Group Work Camp: Rekindling the campfire


  • Mary Frances H Beno



Abstract: A group facilitator and retired social worker describes and reflects on experiences, activities and learnings as participant facilitator at three Group Work Camp events. A mechanism through which personal and professional growth occurs using experiential learning is described. The author shares aspects of workshop design, workshop execution, and workshop as intervention, as well as a limit to and successful uses of emergent design. Collaboration and relationship growth across differences when diversity is respected is illustrated, as is the use of song for claiming voice, empowerment and healing. The ability of groups to assist when individuals fear losing or have lost their professional voice through life changes is demonstrated. Impacts occur on various levels: on the individual and interpersonal/interactional levels as the author relates personal insight into Erikson’s developmental stages and interactions with a co-facilitator; on the group/organizational level as the author relates empowerment through song to help rekindle benefits of song around the campfire; and on the societal/community level relating to social justice, generativity across differences and disciplines, international symposia participation and publication.

Keywords: group work; experiential learning; nondeliberative; song; empowerment; collaboration; groupwork

Author Biography

Mary Frances H Beno

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, PhD Chemist, Experiential Learning Facilitator


Erikson, E. H. (1993) Childhood and Society. (Reissued 2nd ed.) New York:

W. W. Norton

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Lang, N. C. (2016) Nondeliberative forms of practice in social work: Artful, actional and analogic. Social Work with Groups, 39, 2-3 [Accessed 4 January 2017 at]

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Olcoń, K. and Beno, M.F.H. (2016) Sing ... then think: Musical interventions and nondeliberative forms of practice in social work groups. Social Work with Groups, 39, 2-3 [Accessed 4 January 2017 at]

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How to Cite

Beno, M. F. H. (2017). Group Work Camp: Rekindling the campfire. Groupwork, 26(3), 64-74.



camp papers