Laughing Buddha: An ALS Fundraiser
This year we are running two ALS Yukon River Expeditions & Fundraiser with the hopes of one trip bringing someone living with ALS with their family and friends down the river as a way to share precious time through an extraordinary experience. The second ALS expedition is dedicated for friends and family members impacted and affected to paddle, raise funds for ALS and to be supported on multiple levels along their journey.
A professionally guided 408 km canoe expedition from Carmacks to Dawson City led by two hilarious fellas with huge hearts who know first-hand how ALS impacts people.
Have you been significantly impacted by someone with ALS and you want to give back to an incredible organization like ALS Society?
Have you been wanting to celebrate the life of a loved one in a way that is out of the box, challenging, wacky and super meaningful?
Well, our Laughing Buddha escape pod is ready for you!
At Fireside Adventures, we help guide people to unplug, celebrate and honour their lives and the lives of others through connecting with outdoor adventure and the basic teachings of Buddhism. We are also food centred which is why all Laughing Buddha trips are focused on teaching wilderness gourmet cooking to feed our bellies and nourish our souls.
The Laughing Buddha is the Buddha of abundance and happiness so get your happy on with us on the Yukon River.
July 20-28 & August 10-18, 2019
Ages: 18+ (co-ed)
- Personal gear package for you to keep (Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 60L storage barrel and a ton of awesome swag)
- Healthy, whole-food menu
- Canoes + paddle
- Group gear
- 7 nights/8 days paddling and camping on the Yukon River
- 24/7 support and attention
- Special group rates with flight and hotels when booking through us
Extras To Know: Package also includes river paddling skill training and whatever gold you find along the river banks!
Not included is your first night accoodation in Whitehourse or post-paddle Dawson City accomodation.
Important information: Funds raised after expenses will be donated to the ALS Society of BC for the purchase of adaptive equipment in memory of Linda Tylla – Linda’s Legacy.
Locations: Whitehorse, Yukon River and Dawson City
How it all started…
Fireside Adventures (Jeff “Willy” Willis) and Alive Foods (Jordan “Birchy” Birch) created Laughing Buddha Life Experiences to offer something absolutely unique and respectful for people to come together to experience something larger than life. To laugh and cry, breath in the Yukon air and feel the wonder and wisdom flow through their spirit.
They wanted to give something meaningful and positive in the hopes it could shed a bit of the fear, grief and exhaustion that comes with ALS.
In 2018, Birchy and Willy lost their friend Linda Tylla to ALS and decided to take her friends and family down the Yukon river to celebrate Linda’s life. It was the trip she always wanted to do and never got to. Laughing Buddha was the idea that became reality with Linda’s Legacy becoming our inaugural experience.
ALS Mission Statement
The ALS Society of BC is dedicated to providing direct support to ALS patients, along with their families and caregivers, to ensure the best quality of life possible while living with ALS. Through assisting research, we are committed to finding the cause of, and cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The ALS Society of BC has three principal objectives:
To provide direct support to patients, their families, and caregivers. This includes an equipment loan program.
To raise funds for patient services and research, and
To increase public awareness and understanding of ALS
“The Yukon Laughing Buddha : ALS Fundraiser is a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to support and to create lasting memories with their loved one living with ALS . The hosts Jordan and Jeff, want to share this “one of a kind” spiritual, healing experience with others to support them in their journey with ALS. Jordan and Jeff lost their friend to ALS and use the healing energy of the Yukon River, under the serenity of the northern lights to reflect and feel closer to her. The ALS Society of BC is thrilled and thankful for the support received from The Laughing Buddha, especially Jeff and Jordan”.
- Wendy Toyer, Executive Director
The Yukon Laughing Buddha River Canoe Trip Details:
Feel your hand dip into the Yukon River as we provide you outdoor instruction, an introduction to the basics of Buddhism, equipment and support while travelling over 400km down the Yukon River. At Fireside, we share the gifts of the wilderness and gourmet cooking with people of all ethnicities, abilities, backgrounds, sizes, gender identities and experience levels.
Fireside Adventures is designed to allow you to enjoy and experience our pillars - Life, Be, and Adventure.
“Buddhism is all about friendliness. Unconditional friendliness towards yourself, towards others, towards all situations, towards everything”
- Laughing Buddha
Highlights of Laughing Buddha
- Fully guided multi-day expedition on the Yukon River from Carmacks to Dawson City to celebrate the life of those impacted by ALS• Proceeds from your registration goes to supporting ALS.
- Led by thoughtful and yet always hilarious guides to make sure you don’t step in bear poo.
- Full tummy of delicious food and cooking each night by the campfire.
- Sleep under the stars on some of the Yukon River’s pristine river islands.
- A chance to see some wildlife as you enjoy your never ending national geographic moment.
- Bragging rights that you paddled the famous Yukon River.
- Being unplugged from Wi-Fi, phones, computers, home and work life.
- Honouring the gifts of laughter and abundance of happiness the Laughing Buddha will bring to you.
- Hiking the trails seeking Yukon Gold Rush artefacts and abandoned cabins – that’s right…treasure to be found!
- An introduction to the basics principles and practices of Buddhism especially learning more about the significance of the Laughing Buddha.
- Learn the basics of front and backcountry camping, river canoeing, orienteering, hiking and risk management.
- UNPLUG, UNRAVEL, LAUGH and LITERALLY LET GO.
"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”
We lead trips with an absolute respect for all religions, wellness practices and cultures. In particular, we do our best to demonstrate our respect for Indigenous people of Canada, as we are visitors traveling within their rightful lands. In following the Laughing Buddha’s teachings, we want to ensure that we are being mindful of the values and significance of Buddhism and those practicing Buddhism in their daily lives.
SafetyRegardless of a participant ’s level of comfort and outdoor skills, it is safer to travel in a group and it is much safer to have an experienced instructor supporting them. Our team always prioritizes planning, preparing and, most importantly, teaching participants how to be safe in the wilderness.
FoodA well-nourished body makes a significant impact on a person’s experience in times of physical and/or mental exertion. Participants will learn how to pack and prepare healthy and holistic meals in our camp kitchens, suited for all diets.
Fitness CapacitiesIf you are concerned about yours or your child’s physical readiness to attend one of our Fireside camps/expeditions, please contact us directly. We modify our experiences based on the participant’s abilities and capacities. Relax and let us work together to make an informed and shared decision.
We do our best to understand the present and future impacts of climate change. We provide thoughtful discussions and rationale of why we all must do our best to minimize our carbon use including ways to reduce food waste, non-recyclable materials and more. We take public transit or walk as much as possible, and respect nature by reducing our ecological footprints.
Indigenous PeopleWe acknowledge that we are visitors of the traditional lands of Indigenous People. We ask permission to visit and explore their lands while also inviting local First Nations to participate in our camps, share their knowledge and provide a space to collaborate. Fireside Adventures recognizes the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Small Group Focused & MobileWe purposely place restrictions on group size (minimum 8 and maximum 15) of participants as believe less means more in regards to providing an enriched and meaningful experience for each participant. We are not defined by one permanent location as we are rooted in the believe the adventure and learning on the explore the lands and waters around us.
Place and Inquiry Based
All of our selected locations for our camps and expeditions are purposely chosen to provide a platform for inquiry and experiential learning, to learn through the natural world and its significance in relation to culture, geography, history, people and environment.
Social and Emotional LearningWe create a safe place so participants can develop and enhance their resiliency, independence and self-efficacy. We weave learning opportunities throughout our programs for participants to improve the skills necessary to manage and understand their emotions and their relationships.
We are inclusive of all genders, races, cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and capacities. Those who arrive on the first day of the camp/expedition are important characters of the shared experienced that is to begin. It is a privilege to be the characters in each other's stories and experiences, not our right.
Tentative Trip Plan
12:30pm – Riverside Picnic
1:30pm – Paddle strokes review
7:00pm – Arrive to Carmacks – set up camp
8:00pm – Additional paddle practice
9:00pm – River ceremony and acknowledgement
10:00pm – End of day (ha…not really as the sun won’t be going down anytime soon)
Other Trips We Offer:
2019 Youth Leadership Camps:
BC Explorer (21 or 28 days)
Yukon Explorer (14 or 21 days)
Sparrow Leadership Initiative
World Bound (21 days)
2019 Kids Camps:
Bike Gourmet Camp
Forest Gourmet Camp
World Bound Language & Cultural Kids Camp