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Spokane Scoutmaster wins $250,000 grand prize on survivalist reality TV show

UPDATED: Thu., April 27, 2017

Spokane Scoutmaster Terry Fossum won top prize in the new Fox reality show “Kicking and Screaming” Thursday night, along with partner Natalie Casanova.

The show paired survival experts with outdoor novices, pitting teams against each other in challenges of skill and adaptability. Each week, a different team was sent home, until only Fossum and Casanova remained.

“Nobody is more surprised than I am,” Fossum said of his win.

Fossum, 52, was the oldest survival expert on the show. Most of the others were military survival experts or members of the military special forces. His claim to fame was 45 years in the Boy Scouts and a solo winter snowshoe backpacking trip in North Idaho, as well as trips to the Arctic Circle and Africa.

“Out there on the show, I may not have had the top skills out there,” he said. “I was certainly weaker than some of them. But, in survival, the most important thing is attitude. If you’ve got the best attitude, you’re going to win every time.”

He also credits the team spirit he had with Casanova. “We were completely focused in as a team at this point,” he said of the final episode. “We are a pretty rock solid team.”

The final challenge was long and complicated. The survivalists were installed in rafts on the ocean while their partners towed them. The survivalists used spears to hit a target and the novices had to use flint and steel to start a fire. The fire was used to light a torch, which was run out to a climbing tower in the ocean. A team member had to light an oil-filled cauldron at the top and whoever finished first won.

“We’re all exhausted, we’re all starving, we’re all completely stressed,” Fossum said. “We ended up way behind to begin with.”

But they made up time when Fossum hit the target with his spear on only the second try and Casanova managed to quickly start her fire. Fossum said he was proud of how well Casanova learned her survival skills during the show.

“The whole thing culminated in her lighting the fire,” he said. “I thought it was perfect.”

Fossum was initially reluctant to do the show, but felt he was being called to do it. “Every adventure is beneficial,” he said. “People need to get out there and have more adventures. You have to go out there and take risks.”

He was also happy to get the chance to promote the Boy Scouts. “Scouting skills really are fantastic,” he said. “Boy Scouts are tough and our Scout skills are extremely competitive.”

As winners, Fossum and Casanova get to split the $500,000 prize. Fossum said he plans to donate some to charity – including the Boy Scouts – and use the rest to buy a piece of mountain property.

“I’m going to put a little cabin on there and call it good,” he said.

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