Scouts Canada Launch Great 9 Challenge

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After a year of on-and-off lockdowns and unpredictability, kids need something fun to look forward to as we emerge from the winter season.

Scouts Canada has partnered with Les Stroud, aka Survivorman, to launch the exciting Great 8 Challenge so youth can spring into adventure. Based on chapters from Les Stroud’s new book, Wild Outside: Around the World with Survivorman (Annick Press, 2021), the campaign will engage youth through eight epic weeks of fun challenges. From building survival skills like shelter building, wilderness navigation and first aid—to learning plant savviness and campfire cooking, each week will keep kids active and outdoors. For Scout Groups that aren’t able to meet in-person, depending on municipal and provincial COVID-19 restrictions, youth can embark on each week’s challenge with their family.

“It has always been my honour and a point of pride that so much of my work as a filmmaker, outdoor instructor, author and guide has related to the Scouting program in Canada,” Les Stroud shared, “Relating to nature in a respectful and skillful way allows a person to live a more adventurous and even honourable life. While the stories in Wild Outside derive from my adventures in the wild, they also serve as a wonderful platform to learn, as Scouts do, more about oneself as a human being.”

“We are excited to partner with seasoned explorer and Survivorman, Les Stroud, to incorporate his adventurous stories from Wild Outside into our new Great 8 Challenge. Through this challenge, Scouting youth will test their shelter building, campfire cooking skills and much more,” added Andrew Price, Executive Commissioner & CEO of Scouts Canada, “This eight-week adventure aims to get kids outdoors, encouraging them to explore nature while also trying a series of survival challenges for the first time.”

Outdoor play is a fundamental need for children. Research shows it offers a multitude of physical, mental and social benefits, contributing to building resilience, cognitive functioning, creativity, problem solving, social skills and more. The Great 8 Challenge is a fun series to help kids get outside, stay active, develop new skills and enjoy friendly competition with other youth across Canada. It’s time to get out and Scout!

Wild Outside is Les Stroud’s latest book based on his far-out experiences as Survivorman. Filled with kid friendly, fast-paced stories of Les’ wilderness adventures around the world, readers will enjoy nature facts and tips for youth and adults alike.

Youth must be Scouts Canada members to participate in the Great 8 Challenge and can easily join a local Scout Group. For youth from families facing economic barriers, Scouts Canada has a program called No One Left Behind that subsidizes membership fees and related costs. For more information about how to register and Scouts Canada’s multi-stage COVID-19 procedures, visit Scouts.ca.