TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Connect with Nature

Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman , Les Stroud, challenged SMA Prep cadets to go outside and connect with nature. The adventure-seeking Stroud joined cadets across campus as part of the 2017-18 WebEx Speaker Series and campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Stroud is no stranger to SMA Prep having participated as a speaker in the 2016-17 Project Inspire. Cadets were delighted to listen to stories of survival, traveling the world and pursuing your passions.

Stroud began by discussing his current projects which include building his own television network The network is an entertainment and educational resource to teach specific survival skills in authentic situations and environments all over the world. Stroud is also fulfilling his childhood dream of being a rock star. He recently released “an ambitious rock album called Survivorman’s Mother Earth featuring guest appearances by Slash and Steve Vai… focused on celebrating nature and connecting to the earth”. Whether as an author, filmmaker, activist, photographer or musician, one of the driving goals in all of Stroud’s pursuits is to connect people with nature.

Stroud recounted a recent run-in with a “playful” 400lb grizzly while on location for National Geographic as well as his most severe survival challenge occurring in Norway when he spent 10 days cold and wet developing Hypothermia. He made it clear to the cadets that “the cold is always the worst”.

SMA Prep cadets received a few well-grounded life lessons as well. Stroud responded to a question about dealing with stress and anxiety by stating, “calm down, catch your breath and consider zones of assessment… look at what you have to work with”. Start with your self, then your immediate surroundings and then further afield. When asked why he loved to travel so much, Stroud had a one-word answer, “perspective”. He went on to explain how he thrives on being somewhere different that changes how he sees the world and his place in it. One of his favorite places on earth is Peru.

Lastly, a question was asked about how to achieve success in life. Stroud did not hesitate as he responded, “engage in your own life and go after what you want to do… choose work that takes you where you want to go”.

This April, SMA Prep is looking forward to hosting Stroud, in person, on campus where he will walk cadets through an authentic, hands-on survival experience and he will also perform live for an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday April 21st, 8PM-10PM. Tickets are on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. Tickets are $15 for SMA cadets and employees at both campuses and $20 to the public. For more information call 941-877-7737.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at

About Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series visit

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Best known as the Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les known as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest-rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. He has been nominated for 24 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography. Visit for more information.

About Project Earth

Project Earth is an SMA Prep student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school.