Yellowknife mom helps kids practice social distancing with teddy bear scavenger hunt

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Kids are at home and parents are looking for ways to keep them happy, healthy and socially engaged in uncharted territory brought on by COVID-19 school closures.

That’s why Dawn Beaudoin Radix has launched a city-wide scavenger hunt meant to lift youngsters’ spirits — while practising social distancing at the same time.

Following the lead of a social media-driven initiative that’s quickly spread across the globe, Beaudoin Radix has organized a “teddy bear hunt” in Yellowknife.

Participating residents are placing stuffed animals on their front window sills so that children and their families — driving or on foot — can hunt down as many teddy bears as they can find.

Beaudoin Radix has four young children at home. They’re out of school and can’t play with their friends, leaving her grappling with how to offer comfort — and explanations — in difficult and uncertain times.

“How can I make this easier on the little people?” Beaudoin Radix asked herself.

She soon had an answer. Noticing the impact another community bear hunt had on her hometown in Newfoundland, Beaudoin Radix took to Facebook earlier this week to start her own event.

In a few days, she said up to 200 people have joined.

“It’s ballooned. It’s huge,” Beaudoin Radix told NNSL Media. 

One of the many photos Beaudoin Radix has received from Yellowknifers joining the teddy bear scavenger hunt.
photo courtesy of Dawn Beaudoin Radix.

“To know it’s bringing joy to people in such difficult times — it makes me happy.”

Residents are posting teddy bear photos on Beaudoin Radix’s Facebook page, and she’s compiling a list of streets where the stuffed animals can be found.

Even people without kids are reaching out to tell her they’re participating, said Beaudoin Radix.

She’s encouraged by the outpouring of support, but not necessarily surprised, she said.

A city resident of 12 years, she’s seen how Yellowknifers come together in times of need — particularly when citizens rallied behind people displaced in 2018’s devastating Rockhill Apartments fire.

For Yellowknife teddy bear hunters tracking down sightings on foot, Beaudoin Radix is stressing the need to practise the social distancing protocol.

The hunt will run until the end of the month.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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