The Burrell family from Greenville had never gone backpacking before. They had never even gone camping.
So when a TV producer asked if they wanted to spend three days out in the desert wilderness competing in a series of harsh challenges, naturally, they said, “Yes.”
“This is definitely outside of our comfort zone,” said 17-year-old Kayla Burrell, speaking on the show.
The Burrells made their TV debut as a family on the season 2 finale of the reality TV show “Survivalists,” which is streaming now on the free streaming network BYUtv, a subsidiary of Brigham Young University.
But the real goal of the competition is not about winning money.
“Their real reward comes when they begin to see loved ones in a new light … and find new strength as a family,” said the show’s host Colin O’Brady, a world-renowned endurance athlete and motivational speaker.
Over the course of three days, the Burrells hiked 16 miles through the desert, climbed more than 1,000 feet up a mountain slope, rappelled down a sheer cliff, camped in a deep canyon, paddled down a frigid river and bushwhacked through heavy underbrush toward the finish line.
Kayla Burrell, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was 14 years old, said she wanted to use the show to prove that she could rise to the challenge, even though she was “excited and a little nervous” by the pressure of the cameras.
“Everyone, whether they have autism or not, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses,” Kayla Burrell said. “No matter what comes our way, we can tackle it. It just shows, don’t let others place limits on yourself. You know what you can do. Trust yourself.”
Stream the episode here