One educator's story detailing a cross-Canada run to inspire students and teachers to get outside and experience the benefits and beauty of nature.
You'd think starting a non-profit organization aimed at getting young people to spend less time in front of screens and more time outside would be difficult enough. But with a decrepit support vehicle housing two dogs that despised each other, a good friend who left after five months, a lot of peanut butter, and a hope to inspire thousands of students, Colin Harris decided to start this journey by running 7600 kilometres, the equivalent of 181 marathons, across Canada. And to ensure this was a truly Canadian venture, he started in the bleak and snowy month of January.
Take Me Outside is Colin's story of spending nine months running from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia, visiting over 80 schools along the way to engage with 20,000 students about the importance of spending time outside learning, playing, and exploring in the Canadian landscape. With one of the biggest and best backyards in the world, people across Canada are spending the vast majority of their time inside. Yet, our identity as Canadians has always been rooted in our relationship with the outdoors. This wildly entertaining book not only recounts what it’s like to run across the world’s second-largest country but also implores readers of all ages to reignite their connection with the natural world.
About the author
Colin Harris is the founder and executive director of Take Me Outside. He initiated the organization by running 7600 km across Canada over nine months, going into 80 schools across the country and engaging 20,000 students in the conversation about their time spent in front of screens compared to their time spent outside, being active and connecting to nature. Colin has been immersed in the field of outdoor and environmental education for over 15 years. He has been the director of outdoor education at an Ontario-based centre, he has instructed canoe trips for Outward Bound Canada, and he has worked with Indigenous students in the Western Arctic Leadership Program in NWT. He has taught grades 7 and 8 and has completed a Master’s of Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University. He enjoys trail running, writing, and continuing to find ways to engage Canadian students in exploring this country’s incredible backyard. Colin lives in Banff, Alberta.