We are hoping to assemble a group of about 8 - 12 boys
between the ages of 12 - 14.
Potential new members are chosen from boys that we think will work well together to create a strong group.


What is an Explorer Troop?

For almost fifteen years there have been Explorer Troops meeting in the Ballantrae area. An Explorer Troop is a group of about 8 -12 boys who meet one night a week and go on weekend camps to learn camping and wilderness skills. It is similar to a Scout Troop, but is in no way connected with Scouts Canada. Boys chosen for this program have to be ready to take on some tough situations, be open minded, and willing to work cooperatively in a group. Commitment is important. A group of boys normally remains together for about three years in order to cover all aspects of the program.

Our group is related the 1st Four Arrows Youth Group, which benefits us with necessary insurance, access to equipment and other resources. This larger group consists of many and various groups in the Ontario area. If you look them up on the net, you will see that some of the groups associated with the larger group have a religious program. The Phoenix Explorer Troop is NOT affiliated with any religious program.

Our program is based on the skills taught by the Tom Brown Jr. Tracker School. Several of our leaders and many other resource people with whom we are frequently in contact, have extensive training from this school. This involves survival skills, awareness, along with many non-physical skills related to native traditions and way of life.

Leadership for the group is drawn from adults who have been trained in survival skills and youth leadership, along with former group members who have completed the program.  Peter Wiinholt (that's me) has been operating similar groups in Ballantrae and (previously) in Markham and Thornhill for over 40 years. He is trained in survival skills, first aid, whitewater canoeing, tracking, camping safety and many other wilderness skills. He has worked at the York Region Board of Education Arts Camp for 12 years, much of which as an instructor of Leadership training.

Other leaders have similar experience and training. We are fortunate to have a large number of resource people who have comitted themselves to our group over the years. Many of them are former graduates of the program. All those in leadership positions are personally known by Peter Wiinholt and have undergone the standard Police Safety Check.