Gino Ferri, PhD, is the director of Survival in the Bush, Inc., a company which acts as an instructional and consulting firm for military personnel, educators, executives, outdoor leaders, First Nation Bands, students, hunters, anglers, and others interested in mastering any number of wilderness survival, leadership training and outdoor living skills.
In 1977, at Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, he established a year-round wilderness survival programme. Gino has traveled extensively in the Canadian North, and has taught survival techniques to Inuit, Metis, and Native People. Gino has written several books, including ten editions of The Psychology of Wilderness Survival; Crisis Management in a Wilderness Setting; and Eating Out, a unit on edible plants, and co-authored Not Wolf, Nor Dog, the autobiography of his mentor, Chief Wilmer Nadjiwon. Due to his association with Wilmer Nadjiwon since the age of 15, Wilmer considers Gino to be his grandson.
Commenting on his survival book, The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters claims it’s:
“Absolutely, the most comprehensive book ever written on wilderness survival. Recommended by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, as must reading for anyone who enters the wilderness. Not simply a how-to book. This is the bible on wilderness survival.” All copies of the first edition were sold out in two weeks.
In order to substantiate his theories pertaining to curriculum content for a credible wilderness survival course, he experienced a 29-day survival ordeal in the wilds of northwestern Ontario, Canada, near the Albany River system.
Gino has written numerous articles for magazines such as Voyageur, Bushwhacker, Canoeing Ontario, Seasons Magazine, Leisure World, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Owen Sound Sun Times, Angler and Hunter, The Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters, and a host of other literary publications.
Gino founded and co-ordinates the Wilderness Experience Certificate Programme at Loyalist (Bancroft Campus) College, ON, Canada.
He has spoken at numerous symposiums hosted by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, Ottawa, ORCA, Environmental Impact Groups and Naturalist / Botanist Guilds.
In addition, Gino has accomplished many academic achievements. To mention just a few of his accomplishments:
He has been a first aid instructor since 1972; paramedic qualifications from the 80’s; massage therapist from Sutherland-Chan School (late 80’s); kickboxed professionally in the ring; ORCA certification; author of Environmental Sciences, grades 9 and 10 courses, Ministry of Education; curriculum writing team with the Ministry of Education from 1969 to 1994; completed province’s grade 7 history course outline in the late 80’s; the grade 8 geography course outline in 1993; Treasurer, S.T.A.O. conferences; was regularly featured on the television shows The Great Outdoorsman / Canadian Geographic Series / Studio 2/ TV Made Me Do It; Vice Chair of Tourism Committee, Grey-Bruce region; Professor, Laurentian University, Professor, Seneca College, Aviation Program, and a host of other exceptional activities.
Southwest University: Ph.D. in Education (1988)
OECTA/OSSTA: Specialist, Religious Education (1988)
York University: Principal’s Certification (1987)
York University: Religious Education Certification, Part 2 (1987)
University of Western Ontario: Computers in Education, Part 1 (1986)
Lakehead University: M.Ed. (1983). First Class Standing
Lakehead University: B.A., B.Ed. (1983). First Class Standing
St. Michael’s College, U. of T.: Theology Diploma (1970)
St. Michael’s College, U. of T.: Theology Certificate (1969)
M.S.S.B., Toronto: Catechetics Certificate (1967)
Toronto Teacher’s College: Teaching Certificate (1966).
Teaching and Leadership Experiences:
2000-2011: St. Mary’s High School Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B. Owen Sound
1990-2000: Junior/Intermediate Teacher Mother Teresa School Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B.
1988-1990: Principal St. Peter & St. Paul School Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B.
1987-1988: Head Teacher Holy Family School Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B.
1985-1988: Grade 7 Teacher Holy Family School Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B.
1981-1984: Guest Lecturer, Faculty of Outdoor Recreation Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
1977-1981: Department Head and Teacher, Environmental Sciences, grades 7-10, Ascension of Our Lord School, Dufferin-Peel S.S.B. 1977-1995
1977-1995: Outdoor Skills Co-ordinator and Instructor, Humber College, North Campus, Continuing Education
1975-1977: Consultant: Special Services Division, Dufferin-Peel S.S.B.; Director, E.S.L. Summer School Programme
1970-1975: Elementary School Teacher, Metropolitan Separate School Board, grades 7-8
1969-1970: Consultant: Social Sciences, Metropolitan Separate School Board
1966-1969: Elementary School Teacher, York County D.C.S.B., grades 3-8; Director, Summer School Programmes, Elmvale, Ontario, grades 6-OAC.
While employed by these various institutions, Gino was responsible for:
developing and implementing educational programmes;
working with individuals from the Ministry of Education, the Ontario Teachers Federation, and the Ministry of Natural Resources;
shaping and directing workshops for teachers and parents;
initiating and co-ordinating public relations programmes via the newspaper medium;
writing curricula at Board and Ministry levels.
Gino is the director of Survival in the Bush, Inc., a company which acts as a consulting firm for groups of educators, military personnel, students, hunters, executives, and others interested in mastering any number of wilderness living/survival skills.
Guest speaker at numerous SARSCENE Conferences. These annual events are hosted by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, Ottawa.
Certification by ORCA, Hike Ontario, and St. John Ambulance.
Initiated numerous exchanges involving French, English, and First Nation students.
Supervised the formation of Project S.T.O.P., a programme designed to aid children who become lost in Ontario’s forests. It was developed by members of the Faculty of Outdoor Recreation, Lakehead University, Confederation College, Lakehead Search and Rescue Unit, and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Designed, co-ordinated, and taught a series of programmes for the Faculty of Outdoor Recreation, Lakehead University.
Fluent in Italian, proficient in Cree syllabics; presently learning Ojibwa; some knowledge of French.
Chairperson, Social and Environmental Sciences Curriculum writing team (Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B.); member, History Curriculum writing team; chairperson, Geography Curriculum writing team; organized numerous workshops for teachers regarding proper writing techniques and implementation strategies.
Recipient of a series of grants from the Ontario Educational Research Council. Funds received from this institution supported my research re: alternatives in education.
Nominated for the Outstanding Young Canadian Award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce; nominated for the Order of Canada by Mr. E. Duncan, Mayor, Hanover, Ontario.
Recipient of the Hanover Conservation Award and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority Award.
Convenor for the Board-wide Volleyball Tournament, B-G D.C.S.B., 1993-1996.
Treasurer, Bruce Regional Science & Technology Fair, 1991-1996.
Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Owen Sound & Grey Children’s Aid Society, 1989-1992.
Vice-Chair, Hanover Trails Committee, 1996-2001.
Treasurer, S.T.A.O. Conferences, 2000 – 2004. S.T.A.O Board of Directors, 2003 – 2006. Co-chair of the S.T.A.O.2006 Conference.
Kickboxing enthusiast with over 20 years experience.
On 10 separate occasions, Gino was featured on the Great Outdoorsman TV show. He was also highlighted on TV Ontario’s “Studio 2”. At Memorial University Outreach Programme near Goose Bay, Labrador, Gino taught wilderness survival to Inuit and Naskapi students.
Host: The Outdoor Adventure Show for Bluewater Community Radio, 2002.
Columnist for the Owen Sound Sun Times daily newspaper, 2003 – 2009.
Developed and constructed an authentic Wigwam Village for Chippewas of Georgina Island, ON Canada, Nanabush and Sweetgrass Trail Project, 2003.
Developed and constructed a fully equipped, historically accurate, functional Wigwam Village for the 400th Samuel de Champlain Celebrations, Penetanguishene, ON Canada, 2015
Ongoing hide stretching and preparation; On site construction of tipis, drying racks, and wigwams; Yearly Aboriginal Day Festivities, Ste. Marie among the Hurons, Midland, ON Canada; 1966-present.
Dr. Gino Ferri and his staff at Survival in the Bush, Inc. was honored by being invited to participate and present our highly interactive and realistic Coureur de Bois encampment, during the Royal Visit to Ste. Marie among the Hurons, Midland, Canada on September 16th, 2012.
Dr. Ferri had a fifteen minute audience, whereby he presented to both Prince Edward, his wife Sophie Rhys-Jones, and Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor The Honourable David Onley, and his wife, handcrafted leather satchels, with a copy of Gino’s book, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WILDERNESS SURVIVAL, enclosed within. Gino provided a brief tour through our encampment. SITB volunteers were proud to have participated in this bit of history.
When booking the services of Survival in the Bush Inc., funds are due upon confirmation of booking.
Medical reasons notwithstanding, should the client withdraw from any course, a 50% cancellation fee is automatically deducted from the full registration cost.
If withdrawing with less than 60 days notice prior to course commencement, there is no refund.
Survival in the Bush Inc., reserves the right to refuse a student’s participation in any course should safety become a factor. All courses are subject to applicable sales tax.
Note: Clients are responsible for all transportation, gear, park fees, and meals while on course.