Dr. Gerardo (Gino) F. Ferri, OCT, Diploma in Theology, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., 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, Indigenous communities, 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 program. Gino has traveled extensively in the Canadian North, and has taught survival techniques to Inuit, Métis, and many Indigenous communities within Ontario, Canada. 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 coauthored Not Wolf, Nor Dog, the autobiography of his mentor, Chief Wilmer Nadjiwon of Cape Croker Indian Reserve.
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, Angler and Hunter, The Ontario Federation of Angers & Hunters, and a host of other literary publications.
Gino founded and coordinated the Wilderness Experience Certificate Program at Georgian (Barrie & Owen Sound Campus) and Loyalist (Bancroft Campus) Colleges, ON, Canada.
He has spoken at numerous symposiums hosted by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, Ottawa, ORCA, Environmental Impact Groups, Naturalist / Botanist Guilds, etc.
In addition, Gino has accomplished many academic achievements. To mention just a few of his accomplishments:
First aid instructor since 1972; paramedic qualifications from the 80’s; massage therapist from Sutherland-Chan School (late 80’s); kick boxed 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, Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario 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, GreyBruce region; Professor, Laurentian University, Professor, Seneca College, Aviation Program, Professor, University of Waterloo University, and a host of other exceptional activities.
Southwest University: PhD. 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:
2013-present Professor, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment Orienteering, Bushwhacking, Outdoor Leadership Programs
1996-present Professor, Seneca College Aviation Program, Peterborough, ON, Canada Leadership training utilizing detailed Search and Rescue courses, hands-on Winter Survival Simulations, and realistic Wilderness First Aid sessions
1977-present Corporate Leadership Training utilizing Wilderness Survival, Wilderness First Aid, various outdoor skills: Military, Canadian Space Agency, Ontario Hydro, Ministry of Mines and Northern Development, Honeywell, Mineral Exploration companies
1966-present Indigenous Bands, ON, Canada Instructor, Outdoor Leadership Programs
1966-present Living History Presentations: Ste. Marie among the Hurons, Métis Rendezvous, Pioneer Maple Syrup Festivals, and various Boards of Education, ON, Canada
1998-2019 Professor, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada Adventure Leadership Training Program, 4 Year Degree 9 Day Wilderness Survival Program
1995-2019 Wilderness Experience Certificate Program Coordinator and Professor Georgian College, Continuing Education, ON, Canada Loyalist College, Continuing Education, Bancroft Campus, ON, Canada
2000-2010 St. Mary’s High School, Teacher Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B., Owen Sound, ON, Canada
1988-1990 St. Peter & St. Paul School, Principal Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B., Durham, ON, Canada
1987-1988 Holy Family School, Head Teacher Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B., Hanover, ON, Canada
1985-1988 Holy Family School, Grade 7 Teacher Bruce-Grey D.C.S.B., ON, Canada
1981-1984 Lecturer, Faculty of Outdoor Recreation Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
1977-1981 Department Head and Teacher, Environmental Sciences, Grades 7-10 Ascension of Our Lord School, Dufferin-Peel S.S.B., ON, Canada
1977-1995 Outdoor Skills Coordinator and Instructor, Humber College, North Campus, Continuing Education, ON, Canada
1975-1977 Consultant: Special Services Division, Dufferin-Peel S.S.B., ON, Canada; Director, E.S.L. Summer School Program
1970-1975 Elementary School Teacher, Grades 7-8 Metropolitan Separate School Board, Toronto, ON, Canada
1969-1970 Consultant: Social Sciences, Metropolitan Separate School Board, ON, Canada
1966-1969 Elementary School Teacher, York County D.C.S.B., Grades 3-8; ON, Canada Director, Summer School Programs, Grades 6-OAC; Elmvale, ON, Canada
While employed by these various institutions, Gino was responsible for:
Developing and implementing educational programs
Working with individuals from the Ministry of Education, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, and the Ministry of Natural Resources
Shaping and directing workshops for teachers, professors, students, parents
Initiating and coordinating public relations programs via the newspaper medium, and
Writing curricula at Board and Ministry levels
Dr. G. F. Ferri served as an NCO in The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, a premier Canadian Military unit.
Dr. G. F. Ferri OCT, Diploma in Theology, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., PhD. 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, ON, Canada.
Certification by ORCA, Hike Ontario, and St. John Ambulance.
Initiated numerous exchanges involving French, English, and Indigenous students.
Supervised the formation of Project S.T.O.P., a program 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, coordinated, and taught a series of programs for the Faculty of Outdoor Recreation, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Fluent in Italian, proficient in Cree syllabics; knowledgeable in 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 his research re: alternative 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, ON, Canada.
Recipient of the Hanover Conservation Award and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority Award.
Conveyor 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, ON, Canada, 1989-1992.
Vice-Chair, Hanover Trails Committee, 1996-2001.
17) Treasurer, Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario Conferences, 2000-2010.
Kickboxing enthusiast with over 20 year’s experience.
On 10 separate occasions, Gino was featured on the Great Outdoorsman TV show. He was also highlighted on several TV Ontario’s “Studio 2” shows.
At Memorial University Outreach Program near Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, Gino taught wilderness survival to Inuit and Naskapi students.
Host: The Outdoor Adventure Show for Bluewater Community Radio, 2002-2003.
Columnist for the Owen Sound Sun Times, ON, Canada, daily newspaper, 2003-2010.
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 to present.
Dr. G. F. Ferri and his Survival in the Bush, Inc. staff were honoured by being invited to participate and present some highly interactive and realistic Coureur de Bois encampment activities during the Royal Visit to Ste. Marie among the Hurons, Midland, ON, Canada, on September 16th, 2012. Dr. Ferri had a fifteen minute audience, whereby he presented to both Prince Edward, his wife Sophie RhysJones, 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 Canadian history.
Survival in the Bush, Inc. in conjunction with two students from Chippewas of Saugeen, ON Canada, completed the construction of an attractive 8 X 12 Round Log White Cedar Gable Roofed Cabin, furnished with rustic live-edged white ash shelves; barn boards and axe hued benches (circa 1860-1880) adorn the cabin, along with two raised 8 X 3 stone / interlocking cedar log flower beds. All were designed to complement the Chippewas of Saugeen Amphitheatre Site. This project was constructed and crafted during the week of July 15-19, 2019. The log cabin is furnished with two sets of white ash, live-edged shelves; several cedar and pine benches were built to augment the structure; and a 3ft Dream-catcher hangs above the barn board table. In addition, a large dogsled, along with five 8 to 10 ft. long ash toboggans were hand crafted for winter travel.
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.