Bringing people together in the wilderness since 1978
Something unexpected happened on our first trip. It was subtle, and wonderful, and to this day I’ve struggled to explain it.
One of our early participants came closest to describing it when he said, “We came together as human beings.” That’s exactly what happened on our first trip when we paddled the Boundary Waters with people who could not walk or talk.
We were young and overconfident, but the wilderness soon put us in our place. After a pouring rain, blasting headwinds, and a couple of wet sleeping bags, we realized that our differences didn’t matter—our commitment to each other did.
Deaf? Use a wheelchair? Who cares! Are you a good sport? Will you do your part? That’s what matters. The wilderness helped us see that, because certainly it did not care. No wild critter I’ve ever seen seemed to care about our race, religion, or socio-economic status.
What we discovered is that a wilderness indifferent to human need is the perfect backdrop for discovering our humanity. From that moment on we’ve built our organization around the truth that we need each other, that diversity is a strength, and that there is no better context for discovering this than exploring the natural world together.
If you have been on a trip with WI you know what I mean. If not yet, we are excited to have you join us. Don’t worry, we’ve learned a lot since 1978, so it’s unlikely you’ll experience a wet sleeping bag. But, like we did 40 years ago, I am pretty sure you are going to discover many wonderful things about yourself and others.
See you on the trail!
Founder and Executive Director