Primary Times teams up with Bear Grylls to inspire their passion for adventure
Bear, we believe every child should be able to dream big, how does it feel to have achieved your childhood dream of climbing Mount Everest?
I was quite shy as a kid but loved to climb with my Dad. I dreamt of climbing Everest aged 8 when my dad had given me a picture of the mountain, and to have achieved it whilst he was still alive meant so much. The summit of Everest itself is extraordinary - small, like a coffee table, and standing there was a feeling like no other.
How do you give your children the confidence to follow their dreams?
I have tried to pass on to my sons many of the lessons from my late father. He taught me to follow my dreams and that failure was just a stepping stone to success. Inspiring our kids and giving them the confidence and skills to succeed is so important, which is why we are setting up an exciting organisation called BecomingX, to help everyone realise their potential. BecomingX will be sharing the powerful, often surprising life lessons from so many of the world’s most inspiring people, from Hollywood actors to global sports stars.
Can taking adventures help build confidence in children?
Survival and adventure is not just about knowledge and skills, it’s even more about positivity, resourcefulness, courage and above all determination. Pack a sense of humour and embrace the unexpected.
Some parents will struggle to travel to wild places, how can they inspire a love of adventure?
The best thing we can do for our children is to get outside and have an adventure with them - even if it is just camping out or going for a hike - it brings us close to our children. The outdoors and an adventure shared gives kids confidence and pride that money cannot buy.
Do you have any fitness tips for busy parents of primary school aged children?
I’ve recently launched a fitness provider called Be Military Fitness – It is proving such a powerful way to help veterans and regular people achieve their fitness goals in a positive community atmosphere. There’s always a park for any busy parent to get to, the training is short and the workouts can fit around any schedule.
Is there any military-style exercises that young children can enjoy?
You can’t beat stuck in the mud! The Commandos ‘play’ in the clay mud estuary by their training centre, it is brutal and very tiring!
You’ve visited some of the wildest places on Earth – do you have a message about conservation for our readers?
It’s a fact that my programmes and adventures are totally dependent on the existence of wild places in the world, so I feel it’s part of my job to highlight the importance of protecting our planet. Whether that be taking President Barack Obama to Alaska, to look at the effects of global warming, or supporting charities such as Tusk Trust in their mission to reduce ivory poaching. I hope that my programming and books serve to showcase the magnificence of nature and wild locations and how we all have a duty of care to protect our fragile planet for generations to come.
Who are your adventure heroes?
Well first off heroes come in all different shapes and forms - there are those we publicly celebrate for great achievement and for me that would be the Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson - his story is amazing. But then there are the many unsung heroes, quietly, courageously edging their way forward, serving others, being kind, often getting knocked down but always getting back on their feet and never giving up! That’s what makes a hero: selfless positive attitude and rooted in kind deeds for others. I encounter so many people like this in my role as Chief Scout, such as the many volunteers who help in thousands and thousands of Scout groups every week around the country. This for me is one of the many great privileges of that role and to me they are the real heroes.
Find out more about Bear Grylls exciting new organisation BecomingX here: www.becomingx.org