What does "We Go Farther" mean? (No replies)
What does "We Go Farther" mean?
First the basics.
Our Vision is to make the world a better place through education, teamwork and exploration.
Our Mission is to provide outdoor education, recreation, exploration and adventure. We explore farther and more remote than most other organizations. The team supports mission oriented organizations such as outdoor recreation providers, government organizations, non-profits, search and rescue teams, and a wide variety of outdoor oriented agencies.
Did you catch the sentence. . . "We explore farther and more remote than most other organizations."?
That is our goal. To Go Farther.
We were founded on the concept of creating an organization that picks up where the rest leave off. We wanted to be an organization that does more, goes farther, explores deeper, and lives more of our life. We wanted a better team and a better environment. At risk of sounding arrogant, we wanted to be better than average.
Sometimes a member might ask, "Why don't we go to Isle Royale, the Manitou Islands, Hawaii, out west or just go hiking?"
It is a fair question. We could, but we don't. That isn't our purpose as an organization. In the midwest, there are plenty of organizations that do group hikes, travel out west and travel agents can book your Hawaiian vacation. There are entire social networks dedicated to gathering for a hike or a trip to one of many national parks. The boy scouts, the girl scouts, meet up groups - most of them consider the epic annual trip to be Isle Royale, the Manitous or hiking in Hawaii. We are glad they do. We think they fill a valuable need. But. . . we don't. We Go Farther.
In 2017, for example, we went to the James Bay to visit a very remote site call Cape Jones. In fact, Cape Jones is so remote that it is only visited by a dozen to 50 people a year. Most are Cree or Inuit who hunt or camp there as they travel. It is an old abandoned cold war radar station.
It wasn't easy. First, we had to meet almost 700 miles from home in a small park. Then we drove a couple of days up the James Bay Highway. The James Bay Highway (by itself) is considered a bucket list item for many people across Canada and the US. But, that was just the start. For the next few days, as we explored the Cree settlement of Chisasibi in Quebec, we also attended Mamoweedow. Mamoweedow is a Cree celebration that spans a week. They have traditional activities, dances, food, sleep in Teepees and celebrate their culture. It was "their" celebration and a learning experience. Not many (outside of the Cree) experience this. Especially not. . . "Tourists".
During our time at Mamoweedow, we spent time looking for a Cree guide to take us to Cape Jones - 70 miles north of the settlement. There were no roads, no infrastructure, just wilderness and a few small hunting camps and seasonal settlements. We asked everyone. Many thought we were crazy, a few thought we might make it and a couple considered it. We negotiated, we heard stories, we connected, we made friends and we learned a lot about the Cree, the land, the ocean and ourselves.
Why didn't we do some research online and find a boat that serves tourist? Reason #1 - We did. . . a lot of research. . . and it doesn't exist. It is such a remote place, there is no tourism yet. There are no boats to hire, no website, no guide business, nothing but 4,500 Cree living their daily lives. Reason #2 - because we aren't tourists. Hiring a professional with a canned trip or canned activities can be done with a travel agent or online through many websites. What we do, goes farther. We would rather not use a tourist company, because we are explorers. If we do use a tourist company, it would be for a chartered trip well outside of their daily operations. They usually don't accept our inquiries. We have to find a captain that is willing to go where most won't.
The result was much more meaningful. We hired a local Cree, Jimmie Snowboy, whose family's hunting grounds are Cape Jones. Five of us traveled, by freighter canoe, 4 hours north with 40 gallons of fuel to a place very few have seen. We saw Caribou, seal and many birds. We experience something very, very few people experience. We made friends with the Cree. It wasn't a program for average people. We make our own destiny. "WE GO FARTHER".
Not every trip can be that fulfilling. Going to a popular destination that others routinely travel to isn't apart of our mission. We want to do more, be more, learn more and experience more.
Would we "ever" go to Isle Royale? Would we ever do a hike?
Sure. Of course and we do.
Isle Royale, sure. But we aren't taking the same ferry everyone takes. We would take our own boats or kayaks. If it seems difficult or impossible, then it is probably our "thing". We might also take a mission (as an organization) to help with habitat restoration, map a mine, help with scientific study or any number of things tourist don't, can't or aren't qualified to do.
If the tourists are surprised or amazed at what we are doing, we are probably doing what we are supposed to do.
Regarding training and our classes, the same "Go Farther" applies. We try to fill our courses with information and learning. We try to make them better and we offer more. We don't just offer classes we offer a curriculum. We offer graduation from our program - Expedition Leader. We expect our Expedition Leaders to far exceed the capabilities of a "Group Leader" from another organization. Our classes are designed to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to Go Farther. We try to be the best. Though we don't advertise that, we are humble and welcoming.
Our training has to be more comprehensive due to the nature of our organization. Our expeditions and trips demand a high level of member ability. So, our training has to match our vision and mission.
"We Go Farther" means what it says. If other organizations do it, have done it or plan to do it, it "probably" isn't for us.
Why "Farther" and not "Further"?
Another good question. First, "Go Further" is used by Ford Motor Company as a tag line. Second, Further and Farther essentially mean the same thing according to many references. Though, in some instances, "Farther" is considered to mean distance. And frankly, we do mean we go Farther - in distance. But, the same applies to everything else. Farther flows better, is unexpected, doesn't conform to typical norms and suits us just fine.
So, there is a little bit about our tag line - "We Go Farther". We take it seriously, we try to live up to it. It is deeply embedded in our Vision and Mission. It is the REASON we exist. It was the REASON we were founded.