Canadian Affiliation Group
The underlying purpose of the CAG is to appreciate the Canadian nature of experiential education and deliver upon the value of encompassing diverse perspectives by enriching opportunities for AEE members across Canada.
The CAG strives to:
- Allow for a stronger voice for Canadian AEE members
- Provide new opportunities to connect Canadian members with one another
- Provide an authentic Canadian EE perspective to the association
- Enrich AEE by connecting with other Canadian EE-related organizations
- Increase the Canadian AEE membership
The CAG builds community:
- Recognizing that some Canadian members currently benefit from their involvement in their AEE region, our intention is to further enhance our involvement with AEE overall.
- The CAG will offer a community for Canadian members who, given the current organisation of some of the regions do not feel a strong connection to.
- The CAG would be an opportunity for Canadian members to address specific issues, share recourses, and increase networking and the exploration of EE issues from a Canadian perspective.
AEE Canadian Affiliation Group Co-Chairs
Kate Cassidy , AEE Canadian Group Acting Chair , Director, Youth University at Brock University in St. Catherines in Ontario
Alain Héroux , AEE Canadian Group Leader, student, Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, Eastman, Quebec
From Kate Cassidy, Canadian eNewsletter, December 18, 2010:
Canadian Group Leadership Team has been Formed!
Let’s keep the momentum building! At a successful breakfast meeting on October 31st at the conference (if you would like a copy of the minutes please email me) we discussed the various projects and initiatives that people would like to see this group take on. From here a leadership team was formed (but don’t despair we still have positions just right for you – read on!!)
The Canadian Affiliate Group Leadership Team will be divided into two sections; communications and strategic directions. Each section will have a leader to coordinate activities, and champions to lead and coordinate an interested team of contributors (members at large).
Communications Leader (Blair Niblett)
Blair Niblett is a PhD Student/Contract Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University and a Senior Consultant with Adventureworks! Associates. His interest in experiential education crosscuts a variety of areas including: activism as education, adventure-based learning, challenge/ropes courses, gender & sexuality in/through experiential education, & social justice in education.
Camps/Outdoor Center/Challenge Course Champion (Shawn Stetson)
Shawn Stetson is a Senior Consultant at Adventureworks! Associates, Inc. and has been facilitating experiential and adventure based programs with a wide range of clientele for well over a decade. Shawn has also directed summer camp and outdoor education programs for a variety of organizations. He is currently studying at University of Waterloo. Shawn’s current passion is focused on how building community in the classroom, though adventure programming, can have a positive effect on student success.
Schools/Colleges/Universities Co-Champion (Kevin O’Connor and 2nd position open)
Kevin O’Connor is an Adjunct Professor for First Nations and Inuit Education (FNIE) in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University. Currently a policy analyst for the Education Branch-Programs for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (DIAND), he is a passionate experiential educator who works as teacher and consultant with various Indigenous communities across Canada in the training and implementation of experiential and place-based programming in schools.
Adventure Therapy Champion (Stephen Ritchie)
Stephen Ritchie is currently Assistant Professor and former Coordinator of the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program at Laurentian University. He has worked in the outdoor field on and off for 25 years as a guide, teacher, facilitator and more recently as professor and program coordinator. Stephen’s research interests are devoted to understanding outdoor adventure and experiential education programs in the context of achieving personal growth and therapeutic outcomes.
Environmental Education Champion (Laura Kielpinski)
Laura Kielpinski has worked at the Canadian Ecology Centre in Mattawa Ontario, as a Teacher and Education Manager for over 8 years. She develops and delivers environmental and outdoor based programs for children and adults, and also teaches an Environmental Science and Outdoor Experiential Education course for the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University.
Student/Young Professional Champion (Devin Kellaway)
Devin Kellaway is a second year Concurrent Education student at Brock University hoping to teach senior elementary curriculum. Devin is keen to share what he has learned with other people in his circumstances so that they, too, can reap the benefits of pedagogical approaches such as experiential education
Training & Development Champion – position open
Strategic Projects Leader (Brian Lisson)
Brian Lisson is the President of Adventureworks! Associates, Inc. Brian has been involved in camping, adventure based programming, and challenge courses and for over 25 years. He has facilitated training programs and provided consulting for clients in the corporate, non-profit, public, and education sectors. Brian has been an active member of the AEE since 1992. Brian is also an active member of the ACCT and COEO.
Event and Regional Conference Planning Group Champion (Stephen Glass)
Stephen Glass is the Executive Director of Wendigo Lake Expeditions (Project D.A.R.E.) in Ontario and past-chair of Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) he is also in-coming chair of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council (OBHIC).
Organization and School Inventory Project Group Champion (Pat Maher and Allison Norg)
Pat Maher is an Assistant Professor in the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program at the University of Northern British Columbia. Prior to this he taught and studied at universities across Canada and New Zealand. Pat has also instructed in the field for the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, as well as a variety of other outdoor centres around the world.
As a Program Manager for Youth University, Allison Norg manages the residential field trip division of Youth University at Brock University and the 45 students who are the back bone to its success. In her role she manages the administration of all programs, the management of a ropes course facility, and the student volunteer branch of the program.
Web Project Group Champion (Devin Kellaway)
For Devin’s bio see above.
Membership Development Group Champion – position open
Outdoor & Experiential Education: Canadian University and College Programs
The 2nd Canadian Universities and Colleges Colloquium on Outdoor and Experiential Education was held at October’s 2009 International AEE conference in Montreal, Québec. It was a great opportunity for university and college programs from coast to coast (no 3rd coast - Arctic - programs were present) to introduce themselves, and thus continue face-to-face discussions as to how programs can better cooperate, collaborate, and coordinate. A copy of the colloquium’s program is available as a PDF, and there is an email group being formed to keep the group in contact between the occasional meetings at International AEE conferences held in Canada. For further information, email Pat at email@example.com
Pat Maher Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management Program
University of Northern British Columbia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Adventure Therapy
Adventure therapy is alive, well and developing in Canada! … AND ALL AEE CANADIAN AFFILIATE MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO THE SECOND CANADIAN ADVENTURE THERAPY SYMPOSIUM (CATS2)! The symposium will be held in beautiful Chicoutimi, Quebec on October 1-3, 2010 – mark your calendars and check the website. Check the AEE Canadian Group website regularly as well. A national dialogue (CAT Network) is also currently underway online at http://adventuretherapy.ning.com/ - feel free to join in the discussion. The symposium will be hosted at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) and is sponsored by UQAC (uqac.ca), La Coopérative INAQ (inaq.ca), La Fondation Sur la Pointe des pieds (pointedespieds.ca), and the Outdoor Expertise and Research Laboratory (uqac.ca/lerpa). Bienvenue à Saguenay!
A Short History…In 2006, a small contingent of Canadians interested in adventure therapy met at the International Adventure Therapy Conference in Rotura, New Zealand and envisioned a gathering or symposium of like-minded professionals and academics in Canada. From those early discussions a few years ago, several key organizers began inviting people from across Canada to join them for the first CATS which was hosted at Royal Roads University on Vancouver Island in BC on March 8-9, 2009. The symposium planning committee included Nevin Harper (Convener), Dave Segal, Julian Norris, Dylan Oosterveld, and Mike Kent, and many of us owe them our thanks for initiating this much needed early momentum in Canada. The conference website listed above contains a final report from the first symposium (Harper, 2009) and a second document entitled Canada and the State of Adventure Therapy (Harper, 2006) – both valuable reading to bring interested members up to speed on the movement. It was clear from this initial grass roots symposium effort (attended by approximately 75 delegates), that the next gathering needed to be in Eastern Canada, so Mario Bilodeau from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi offered to convene the second symposium (CATS2).
What exactly is Adventure Therapy…Many Canadian AEE members are aware of the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG), which is one of the most active professional groups within the AEE family, and I surmise that many Canadian Affiliate members are involved in AEE because the work, study or research they do is making a difference in the lives of people. Well, making a difference in the lives of people could be described as a therapeutic field of practice. In other words, adventure therapy is a general term that could be applied to anyone involved in using the outdoors, wilderness, adventure, or experiential education towards targeted change for participants, students or clients. Adventure Therapy is not limited to clinicians and other healthcare professionals, but is inclusive of leaders, guides, teachers, or anyone working in experiential education contexts with both general and special populations.
I certainly look forward to meeting many AEE Canadian Affiliate members at CATS 2 in Quebec! For further information about CATS 2 contact Mario Bilodeau at email@example.com OR Christian Mercure at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephen Ritchie, Assistant Professor, Outdoor Adventure leadership Program, Laurentian University, email@example.com
Announcement from the Chair, Kate Cassidy, January 25, 2010
It was wonderful to see over 200 Canadian’s at the International Conference in Montreal this past fall – and that momentum has continued
with great strides in the Canadian Affiliate Group Leadership. Blair Niblett has stepped forward as the Communications Leader with five
area champions. They are working on our first team newsletter with the theme "New and Exciting in Canadian Experiential Education."
Brian Lisson, has also stepped forward as the Strategic Projects Leader. He will be working with four Initiative Champions to develop a
website, plan for more Canadian events, and work on Canadian organizational and school inventories. We still need more people to help
move this group forward however! Over the next few months we will be planning what kind of Canadian content you would like to see on a
website, we need a theme for the next newsletter, and we need input on Canadian people or topics that you might like to see at the
International or Regional Conferences. We welcome input from anyone, if you are Canadian (or ever wanted to be!) drop us a line - Kate Cassidy .