are so many.  I know there were hard times, but after every season, all I remember are the good times... so that must mean something, right!?

What is your least favorite planting memory?  It was a scorching bluebird day, and I thought it was smart to bag doubs all day. I wasn't able to drink enough to stay hydrated, so at the end of the day, I got extremely dehydrated.  My entire body was in cramps and seizing up.  It was the most painful experience I've ever had to endure.  I've stayed hydrated ever since! :)

 

Jean-Francois Roy

Total Trees: 1,067,017 

Years with Outland: 9
Where have you planted? Quebec, with a brief visit in Ontario. 
What do you do in the off season? I teach kids and ski mountains.
How did you get involved in tree planting? My cousin was supervising a contract and I was looking for a summer job.  The rest is history.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter?  How to properly equip myself.
What is your best advice for vets?  It's a tough job, but try to leave your bad day and your complaining on the block.
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? iPod.
What is your planting philosophy? Stop thinking about home and start paying bills.
What is your favorite planting memory? Beland's pirate crew.

What is your least favorite planting memory? Mandatory arm breaking extractor contracts in Quebec.

 

 

Patrick Laverdiere

Total Trees: 1,055,455

Years with Outland: 8 years.

Where have you planted? Quebec.

How did you get involved in tree planting.  Friend of a friend.

What do you do in the off season. Right now, I'm studying to become a carpenter.

What do you wish you knew as a new planter? That it's actually pretty fun!

What is your best advice for vets? Give it your best... one day at a time.

What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? iPod!

What is your planting philosophy?  Giv'er! 

What is your least favourite planting memory? Even the bad memories are good now.

Andy McGillivray

Total Trees: 1,006,899

Years with Outland: 8
Where have you planted? Started in Ontario for a few years. Moved to Manitoba for a few more years and had a summer in New Brunswick.
What do you do in the off season? Currently I am a PhD student at the University of Iceland, studying Icelandic literature.
How did you get involved in tree planting? I had heard about tree planting from some friends and thought it sounded like something I would like to do. I applied with Outland and was hired by my first Crew Boss.
What do you wish you knew as a new planter? I wish I had known about polypropylene and fleece! 
What is your best advice for vets? Always try and remember how lucky we all are to be able to have such a good job, no matter what your tree count for the day. 
What is your one essential planting item (other than bags and shovel)? Gloves. Without a doubt, gloves. 
What is your planting philosophy? There are many different ways to plant trees, and each planter can find their own way. Learning from other planters is central to this. Planting only becomes easier with time. 
What is your favourite planting memory? Each season is its own favourite memory and there is something very special about each crew.
What is your least favourite planting memory? When we lost our Crummy to another camp.