Scouts Canada survey finds Canadians lack basic outdoor skills

Scouts Canada says a recent survey found Canadians are lacking when it comes to basic outdoor skills.

"We asked Canadians what would happen if you encountered a bear," said Mike Eybel, Scouts Canada volunteer.

"Hopefully nobody ever does encounter a bear, but you know playing Metallica and livestreaming the event is maybe not the best (response)."

Other key findings include the fact 46.7 per cent of Canadians admitted they had no idea which wild plants are safe to eat, and just more than 60 per cent said their camping competence is just OK. The largest percentage said they had no idea just how long it would take them to set up a tent.

"We’re having a little fun with this survey, but the real point is that we wanted to understand the gaps that Canadians are facing in their connection with nature and important outdoor skills," said Siobhan Ward, youth program specialist and rover scout with Scouts Canada.

"When families and youth in Canada are empowered with skills to enjoy fun outdoor adventures with confidence and safety, they are also set up for success in the world as resilient, capable and well-rounded individuals."

In Sudbury, 23rd Scouting Group leader Chris Bolestridge said during the pandemic scouting activities had to go virtual and because of that, some participants were lost.

"But we are starting to see that resurgence come back and that’s fantastic because our outdoor programming is really starting to come back," said Bolestridge.

"We’ve been hampered because we couldn’t do camping, we couldn’t do some of the outdoor skills, which is what our programs are really known for."

He said there are three groups throughout Greater Sudbury and volunteers are always needed.

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