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Novel Coronavirus — July 23, 2021 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here.

NOTE: All Scouts Canada Staff will be on summer break from Monday, July 26 to Tuesday August 3. All offices are closed.

The Great 8 Challenge

Congratulations:
1st Beamsville Scouting, winners of the Great 8 Challenge!

From Beavers all the way up to Venturer Scouts, the 1st Beamsville Scouting group took on all eight challenges and managed some awesome Scouting adventures throughout the eight weeks. Even though they were Scouting virtually, the group members took on the adventures with their families and shared what they learned at online meeting afterwards. In the true spirit of Scouting, they persevered and now they will get to meet the Survivorman himself, Les Stroud, in a virtual meet-n-greet later this summer. Congratulations again to the 1st Beamsville Scouting group and to the over 580+ groups and over 7000+ youths across Canada who participated in the Great 8 Challenge!

Did you miss "Survive the Night with Les Stroud"? Don't worry, watch it all here:

Survive the Night with Les Stroud

Explorers Needed!

Coming Fall 2021: A new challenge and an even bigger adventure. Covering five continents and eight countries… are you ready for an Expedition unlike any other?

Great 8 Challenge Crest - Week 8 Order Your Crest
Pre-Orders close on June 30th

Wow! What an AMAZING eight weeks it’s been! (June 14,2021)

From dodging moose on the trail to foraging for edible plants to building a shelter out of almost nothing, the Great 8 Challenge has been a fun and wild ride!

Scout sections from coast to coast came together to demonstrate what it truly means to be a Scout. It was amazing to see our Scouters and youth come up with creative and fun ways to tackle each week’s challenge.

You’ll remember Cub Lucien of the 10th Welland group serving up an interesting 8-legged dish for the Far-Out Feast challenge during Week 1. Or the 1st Blueberry Scout group who actually saw both a moose and beaver during their hike for Week 3’s Moose on the Loose Challenge! And hat’s off to all our groups who were Scouting virtually throughout the Challenge, including the 1st Greely Venturer Scouts who discovered that the trees in their neighbourhood were perhaps not as healthy as they first thought when participating in Week 6’s Plant Pursuit Challenge. And who can forget young Beaver Scout Parker, who ate mealworms on Week 1 and challenged National Commissioner Tim Welch to do the same!


The Great 8 Challenge reached youth across the country with over 56,000 unique youth adventures logged — that’s nearly 7,000 youths exploring, learning and discovering new adventures each week! We’re sad that the eight weeks are over, it’s been so much fun. But don’t worry, we’ve got another big surprise on the way for fall that you will not want to miss. Stay tuned for more details soon!

And in case you missed the weekly Survivor Master Challenge Winners — we’ve rounded them all up for you here:

Great 8 Challenge Crest - Week 8

Great 8 Leaderboard

Determine your team’s “survivability” by submitting your completed challenges each week. We’ll be tracking your progress and updating The Great 8 Challenge leader-board so you can see who’s on top!

 

View Leaderboard

The Leaderboard will be updated every Monday by 5 pm.

 

Great 8 Prize & Winner Details

Challenges

Week 8:SOS Success

SOS Success Challenge

You hear people moving about the woods around you, but they can’t see you and don’t know that you are there. What do you have in your backpack that can help you catch their attention?

Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You hear voices in the forest—someone is nearby —signal them using your mirrors or whistles. What signals will you use to get their attention?

    Learn more about why it’s so important to stay in one place while you wait for help with the Hug a Tree program.

    Think about your site—is there any trace of you being there? How can you leave no trace of your adventure?

    Per Beaver

    •Signaling device(s)—whistles, mirrors, colourful garbage bags, etc

  • CUBS
  • A helicopter is flying above you—how can you get their attention? Use smoke, wave a bright object, or wave your arms.You hear voices in the forest— someone is nearby—signal them using mirrors.
    What signals will you use to get their attention?

    Learn more about why it’s so important to stay in one place while you wait for help with the Hug a Tree program.

    Think about your site—is there any trace of you being there? How can you leave no trace of your adventure?

    Per Cub

    •Signaling device(s)—whistles, mirrors, colourful garbage bags, etc

    •Find out what signals can be seen from the air—can the Cubs try any of them?

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • Use your bodies, the supplies you have on hand, or signal fires to make signs that can be seen from the sky. What shapes will signal “HELP” to someone flying above?

    Think about your site—is there any trace of you being there? How can you leave no trace of your adventure?

    Per Patrol

    •What materials can you use to create words on the ground to be read from the sky.

    •Try creating a smoky signal fire (if regulations allow).

    Learning Outcome

    Signaling

     
    Badges Connections

    As you settle into your new surroundings—somewhere deep in the forest, you realize it’s time to make it feel like home. Use your pioneering skills to build something great. Build something to make the forest feel like home or build something to attract attention to your campsite—make it obvious where you’re staying!

    Pioneering

    Connects to Scout Craft Outdoor Adventure Skill, SDG #9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure)Start with the basics—use knots to hang up a drying line for clothes or try using natural materials and string to build something for your “campsite” (or your meeting space, if that’s easier). Try building something to sit on or find natural materials to use as dishes!

    Learn lashing! Practice some basic lashing skills, like a clove hitch, square lash and tripod lash. Once you’re comfortable, work in Lairs to build some things to make yourself feel at home—build a table to eat at, a flagpole or a TV by lashing together a frame and having Cubs act out a scene behind it! 

     

    Build a welcome gate. At large Scouting events like jamborees, it is tradition to build a gate for people to walk through as they enter your site. Use spars to build a gate for your “campsite”—you can also build furniture or other items to make it feel more like home!

    If you don’t feel like lashing, consider whittling some items to make yourself feel at home —maybe you can make a set of dishes!

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 7:H2 Oh No!

    H2 Oh No Challenge

    You realize that help might be coming soon, but you’ll need to spend another night out here before they get to you. You’re starting to run out of water, and it’s getting cold at night.

    It’s time to gather and clean some water to drink and start a fire to keep you warm.

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You have found a creek but how do you know if it is safe to drink? What can you do to make it clean? Water Filter

    It is starting to get cold; how do you make a simple fire to keep you warm?

    Per Lodge

    •Dirty water (or clean water and some dirt)

    •Funnel

    •Coffee filter/paper towel/muslin

    •Sand

    •Small stones

    •An empty bottle or other container

    If local regulations allow you to light a fire, you can also use basic fire lighting supplies (tinder, kindling, etc) and matches or other fire starters to light a fire together.

  • CUBS
  • You have found a creek but how do you know if it is safe to drink? What can you do to make it clean? Water Filter

    It is starting to get cold, try three different campfires and see which one keeps you the warmest?

    Per Lair

    •Dirty water (or clean water and some dirt)

    •Funnel

    •Coffee filter/paper towel/muslin

    •Sand

    •Small stones

    •An empty bottle or other container

    If local regulations allow you to light a fire, you can also use basic fire lighting supplies (tinder, kindling, etc) and matches or other fire starters to light a fire together. You can print off some instructions about different kinds of fires (star fire, log cabin, lean-to, etc) and try making different styles.

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • Help is not going to be able to get to you for a number of days. You need water!

    Build a Solar Still and try filtering water. Try out different chemical purifiers.

    To keep busy while you are waiting try out some Magic Campfire lighting.

    Per Patrol

    •Water

    •Chemical or mechanical purifiers (water pump, iodine, commercial purifiers, etc.)

    •Shovels (and an area to dig)

    •Clear plastic sheeting

    •Large rocks to weigh down the sheeting

    •Small stone

    •Container to catch water

    If local regulations allow you to light a fire, you can also use basic fire lighting supplies (tinder, kindling, etc). Try lighting your fire using things other than matches, like a magnifying glass, a flint and steel striker, etc.

    Learning Outcome

    Water gathering

    Solar still

    Filtering

    Fire Starting

     
    Badges Connections
    Water Badge
    Clean Water and Sanitation
     
    Resources

    Water Treatment Safety Tips

    Water Filtering

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 6:Plant Pursuit

    Plant Pursuit Challenge

    You realize that you should probably wait for help to arrive—you don’t want to get even more lost, and besides that, some members of your team might have trouble with a long walk. There are many different plant around you, but you aren’t sure what they are.
    Try to identify the plants around you—which plants could hurt you? Are there any you can eat?

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You are going to need to find food really soon. What food do you like to eat? Plant some seeds and try to grow a full meal. How are you going to keep your plants safe as they grow? Try Vertical Garden.

    Per Beaver

    •Plastic Bottle (ex: 2L soda bottles)

    •Rope/ string/ twine

    •Scissors

    •Soil

    •Seeds

  • CUBS
  • Oh No! You have come upon some Poison Oak / Ivy. It itches like mad. What other invasive/ poisonous plants can be found? What plants do you need to avoid and are there any home remedies to help you if you touch something you shouldn’t?

    Do a survey of the plants you see and try to determine what they are. Survey trees and log them using the community tree check form so that people can know what trees are in the area, and how healthy they are. How many trees can Scouts Canada survey during this week? Check out the in My Backyard Activity.

    Per Lair

    •Access to tree check forms (using a device, or printed forms)

    •Pens or pencils

    •Paper to write observations

    •iNaturalist app (on a phone or other device), or something to take photos

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • While you’re surveying the plants near you, you notice that some of them look a bit... off. Check out the trees and plants in your area and check for evidence of illness, damage or pests. Keep track of tree health using the community tree check form!

    Check out these two activities on the Activity Finder:Camp Plant Hunt and Be An Entomologist.
    How many trees can Scouts Canada survey during this week?

    Per Patrol

    •Access to tree check forms (using a device, or printed forms)

    •Pens or pencils

    •Paper to write observations

    •iNaturalist app (on a phone or other device), or something to take photos

    Learning Outcome

    Gardening

    Plant doctor

    Invasive species

     
    Badges Connections
     
    Resources

    Poison Ivy and Other Hazardous Plants

    CFIA Plant Pest Cards

    Community Science Tree Check Form

    iNaturalist

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 5:Disaster Master

    Disaster Master

    You’ve made it to the foothills of the mountains, but you aren’t out of the woods just yet—hopefully someone is on their way to find you, but it might be a while. Crouch to miss the spikey branches—and watch out for wildlife! You’re stuck until help arrives. How can you stay safe until you’re found? You and your team members are a little worse for wear—you might need to do some first aid to patch yourselves up!

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You’ve got a few scratches from those pesky branches! Phewf! You remembered your basic first aid and survival kit. How do you take care of yourself? What do you do when you’re lost? Practice your basic first-aid skills with Medics on the Scene!, and think about how to properly prepare for an emergency or natural disaster!

    Per Lodge

    • Basic first aid supplies that can be used up by the Beavers (gloves, band aids, triangle bandages etc)

  • CUBS
  • Someone on your team is suffering from a bad sunburn—they have blisters on their arms from the sun. Another person has a nosebleed, and a third person has been bitten by a tick. How will you work as a team and make sure everyone gets the help they need? Practice your basic first-aid skills with Medics on the Scene!, and think about how to properly prepare for an emergency or natural disaster!

    Per Lair

    • Basic first aid supplies that can be used up by the Cubs (gloves, band aids, triangle bandages, gauze, tweezers or tick key etc)

    •Optional: you can never go wrong with fake blood (but make sure everyone is wearing clothes that can get stained!

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • You’ve got the clothes on your back and a small first aid kit. Someone on your team has a hurt arm, two members have blisters all over their feet and everyone is feeling a little sick from too much time in the sun! Practice your basic first-aid skills with Medics on the Scene!, and think about how to properly prepare for an emergency or natural disaster!

    Per Patrol

    •Small first aid kit (band aids, alcohol swabs)

    Learning Outcome

    Emergency Preparedness

    Natural Disaster Planning

    Limited Resources

    First-Aid

     
    Badges Connections
     
    Resources

    Tick Infomation

    Lyme Disease

    Heat Illness

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 4:Wayfinder Whiz

    Wayfinder Whiz

    Well, your relaxing hike back home did NOT go as planned... You’ve somehow ended up in the thick, dark, dense forest! You can’t see even an arms-length in front of you—never mind the cloud of mosquitoes and blackflies that add to the challenge!
    You need to navigate yourself out of the forest and back to camp safely before dark!
    Did you bring any navigation tools?

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You’ve got your map and compass. How did you get here? You were smart and left a few markers for reference! But can you find them? Are they still there? As a Group, challenge yourself to navigate a local park or path by only using a map and compass! Do you know your directions? North, East, South, West.
    Make sure not to be bitten by ticks and other yucky bugs.

    Per Lodge

    • Map of local area

    •Compass per youth (or at least 2–3 per Lodge and disinfecting wipes to wipe them between uses)

  • CUBS
  • You only have your compass, but you dropped it so you’re working with a cracked face of the compass. Can you find your way out of the forest? How did you get here? Did you take any extra precautions on your way into the forest? As a Group, challenge yourself to navigate a local park or path by only using a map and compass!

    Make sure not to be bitten by ticks and other yucky bugs.

    Per Lair

    • Map of local area

    •Compass per youth (or at least 2-3 per Lair and disinfecting wipes to wipe them between uses)

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • Your compass is broken, but you’ve got a map! How do you navigate without your compass to find safety and get out of the forest and back to camp via coordinates? What else can you use to get back to safety? As a Group, challenge yourself to navigate a local park, path or forest through orienteering .

    Stay clear of all the stinging bugs and insects.

    Per Patrol

    • Map of local area (for an added challenge, try different kinds of maps, like topographical maps)

    Learning Outcome

    Map and Compass

    Orienteering

     
    Badges Connections
     
    Resources

    Ticks You Off

    How to Use a Compass

    How to Use a Map and Compass

    Orienteering Canada

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 3: Moose on the Loose

    Moose on the Loose

    Good morning! Daylight arrives again, and you think that you can finally make the journey back home. Suddenly, you look ahead on the trail and see a moose—she’s as big and strong as a horse and is refusing to move out of the way. Your planned route is now impassible due to the large animal—did you prepare for the unexpected by planning an alternate way home?
    Time to get creative and re-route your way back to safety on a different trail!

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • Join in on JOTT—go for a hike in a local park, at a nearby hiking trail or around your community. Make sure to plan a hiking route and a back-up hiking route, in case something unexpected happens!

    Per Lodge

    •Map of nearby hiking area

  • CUBS
  • Join in on JOTT—go for a hike in a local park, at a nearby hiking trail or around your community. Plan a hiking route and a back-up hiking route, in case something unexpected happens!

    Don’t forget to leave a copy of your trip plan with someone at home, like a parent or friend—that way, if you run into trouble, someone knows how to help you!

    Per Lair

    • Map of area you will be hiking

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • Plan a route that will take you on a journey—a 42 km journey to be precise. As you plan your hiking route, consider planning a series of hikes over the next two months. See if you can hike the distance of a marathon—42 km.

    Per Patrol

    • Map of local hiking trails

    • Notebook to create your plan for your series of hikes

    Learning Outcome

    JOTT/ Marathon Hike

     
    Badges Connections
     
    Resources

    Jamboree on the Trail

    AdventureSmart-Hiking

    Leave No Trace

    AdventureSmart Trip Plan

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 2: Tarp Troubles

    Tarp Troubles

    Hooray! It’s finally time for adventure. You decide to head to the mountains for a hike with your Scout group. You’re on your adventure—admiring the crisp, mountain breeze around you. It’s chilly, and... uh-oh, you realize can’t get home before dark. You need to build a shelter to keep you safe and warm overnight!
    Your mission is to make sure you can be prepared for all of the possible elements—wind, rain, snow, or even animals? What equipment did you bring?

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • You’re so smart! You brought a tarp and some rope —just in case. What kind of shelter can you build to keep you safe overnight? Can it still keep you warm? Build a sturdy, safe shelter using the materials you have! Try a personal tarp shelter.

    Per Lodge

    • Tarp

    • Rope

    • Spars (if you have them on hand)
    Doing this challenge in a wooded area is ideal, if possible!

  • CUBS
  • You’ve brought the tarp—but you forgot rope!? How can you build a shelter to keep you safe and warm for the night? What else could help you stay warm in this situation? Build a sturdy, safe shelter using the materials you have! Can you make a personal tarp shelter?

    Per Lair

    • Tarp

    • Spars

    Doing this challenge in a wooded area is ideal, if possible!

  • SENIOR SECTIONS
  • D’oh! You weren’t prepared for this adventure at all... and only brought some granola and 2L of water. Nothing for shelter!? What natural resources can you use to keep you warmest? Build a sturdy, safe shelter using the materials you can find around you!

    Per Patrol

    • Rope or twine

    Learning Outcome

    Shelter Building

     
    Badges Connections
     
    Resources

    How to Build a Survival Shelter

    How to Set Up a Tarp

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    Week 1: Far-out Feast

    Far-Out-Feast

    Everything is closed, even the grocery store! You can’t leave your house, but you have to eat, so you must use what you have on hand!

    Supply Lists

  • BEAVERS
  • No cooking—make something out of apples, bananas, grapes and chocolate.

    Per Beaver

    • Fruit: apples, bananas, grapes, chocolate (and others if you’d like)

    • Bowl

    • Cutting board

    • Knife (if possible—if you do not think your Beavers can cut fruit safely, feel free to pre-cut it!)

  • CUBS
  • You must use some sort of camp stove or fire if local regulations allow. Cook your favourite meal, add in an unusual ingredient. Eg. Chocolate in pasta sauce

    Per Cub (for Groups in Stage 1 or 2)

    • Simple meal that can be cooked individually, like tin foil dinners or boil in bag meals.

    • Camp stove, propane stove, or materials to lay and light a fire (if local regulations allow)

    Per Lair (for Groups in Stage 3 or 4)

    • Camp stove, propane stove, or materials to lay and light a fire (if local regulations allow)

    • Ingredients for a simple meal that the Cubs can construct (like spaghetti and sauce), with an additional “weird”   ingredient—like cinnamon! Feel free to involve your Pack in planning your ingredients.

  • Senior Sections
  • You must use cooking Equipment that you have not used before. Use an unusual ingredient e.g. Cricket flour.

    MasterChef

    Per Scout (for Groups in Stage 1 or 2)

    • Meal that can be cooked individually, like tin foil dinners or boil in bag meals. Don’t forget to choose a weird ingredient for everyone to add!

    • Materials to lay and light a fire (if regulations allow), materials for a buddy burner or other stove!)

    Per Patrol (for Groups in Stage 3 or 4)

    • Meal that can be cooked individually, like tin foil dinners or boil-in bag meals. Don’t forget to choose a weird ingredient for everyone to add!

    • Materials to lay and light a fire (if regulations allow), materials for a buddy burner or other stove!) Work as a Troop to determine what your unusual ingredient will be.

    DON'T FORGET!

    • Submit your weekly challenges to the online leader-board!

    • Take pictures during your challenges and upload them when you submit

    .• Make sure to share Les’ video each week with the kids to kick-off the challenge!

    The Great 8 Challenge is based on Les Stroud’s new book, Wild Outside: Around the World with Survivorman. Published by Annick Press.

     

    Use the Scouts Canada exclusive promo code: SCOUTS to get 25% off! 

     

    From Wild Outside: Around the World with Survivorman by Les Stroud, published by Annick Press © 2021 Stroud Publishing Inc. © 2021 Andrew P. Barr. © Laura Bombier.  Used by permission of Annick Press.