The #getkidsout Treasure Bags Project

In the spring, the #getkidsout Ambassadors set out to bring one of their projects to fruition. Their goal was to reward kids that were playing outside with an unexpected “treasure” as a way of encouraging active living. Since the age group they were focussed on were younger kids, their objective was to incorporate social media as a means to get parents involved.

This project was parent-directed and it proved to be an incredibly great way to allow the kids to come up with ideas of their own and to use it as a teaching opportunity on how to follow through and make things happen. It was very valuable to teach how quickly an idea can move across the internet and the importance of appropriate representation of yourself online. With social media entrenched in our lives, it helped teach responsible use of these tools.

 #getkidsout Ambassadors Ellie, Sophie, and Ben, before their first bag drop in Banff National Park.

#getkidsout Ambassadors Ellie, Sophie, and Ben, before their first bag drop in Banff National Park.

The #getkidsout Treasure Bag project was an ideal medium to promote an entrepreneurial spirit in the kids. This isn’t always an easy task because they like to see results quickly. Although they were on board with jotting down ideas, the follow-through became challenging. Kids like to see things happen immediately and so it required coaching on persistence. They loved the idea of dropping the Treasure Bags, but before they could do that, they had to find stuff to put into the bags. And so, they wrote letters to businesses, delivered them personally, with an explanation of their ideas. However, their first stop quickly became disappointing when one store manager insisted that without a non-profit designation, nobody in this day and age would provide donations.

 Ben holds the instructions included on the bag for happy finders to follow and hashtag getkidsout.

Ben holds the instructions included on the bag for happy finders to follow and hashtag getkidsout.

After a lengthy lecture, they left deflated but gathered their courage and decided to try the pitch once more at the neighboring store. I am forever grateful to the Sportchek manager that day. She listened with great interest and told the kids that she loved their idea, throwing in several gift cards for their loot bags. Their attitudes changed immediately.

They reached out to other groups with similar goals, such as Ever Active Schools and Active for Life. The kids’ excitement intensified when boxes arrived at the door with more loot to include for treasure.

 Ben and Sophie hold up loot for their Treasure bags.

Ben and Sophie hold up loot for their Treasure bags.

Then came the planning on how to leave the bags out. One of our stipulations was that we shouldn’t litter. No bag should be hidden so obscurely that we risked having it left out in nature. We also discussed that to be sure the treasure was found, we would ask the finder to send us an e-mail or share it on their social media platforms with our hashtag (#getkidsout). If we didn’t hear from them, we decided it would be important to confirm the bag didn’t stay outside and become garbage by going back to the “drop” site to check on it.

 The kids made 10 #getkidsout bags.

The kids made 10 #getkidsout bags.

 Ellie holds up a #getkidsout bag on launch day.

Ellie holds up a #getkidsout bag on launch day.

Launch day was in Banff National Park and the kids waited in anticipation for a response but they never heard back. When they returned to the drop site a week later, they found the bag was gone. We did not rule out the possibility that it got picked up by an adult, or a tourist, or perhaps a person who did not have any social media accounts. Another possibility that we hadn’t considered, was that maybe they had social media accounts with private settings that prevented a photo to show up in the publicly viewed #getkidsout feed. In the end, it was a great learning experience for future projects.

Even though the first bag did not get reported, they proceeded with their project. The kids got responses from 8 of their 10 bags. The only other bag that did not get reported found was the one that was left on the Bluenose in Nova Scotia and sailed from Arichat to Lunenburg. It was left in the care of the sailors and so we suspect it eventually fell into good hands.

 Although the project did not have 100% report back on the Treasure Bags, the Ambassadors were quite happy with the results.


The 10 #getkidsout Treasure Bag drops:

1) Banff National Park, AB

 The Treasure Bag launch in Banff National Park. Dropped at the famous red chairs.

The Treasure Bag launch in Banff National Park. Dropped at the famous red chairs.

 The kids didn’t hear back from this bag and so we returned to the drop site one week later, but the bag was gone.

The kids didn’t hear back from this bag and so we returned to the drop site one week later, but the bag was gone.

2) Nosehill, Calgary, AB

 Excited to try a second drop…this one was dropped at Nosehill Park in Calgary, AB.

Excited to try a second drop…this one was dropped at Nosehill Park in Calgary, AB.

 The Treasure bags were left in obvious spots. The kids were very happy to get a response from this drop. This got them excited to drop more.

The Treasure bags were left in obvious spots. The kids were very happy to get a response from this drop. This got them excited to drop more.

3) Fernie, BC

 This Treasure Bag was dropped at a school park in Fernie, BC and found by a happy adventurer that was visiting Fernie.

This Treasure Bag was dropped at a school park in Fernie, BC and found by a happy adventurer that was visiting Fernie.

 Happy finder!

Happy finder!

4) Pondville Beach, Nova Scotia

 Treasure Bag drop on Isle Madame, Nova Scotia.

Treasure Bag drop on Isle Madame, Nova Scotia.

 Happy Finder on the east coast!!

Happy Finder on the east coast!!

5) Halifax Waterfront, NS

 #getkidsout Treasure Bag drop on the Halifax Waterfront

#getkidsout Treasure Bag drop on the Halifax Waterfront

 Happy Finders! Generally, the #getkidsout Ambassadors dropped the bag and left, but on this bag, they watched to see how people responded to the bag in a busy space. It was fun for the kids to see these Happy Finders open their bag.

Happy Finders! Generally, the #getkidsout Ambassadors dropped the bag and left, but on this bag, they watched to see how people responded to the bag in a busy space. It was fun for the kids to see these Happy Finders open their bag.

6) Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick

 When we visited our good friend Kaiya from  Heartfun  in New Brunswick, we gave her a Treasure Bag so that she could be our #getkidsout Agent and help us by hiding one of the bags. Kaiya took the bag to the lovely Irving Nature Park in Saint John. Great job Kaiya, and thanks for helping us spread kindness! We heard that this bag was found by a Happy Finder!

When we visited our good friend Kaiya from Heartfun in New Brunswick, we gave her a Treasure Bag so that she could be our #getkidsout Agent and help us by hiding one of the bags. Kaiya took the bag to the lovely Irving Nature Park in Saint John. Great job Kaiya, and thanks for helping us spread kindness! We heard that this bag was found by a Happy Finder!

7) Arichat, NS – On the Bluenose

 We never heard back from this bag. The kids left it in the care of the sailors. It was placed on the Bluenose in Arichat, NS but it left to sail to Lunenburg before it was found.

We never heard back from this bag. The kids left it in the care of the sailors. It was placed on the Bluenose in Arichat, NS but it left to sail to Lunenburg before it was found.

8) Annex Park, Fernie, BC

 Walking to the Annex Park in Fernie for another drop in the town where we spend a lot of our time.

Walking to the Annex Park in Fernie for another drop in the town where we spend a lot of our time.

 Happy Finder walking her dog!!

Happy Finder walking her dog!!

9) Helicopter Park, Calgary, AB

 Bag #9 dropped in Helicopter Park, Calgary AB.

Bag #9 dropped in Helicopter Park, Calgary AB.

 Happy Finder!!

Happy Finder!!

10. Kraay Family Farm Corn Maze, Lacombe, AB

 The final bag drop at Kraay Family Farm corn maze in Lacombe, AB.

The final bag drop at Kraay Family Farm corn maze in Lacombe, AB.

 We dropped the bag and later in the day saw a happy finder wearing the t-shirt that was in the bag.

We dropped the bag and later in the day saw a happy finder wearing the t-shirt that was in the bag.

The #getkidsout Treasure Bags was a fun project. The kids learned what it takes to get a project off the ground and move it forward to completion.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making it a success!

Thank you:

Sportchek, Atmosphere, Michaels, Ever Active Schools, Active for Life, Heartfun, Happy Cow