Scouts Canada and Hydro One have partnered to launch a free Activity Finder to give families new ideas to help reduce recreational screen time and enjoy the outdoors safely. The database, available at Scouts.ca/ActivityFinder, offers more than 150 thoughtful, educational and fun activities that also help youth of all ages develop well-rounded skills. Each activity provides simple guidelines challenging young people to plan and facilitate the activities themselves and then reflect on how to do it even better the next time. Hundreds of additional activities will be added throughout 2021.
“As Scouts, we are committed to strengthening communities in any way possible. Due to the pandemic, a great number of Canadian families are facing disruptions to their daily routines; they are spending increased time at home and children are missing much-needed opportunities to play and interact with their friends,” said Andrew Price, Executive Commissioner and CEO, Scouts Canada. “With the support of Hydro One, we have created the Activity Finder, a free and accessible resource for families seeking fresh ideas to engage, challenge and inspire their kids all while being physically active and exploring the great outdoors.”
“At Hydro One, we believe we have a deep responsibility to support people and communities during this unprecedented time,” said Jay Armitage, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Hydro One. “Especially at this challenging time, Scouts Canada plays a critical role in developing resiliency in young people. The Activity Finder, powered by Hydro One, will help improve mental and physical health by connecting kids and their families with safe, educational and fun activities.”
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. With Canadian guidelines recommending children ages five to 17 engage in 60 minutes of daily physical activity, Scouts Canada’s Activity Finder provides new ways to achieve this goal and is searchable by age group, the season and activity focus. Children can discover how to build a quinzhee shelter from snow, host a household “Olympics”, make outdoor art, and more.
A 2021 Maru Voice Canada survey*, conducted on behalf of Scouts Canada and Hydro One, examining the frequency that Canadians and their families are engaging in outdoor recreational activity for at least 30 minutes, found:
- 16 per cent are engaging daily
- 52 per cent are engaging once a week or less
- 28 per cent are engaging less than once a month
Furthermore, a study conducted by Innovative Research Group demonstrates that 76 per cent of Ontarians believe participating in outdoor recreational activities is a great way to support their personal well-being during the pandemic. The study also found that 79 per cent of Ontarians mostly or always do the same outdoor activity – walking topped the list of most popular activities. Fifty-two per cent said they would be more likely to increase their frequency of participation in outdoor recreational activities if they knew what was available.
To ensure the health and safety of the Scouting community, outdoor and temporary virtual Scouting (varies by location) are being offered in accordance with local and regional governments and health agencies. The program gives kids something to look forward to and a sense of belonging, allowing them to have fun while challenging them to get outside, experience adventure and build resilience.
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.
SOURCE Hydro One Inc.