Every workday is an adventure for Kim Chamberlain, a 2016 graduate of Fleming College’s Outdoor and Adventure Education program. During the summer months Kim works as a wilderness and whitewater guide, and during the winter she conducts dog sledding.
“I have been so blessed to be able to do what I love as a career,” said Kim, who is spending the summer as an independent contractor for The Canadian Canoe Museum, Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, and Luna Adventures.
“I would have to say that every trip that I have done on the Madawaska River with new paddlers has brought some amazing memories,” said Kim. “I love seeing students who have never done whitewater before start out just terrified! On that first rapid they go down it can be a negotiation to even get them to go, by the end of the second day they are just shredding it. Watching the smiling/scared/excited faces coming down the rapids just makes my heart soar every time.”
Kim’s career today looks much different from the life she led years ago. For ten years Kim ran a publishing company in Toronto.
“I decided that I needed a change,” she said. “I packed up and moved to the country with my boyfriend and dog, and enrolled in the program.”
She chose Fleming College because it offered “the perfect outdoor education program,” and highly recommends it because students earn the necessary certifications, learn about risk management and how to deal with groups.
“Without these skills I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today,” she said.
This winter, Kim will take on a new adventure in the United Arab Emirates. She will work as an Adventure Instructor for Absolute Adventure in Kalba, UAE.
Her advice to current students is to stay positive. “Know that there will be times that you will fall down and think that you’re failing, that you’re in over your head,” she said. “But it’s all part of the experience, your life starts when you pick yourself back up and keep going.”