A long time ago, I trekked across the Canadian wilds. We used to take 12-15 teenage boy-scouts, pack everything in a canoe for three weeks, and set forth on rivers that head north towards the Hudson Bay. Did it many times. Most awesome experience, for me at least. Sure we had food that we brought with us – but we supplemented it with fish. Minor injuries (thank God) were taken care of. Each night, we had to hack out a campsite in the wilderness. Not sure if that’s allowed now. But I remember it as a great experience.
Best improvisation – literally diverting the entire river (in part) with rocks and boulders to free a canoe that capsized and was held hostage – pinned to the bottom of the river by the current – so we could get our ride back. Seeing moose just feet away, and somehow, they did not stomp us (they do that). Getting to our final destination, and reveling in the electric hand-dryers they had in their lodge, after not having anything but a hole-in-the-ground before. Clouds of mosquitos driving us into retreat. That was tough. We fled. You could cut them with a knife.
It was with a good, organized and well-led boy-scout troop. Only the eldest scouts could go. You had to be able to portage long distances. You had to be able to demonstrate leadership, ability, and survival skills. It was wonderful.
On another level: wow. A well-trained and loved dog – that’s two different things by the way – will follow you to the ends of the earth. My life-trek with pebbles, my dog, has been as special. But pebbles is not trekking across the Amazon. She may try, but then again… .
If you have any opportunity to work with or mentor, or be a leader with the scouting program – do it. Also set a goal, and teach the youngsters. And have fun.