Four Scout groups in Simcoe County will be able to cross some adventures off their bucket list this year, thanks to funding received from Hydro One.
The funds were given to 70 Ontario Scout groups, including the 2nd Innisfil Scouts for their Naval Park Buffalo Trip this October, the 2nd Innisfil Venturers for their White Water Rafting trip earlier this month, the 1st Bradford Beavers for their Canoe & Camping Adventure in September, and the 1st Holly, 1st Mapleview, 14th Barrie Beavers & Cubs for their Niagara Falls Grand Adventure this fall.
Scout groups across Ontario were encouraged to dream big and pitch their adventure ideas to the Grizzly Den judges, a group of seasoned volunteer Scouters and representatives from Hydro One. From an Algonquin Provincial Park wilderness backpacking trip to a dog-sledding camp in Haliburton, Hydro One’s Grizzly Den program will give 1,200 Scouting youth aged five to 18 once-in-a-lifetime experiences ranging from $500 to $8,000 in cost.
“The last two years have made it challenging for our groups to fund-raise for safe, fun adventures,” said Andrew Price, Scouts Canada executive commissioner and CEO. “We are grateful to Hydro One for providing our youth the opportunity to challenge themselves, discover new skills and learn critical problem-solving techniques as they embark on their adventures.”
Both Innisfil Scout groups had also fundraisers through bottle drives to help pay for the cost of their excursions.
"The youth worked hard on preparing their presentation which included a video in a shark’s tank style theme. They were very excited to be rewarded for their hard work and enjoyed every moment of their adventure," said Bonny McMullen, group commissioner for the Innisfil Scout groups.
The 2nd Innisfil Scouts are planning another bottle drive in September and are looking at possibly doing some other fundraisers before their trip in October.
"Without the hard work from our Scouters and leadership team, these once-in-a-lifetime experiences couldn’t happen. I am very proud to work with such an amazing group of dedicated Scouters," said McMullen.
“With fund support from the Grizzly Den, our Scout troop travelled by bicycle for four days from Ottawa to Montreal. Imagine, 18 teenagers cycling nearly 200 km. We didn’t set any world records getting there but it was an empowering experience, full of personal bests,” shared Marc Chamberland, a volunteer Scouter of 25 years. “Overall, our youth were exhausted after completing such an exciting journey but their enthusiasm was high.”
“As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical to support organizations that provide youth in communities across the province with access to safe outdoor adventures that build confidence and resilience,” said Jay Armitage, vice-president, marketing and communications, Hydro One. “We are proud to support Scouts across Ontario as they embark on their dream adventures and learn critical teamwork and leadership skills in fun and safe environments.”
By encouraging young people to come up with safe, outdoor adventure ideas and put their plans into action, the Grizzly Den puts young people in the driver’s seat and fosters important planning and execution skills. The 70 Grizzly Den recipients can be found at www.scouts.ca/grizzlyden.
Hydro One and Scouts Canada also partnered to create a free Activity Finder with 150 educational, thoughtful and creative ideas to inspire families to get active and have fun — all while staying safe.
Hydro One’s Community Investment program focuses on building safe communities in Ontario. The company supports programs, events and initiatives that focus on safety training and safe play. Some of its partners include the ACT Foundation, Jack.org and the Coaches Association of Ontario.