Manitoulin Island schools encourage local community members to participate in a spring (teddy) bear hunt

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MANITOULIN – Charles C. McLean Public School (C.C. McLean) in Gore Bay and Central Manitoulin Public School (CMPS) in Mindemoya are taking part in a bear hunt this weekend—a teddy bear hunt, that is.

“It is definitely taking place, C.C. McLean is going ahead as well as CMPS,” said C.C. McLean teacher Ray Scott earlier this week. He noted a message has been posted on social media about this project. “Please join C.C. McLean Public School (and CMPS) in a community-wide ‘spring bear hunt’.”

Residences and businesses are invited to place a teddy bear in their front window or on their front step. Beginning Friday, April 17 and continuing until Sunday, April 19, community members are encouraged to go on a ‘spring bear hunt’ while they practice social distancing and count the number of teddy bears they can find. What will your bear count be?

“My idea is that this is something our students can look forward to,” stated Mr. Scott. He said he got the idea for this after reading in the National Post about how Canadians from Newfoundland to British Columbia have teamed up to give young shut-ins the most Canadian type of distraction from COVID-19, a bear hunt. Inspired by the popular children’s book ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen, people all over the country (as well as in several other countries in the world) are putting teddy bears in their windows to encourage children to get out of the house and spot them, all while practicing safe social distancing by remaining in the family car.

“I thought we could try a similar spring bear hunt using stuffed teddy bears,” said Mr. Scott, late last week. “I know in Little Current and other areas (like Gore Bay and Evansville) hearts have been posted in windows; why not have stuffed bears as well? It will all be informal, people can put a stuffed bear in their window, and it would be fun for families to take part in. I know I’m going to put a stuffed bear on my lawn chair on our porch.”