This article was originally published in the Chronicle Herald's weekly community papers and has been republished here with their permission.
A is for Adventure, B is for Biking, C is for Canoeing…it’s the start of a charming children’s book, but it’s also become the inspiration for a locally created movement that encourages people to get outdoors and have adventures.
This month marks the beginning of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to print the book that started it all. By donating money the public can pre-order their copy of the A for Adventure book that Halifax author, Jan Sebastian LaPierre, jokingly describes as being aimed at people “anywhere between the ages of 3 and 100.”
The not-for-profit organization’s own adventure started when LaPierre was joined by business partner Chris Surette; together they launched the story into a full-on movement, starting with their 100 Day Challenge last year, which encouraged people to do something fun outside every day.
LaPierre says they hope the book’s release this summer will keep the conversation going about the value of outside play for everyone.
“Our vision is really just to continue to communicate with this ongoing, growing community of people who see the need to connect, or reconnect in some cases, with the natural world and, in doing so, learn about themselves,” he says.
By self-publishing the book they are able to add a charitable angle to the campaign.
“We’ve given people a lot of options to not only buy the book but to donate a book [to Brigadoon Village],” he says.
There are various levels of support in the Kickstarter campaign from getting an advance copy of the book, all the way to getting a personalized illustration done by the book’s illustrator Christopher Hoyt of Halifax who, LaPierre says, did, “a phenomenal job of taking my dream, my vision, and actual text and turning it into an adventure world.”
Molly McLeod, Bedford, is a retired teacher and says that when she heard about the book she knew it would be a great resource for planning outings with her grandchildren.
“I saw it as a way for children to connect with nature,” she says, “The beautiful illustrations caught my eye and I immediately ordered a copy. I'm looking forward to sharing some of these adventures with my grandchildren and showing them how much fun they can have outdoors.”
Over the next several months LaPierre and Surette will be going on a cross-country adventure in partnership with Parks Canada to continue to spread the word, this time, hopefully, with book in hand. He says the primary objective is to encourage individuals and families to get outside and connect with nature, and hopes the book will be a catalyst for that.
“The more books that are bought [means] the more programs that we can offer to get it out there to families who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity,” LaPierre says, “We’re looking, just within 2015 alone, to get hundreds, if not thousands, of kids and families out into our national parks all by getting that message out there through A for Adventure.”
The book is expected to be available in July but books must be pre-ordered by the end of May. To order a book you can go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/772265183/a-for-adventure and more information on the organization can be found at www.aforadventure.ca