Public invited to the Scouts Village

Tyler Clarke
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Converging on Prince Albert’s riverbank from around the province, six Scouts groups have set up an outdoor campsite for the Prince Albert Winter Festival.


“Mostly, today’s lesson is how to stay warm when it’s cold out -- How to stay warm in a tent, and to make sure you don’t sweat and get cold,” Prince Albert Scouts leader Christian Hansen while Scouts set up their camp site on Friday.

Click HERE for a video of the Scouts village site, taken during its Friday setup.

“Other than that it’s about having fun, with little king trapper events and things like that.”

Local Scouts were seen setting up the outdoor site on Friday afternoon -- an area that included a grand entrance made up of raw tree branches, as well as a catapult that will launch snowballs onto the North Saskatchewan River throughout the weekend.

This year’s effort is significantly greater than last year’s, local Scouts leader Shawn Drury said said, noting that 110 Scouts from across the province will be camping at the expansive site -- a significant boost from last year’s 35.

Interest in Scouts is on the rise, Drury said, noting that of the Prince Albert group have 10 beaver scouts (youngest age group), 29 cub-scouts (middle) and four scouts (eldest) filling out their ranks.

“We went from hardly any to up to 45 kids,” Drury said, citing the number of cubs compared to scouts as evidence of the group’s jump in popularity.

More youth are finding enjoyment out of the great outdoors, Hansen concluded.

“There are a lot of youth who sit home and play video games -- well, it’s fun to be outside … even in the winter.”

You really have to insulate yourself off the ground ... If you’re right close to the ground it just sucks the warmth out of you. Shawn Drury

Although the forecast predicts temperatures dropping to the -20 C range throughout the weekend, Scouts have the means to stay warm, Hansen said.

“One thing we use for insulation is hay bales on the bottom, and insulated tarps, and on top of that some kids have their own Therm-a-Rests,” he explained.

“You really have to insulate yourself off the ground,” Drury added. “If you’re right close to the ground it just sucks the warmth out of you.”

“The main challenge is bathroom breaks for us, really.” Hansen added. “(The leaders will) have to sleep in a lawn chair tonight.”

On Friday, young Scouts were seen packing snow around the perimeter of their tents in order to seal its bottom edges.

Although the Scouts village is centred on teaching members from around the province the ins and outs of outdoor winter living, there’s a significant public component as well, Drury said.

“We’ll have seven or eight games for the public when they come in,” he said. “Nail pounding, wood sawing, log tossing, wolf sleds -- we’ve got little dog sleds with four guys on them and you haul along with cross country skis on them.”

Scouts opened the Prince Albert Winter Festival site on Friday night with a torch light parade, followed by a bonfire and fireworks.

The outdoor site will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. 

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