“I looked up from the ground and realized what an incredible place I was in. From a young age, I’d always thought the alpine was the coolest thing ever, and being so fully immersed in it … felt amazing.”2023 Go Wild! Participant Will
We yearn for these moments — these pauses in time where you are totally connected to the landscape around you, when you are fully aware of the incredible space in which you find yourself. It’s these moments we strive for with Wildsight’s Go Wild! program, where youth are invited to challenge themselves on a wilderness backpacking adventure.
This summer’s Go Wild! took 13 teens aged 14–18 into the East Kootenay’s Height of the Rockies Provincial Park under the direction of veteran guides Dave Quinn and Leah Evans, alongside volunteer assistant guide Andrea Fox.
“We always hope that through Go Wild!, we help participants begin a lifelong relationship with wilderness, and appreciation for all that wild nature does for us, and that they can lean on that in tough times and good times in their future,” says Dave. “We also hope that they become future stewards of these wild places.”
Judging from the reactions of this year’s participants, we’re well on our way to achieving these lofty goals. Students spent six days this July living and breathing the wild as they developed skills, pushed themselves to new limits, and experienced the backcountry in a safe but engaging atmosphere.
Makayla joined Go Wild! to further her wilderness experience and meet new people with similar views.
“I expanded my wilderness knowledge mapping abilities, communication skills and my use of previous knowledge,” she says. “I had a really awesome time!”
Many participants share that they not only learned new practical and valuable backcountry skills, but learned more about themselves along the way too.
“The first day was terrible,” admits Nico. “But it pushed me to new limits I didn’t know I had.”
Joy knew a trip like this would not only line up with her interests, but that she would also gain a lot of experience from the program too.
“I learned so much! From facts about the alpine to flowers, to how a diverse group functions. I learnt the capability I had and the capability others had. And I definitely expanded my skills that I previously had and learnt more about myself,” she reflects.
We would like to thank the Province of BC and all our individual donors for making Go Wild! possible.
Thank you to Andrea Fox of Elemental_Journeys for the beautiful photos from this program.