Every workday is an adventure for Kim Chamberlain, a 2016 graduate of Fleming Collegeâ€™s Outdoor and Adventure EducationÂ program. During the summer months Kim works as a wilderness and whitewater guide, and during the winter she conducts dog sledding.
â€śI have been so blessed to be able to do what I love as a career,â€ť said Kim, who is spending the summer as an independent contractor for The Canadian Canoe Museum, Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, and Luna Adventures.
â€śI would have to say that every trip that I have done on the Madawaska River with new paddlers has brought some amazing memories,â€ť said Kim. â€śI 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.â€ť
Kimâ€™s career today looks much different from the life she led years ago. For ten years Kim ran a publishing company in Toronto.
â€śI decided that I needed a change,â€ť she said. â€śI packed up and moved to the country with my boyfriend and dog, and enrolled in the program.â€ť
She chose Fleming College because it offered â€śthe perfect outdoor education program,â€ť and highly recommends it because students earn the necessary certifications, learn about risk management and how to deal with groups.
â€śWithout these skills I wouldnâ€™t be able to do what I do today,â€ť 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. â€śKnow that there will be times that you will fall down and think that youâ€™re failing, that youâ€™re in over your head,” she said. “But itâ€™s all part of the experience, your life starts when you pick yourself back up and keep going.â€ť