This summer, 14 Kootenay teenagers will have the opportunity to truly experience the backcountry, to see sights a lot of other people never do, and most importantly, to leave no trace that they were ever there.
After breaking two years for COVID-19, Wildsight is bringing back Go Wild!, a six-day Kootenay-based adventure and outdoor leadership program for youth.
This program is led by ACMG Hiking Guide and Professional Skier Leah Evans, based in Revelstoke, and ACMG Hiking Guide and wildlife biologist Dave Quinn, based in Kimberley.
“Go Wild! is a really great introduction to the backcountry for kids that have never had an opportunity to get out there,” says Quinn. “And for those teens that have, this program helps them to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the wilderness, as well as to develop leadership skills and experience, in varied situations under the guidance of trained experts.”
Participants learn and practice no-trace travel techniques, backcountry meal planning and cooking, route planning, map reading, navigation, wildlife safety, wilderness survival, mountain botany, basic wildlife ecology, and how to thrive in the wilderness in all conditions. They also learn about the extraordinary diversity and abundance of Kootenay wildlife, and how critical wilderness areas are both for sensitive wildlife but also for humans to connect with the natural world.
Although a location for this summer’s trip has not been chosen, it will be based in the Upper Columbia area of the East Kootenay. An exact location will be chosen closer to the date to assess wildfire and other safety concerns.
Go Wild! last ran in the summer of 2019 when an adventurous group of teens explored some of the most rugged and remote wilderness in the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, including participant Ben Gadd from Golden, who took part in five consecutive Go Wild! trips.
“Go Wild! trips have been a significant part of my summers during my high school years. They have inspired me to continue to learn about the area that I live in, to explore the backcountry, and to appreciate where I live,” Gadd said following the 2019 trip.
Space is limited; register soon to secure your spot. For more information, visit wildsight.ca/go-wild.
Applications must be in by July 1, 2022. The cost of the trip is $750 and applications are on a first come, first serve basis. Wildsight does not want to exclude teens who can’t come up with the fee, and recommend contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and they will try to work something out.