From Initiative Tasks to Social Work, How Camp Helped Shape My Work - with Kevin Amirault - Beyond Camp #32


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The impact of camp is “boundless” - here’s how that played out for Kevin Amirault

Remember those initiative tasks you ran as an outdoor ed staff member or camp counselor? Those ones with the marbles that seemed to frustrate kids to no end? Tune in today to hear how our guest Kevin Amirault turned a love of initiative tasks, metaphors and building relationships into a career as a school social worker and how he works every day to bring a little bit of camp into the school building.

Kevin is a Master’s level Social Worker currently working as a School Social Worker in Ottawa. Kevin grew up attending YMCA Camp Chief Hector in the Canadian Rockies and spent several summers working as a counsellor there, and credits his camp experience as contributing to his life direction, as well as fostering the skills to be successful on that path. Kevin completed an undergraduate degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership at Laurentian University, before beginning work at the intersections of camp, education and psychotherapy, first at The Boundless School and then more specifically in adventure therapy at Wendigo Lake Expeditions - with a brief stint at Camp Kandalore along the way.

Throughout his Master’s studies and in his current role, Kevin has pursued an interest in nature-based and adventure therapy, nature as a determinant of health, group dynamics and facilitation, suicide intervention and emotion-focused approaches to mental health.

Tune into this episode as we discuss:

  • How do you identify? What words would you use to identify yourself?
  • Do you think about your privilege? What privilege do you think you carry?
  • As a leader do you feel responsibility or pressure to discuss your identity? How do you cope with that?
  • You are currently working as a social worker, how did your time at camp influence your decision to enter into this profession?
  • Are there any lessons from camp either as a camper or staff member you carry with you now or reflect on?
  • How has camp shaped how you work with young people/your practice?
  • What made you move away from working at camp?


Your Hosts:

Cassie Bloy, Consultant & Freelance Camp Director - Stephane Richard Development Consulting

Rachel Kent, Coordinator, Outdoor Experiences - Girl Guides of Canada, Ontario Council

Kevin Amirault, School Social Worker

Thanks to our sponsor:

The American Camp Association of Illinois is made up of nearly 289,000 members, volunteers, campers, families, and professionals who believe in the power of camp. We work to disrupt the effects of poverty by providing fundamental services for children and families, and learning opportunities for camp professionals. Learn more about ACA Illinois by visiting

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