It's no secret that over the past 30 years our world has shifted from starlight to city lights, dirt paths to paved roads, and from campfires to TV screens.
We now spend half the time outdoors as the generation before us. And as technology creeps ever deeper into our society, we risk losing the connection we once had with nature altogether.
This, we believe, is the worst thing for nature in the long run because, without a community that cares for it, there is little incentive to fight for it.
With the rise of social media, there has been a massive influx in the number of people getting outdoors, and we believe that this influx is the greatest things for nature.
However, we also recognize that many of the education channels that need to be in place to keep nature as beautiful as it is aren't there yet.
As an organization, we want to help bridge that gap.
Our goal is to get as many people into nature as we can while helping them understand how to do it in a way that keeps it what it is, forever. Our approach continues to evolve and grow as the community does.
And while we know we don't have all the answers, we are more than willing to have the conversations on how to do this.
We look to speak with anybody that has a vested interest in nature, which we believe is all of us. Whether you are an individual, a Search and Rescue volunteer, community, or a company, we are open to all feedback, (constructive) criticisms, praise, or ideas that move us closer towards the mutual goals of getting people into nature and helping preserve it for future generations.
Below is an outline of our thoughts on our events, safety, large group, and keep nature beautiful forever.
OUR GOAL WITH CANADA DAY (AND ALL OUR EVENTS)
We have three goals:
- To unite our country from coast-to-coast on the values that make us what we are and the values we aspire to live by. We are doing this because we believe that we are stronger together than we are as individuals;
- To make us feel like we are connected to one another, and have more in common than we do in difference; and
- To get people to re-connect with and caring about things that matter – in this case each other and the outdoors. We believe that people that care about each other and the environment are the best way to build a future where we all win.
Getting every single one of us home safely is priority number – always.
It is more important than anything we do and is at the forefront of every discussion we have and every event we put on.
Throughout our community, we have built a culture that it becomes the mission of every single one of us to help make sure that the space stays safe for all and that we all make it home each time – not only when we are together, but when we venture out on our own.
For everyone involved, we ask that they: do their research (and help educate them with the info to do so), know where they are going, stick with the group and to the trail, help other people stay safe, know we are all in this together, let people know where they are going and ALWAYS bring good vibes.
As a community, we are building a culture that shows that together, we are a hell of a lot better off than we are individually.
As a company, we make sure that we have done our homework to run these events as safe as possible.
WE KNOW WE AREN'T IN THIS ALONE
If something goes wrong, it impacts more than just the people directly involved. It impacts the Search and Rescue volunteers who risk their lives saving people, the area stakeholders, nature, and the community as a whole.
As an organization, we want to and our proud to work with groups like North Shore Search and Rescue and AdventureSmart to understand what needs to be done to help bring everyone home safely, both at our events and on an on-going basis.
We work with these organizations to help bridge the gap between the influx of people into nature due to the rise of social media and the knowledge they need to do so again and again – safely.
As an organization, we are open to all conversations and constructive feedback with the aim of getting people engaged with life, out into nature, and making sure we keep nature pristine and protected for at least 7 generations.
If you have feedback and thoughts, please reach out to us here.
We know that events like this bring more people than normal into the places we go and aren't ignorant of the potential impact if we don't treat the area with respect.
We believe, as we saw last year, that not only can we Leave No Trace, but can leave places better than we found, all while educating people on what matters, why it matters, and how to bring that into their adventures and experiences going forward.
We work to minimize our impact by doing things such as: decentralizing the events (calling on people to find locations everywhere), and also understanding and sticking to low impact trails for larger groups (such a the completely covered First Peak trail) carrying out as much garbage as we see, actively educating our community on how to minimize impact, learning from organizations like Leave No Trace, impact route planning, and using our events to make people care to do these things and spread the word.
What we need in the outdoors right now is a cultural shift – getting those that don't understand to begin to care about it and know how to. We believe it's the only way we will solve this influx into nature.
Our goal is to make things like Leave No Trace the coolest thing in the outdoor community.
While we understand the impact we are having during events like Canada Day, we believe that the positive impact we can have on a day like that can create a wave of people who care – which is exactly what we need right now.
ON LARGER NUMBERS
Even though for 2018 we are dispersing and decentralizing the events, there is a belief that a large group of people is automatically a bad thing. And while yes, it can be with the wrong demeanour, it doesn't have to be.
It can be quite the opposite when done from a comprehensive perspective.
The right group of people with the right social fabric, can have a positive impact and influence others to act the same.
We've seen this on Canada Day 2015, 2016, & 2017, where small pockets of people cleaning up led to even larger groups of people cleaning up and leaving the mountain better than they found it. This happened below the chairlift on the trail down, picking up cigarette butts, beer cans, and other garbage.
We've seen this on Joffre Lake trips, where a similar thing happened, resulting in dozens of pounds of garbage getting hauled out.
And we've seen it throughout social media – where a single post about respect and care lead to hundreds of other posts (and real world actions) about respect and care.
While the ultimate solution is to not have these problems in the first place, that isn't the reality right now.
But it can be, if we come together and work towards it.
Our goal and commitment is to help shift that culture. From one that might not fully grasp how to treat the outdoors or how to stay safe, to one that does and one that self-propagates that culture way beyond any our reach.
Whenever we bring a group together, it is our mission to help bridge that gap.
ON THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE & LAND (CANADA 151"+")
The plus stands to acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples who have been here long before Canada was Canada. It represents our understanding that there is a history to the land we are on, and that history predates colonization.
The "+" is our commitment to look into the future with a hope that all communities, Nations, and peoples will walk together as a stronger society than ever before, and to bring that sentiment into our events and our community.
Think of it as a mark of what we hope to achieve going forward – a community that not only looks towards a bright future, but does so while recognizing the past that brought us to where we are today.
As we move forward, our hope is that we do so united and together, listening to and hearing from anybody that has a vested interest in any of the topics above. We are open to all feedback, (constructive) criticisms, praise, or ideas that move us closer towards the mutual goals of getting people into nature, helping preserve it for future generations, and united us as people.