New Hamilton-filmed show ‘Wild Child’ pits youth against wilderness


In school last century, I learned how to calculate the area of ​​a cone in geometry class, a skill that came in very handy because my life has so often depended on my ability to area-fy a cone. . . wait, I never had to; not once.

Start a fire? I wish they had taught me to do THAT.

11- to 15-year-olds on Bell Fibe TV’s new “Wild Child” show learned how to start their own fire; in fact, they taught themselves.

They taught themselves how to survive in the wild, paddling a canoe, developing knife skills, baiting a fishing line, then catching a bass (catch and release), pitching a tent. . . and commmmmuunify.

“Wild Child” is a fun and highly informative show, set in Hamilton’s Valens Lake Conservation Area, that (playfully) pits five teams of two against each other (teams are identified by color, and you can see by their t-shirts) against each other as they strive to complete outdoor challenges, usually within a time limit.

Yes, they’re outdoors and somewhat isolated, but it’s not about the schadenfreude of watching people writhe in extreme situations. The kids, all from the Hamilton area, have flares and “lifelines” if they need help, but they usually don’t, although the show also features situations simulated emergencies, such as injuries and rescues.

Other than that, they encounter real obstacles – tents that don’t quite fit together properly, a canoe wanting to launch into a shore or a bridge leg while the paddlers, who have no experience with the canoes, frantically trying to correct course. .

You’ll find yourself smiling all the time and wondering if you could do better.

“Wild Child” is the brainchild of producers Nathan Fleet (see the article on the creation of Hamilton’s new film school) and Jeremy Major, and, says Nathan, it was the perfect format to come out of the pandemic, with its lockdowns, pushing people outside to socialize because they couldn’t in enclosed spaces.

“One day in 2020, my daughter and nephew came back from a stormwater pond outing and they had actually caught a fish in a butterfly net,” Nathan recalled.

Like many families, Nathan spent more time outdoors and relating to nature during the shutdowns than before.

All of this sparked the idea for the show, Nathan pitched it to his colleague Jeremy Major and before they knew it they had teams, they had the nature expert and security adviser at the antenna Max Francis and they had native host Rylan Bomberry all ready to shoot.

“There are all kinds of challenges on the show,” says Nathan. “One was for them to make art of their favorite animal using materials they find on the forest floor.”

In one episode, the children’s parents are brought in to see how their offspring are doing.

“There is also a very unique terrain recognition that is done in the first episode,” says Nathan. “It was written by (Mohawk/Ojibwa filmmaker and producer) Cher Obediah. The words are meant to be as meaningful as “I love you” to the earth. »

Along with all the instruction and entertainment, the show features beautiful shots and footage of wild and natural Hamilton scenes. The show’s executive producer, Fred Fuchs, who helped revive The Westdale, helped secure permission from the Hamilton Conservation Authority to shoot the show in Valens.

Nathan says there’s a lot of interest in the show because it’s released in other countries, and there’s a group in Australia who like the format and might try to license it there.

“Wild Child” episodes can be viewed on Bell Fibe TV, available to Bell subscribers.

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