Origin

The origin of a name… based on a true story…

A young boy was attending a talk given by a well-known explorer. At the end of the presentation, the fascinated boy approached the speaker, gave him an inquisitive look and whispered, “I’d like to become an explorer like you. When you were a child, did you know that you would become an explorer? How did all this begin?”. The explorer, with his weather-worn face, smiled. He leaned towards his young inquisitor, took his face in his hands and said: “When I was your age, I would often look out the window, standing on tiptoe so that I could see beyond the horizon. That’s how I became an explorer.”

The origin of an extraordinary organization…

In the winter of 1996, Dr. Sylvain Baruchel, a pediatric oncologist working in Montreal and Toronto, saw one of his young patients die. At the end of a tiring day of work he went home in a winter storm, heartbroken. Along the way, he wondered what he could do so his other young patients might remain hopeful in their healing process. He then had the idea to offer the possibility of an extraordinary challenge, an experience from which they could grow and be inspired. He contacted François Guillot, an adventure tourism expert, and asked him to organize a dog sledding expedition for young people with cancer. Guillot engaged the services of Mario Bilodeau, himself a cancer survivor and Professor in the Department of Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Tourism at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi, QC whose research focused on adventure activities with special populations. The first therapeutic expedition adventure took place a few months later in the Monts-Groulx range. From this first project a foundation was established by Dr. Sylvain Baruchel, Mario Bilodeau and François Guillot with the invaluable collaboration of François Veillet and Annick Dufresne. Over the past 20 years, over 40 expeditions have been organized for the benefit of hundreds of young people affected by cancer, thousands of parents who support them and tens of thousands of people around them.