Aiming to assist outdoor enthusiasts facing various camping issues, Scouts Canada has introduced a free 24/7 helpline offering expert advice on various camping dilemmas.
The helpline, accessible at 1-844-SCOUT101, enables campers to choose from pre-recorded solutions addressing problems such as starting a fire with wet wood, erecting a tent with damaged poles, righting a capsized canoe, and basic first aid.
“Some people might have some rusty skills or lack of confidence going out there, so we wanted to provide a way that people can get the tips and tricks they need,” said Scouts’ volunteer Graham Rice on The Early Edition.
The helpline, which went live on May 1, guides callers through the system using the recorded voice of a young scout, ultimately leading them to the pre-recorded solutions to their specific issue.
“A lot of options were generated by the kids,” added Rice, referring to the available selections. Since the onset of the pandemic, camping in Canada’s westernmost province has experienced a significant surge as people sought safer ways to enjoy the outdoors.
B.C. Parks reported more than 317,000 reservations last season through its updated online booking system – a 26.5% increase from 2019.
Camping reservations for 2023 have been open since January and can be made on the B.C. Parks website.
This spring, over 40,000 people were in line to reserve national park campsites as they opened for bookings, with B.C. parks being among the most sought-after locations.
Rice emphasized the advantage of camping in B.C., highlighting that one does not need to travel far from home to immerse themselves in nature. Before embarking on a camping trip, he offered two preventative tips: bring two tarps (one for covered shelter space and one for the tent) and carry a roll of duct tape, particularly for addressing damaged tent poles. “It’s the number one tool!” he said.
Establishing this helpline by Scouts Canada reflects the organization’s commitment to promoting outdoor activities and providing valuable resources to campers. It also demonstrates the importance of adapting to increased interest in outdoor pursuits during the pandemic, as more people turn to nature for recreation and mental well-being.
This helpline supports campers in overcoming common challenges and fosters a sense of community and shared knowledge among outdoor enthusiasts. By offering timely information and guidance, Scouts Canada continues to play a crucial role in encouraging Canadians to explore and appreciate the great outdoors.