In the Kootenays, we live in an endless playground surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes and trees. Go Wild! takes local youth on a five-day wilderness backpacking trip into their own wild backyards. It aims to connect them to the landscape, develop leadership skills and inspire a love of the mountains to last a lifetime.
It’s no secret that if we want the wild to remain protected into the future, we need to cultivate an ethic of responsibility and action in our youth, inspiring them with what is possible. For many, climbing a mountain for the first time, cooking on a campfire or carrying their own gear on their backs can be a life-changing moment. A trip into the wilderness helps them understand their connection to, and dependence on nature, and the value of the environment to humans, both economically and spiritually.
As a society, we face challenging decisions about our path forward: programs like this give youth the opportunity to alter the way in which they see the world and to connect with themselves on a new level. It is our hope that they will finish the trip with a heightened awareness of the benefits and need for wilderness conservation and a deeper connection to their home.
Read all about Wildsight’s two public summer trips for Go Wild! 2017.