Polar Bear Blog

The 3 Secrets behind 25 Years of Polar Bear Safari success

Dream big... William McVean photo.
Dream big… William McVean photo.

by Vanessa Desorcy

If you had asked Churchill Wild founders and owners Mike and Jeanne Reimer what the future held back in 1993, it’s unlikely their answer would have been three fly-in polar bear eco-lodges; a dedicated team that share their vision; partnerships with National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and the Magnificent 7 Luxury Wilderness Lodges; thousands of new friends made; and a shelf full of awards for sustainability practices and innovation.

But that’s exactly what things look like today!

Seal River Heritage Lodge in 2017. Michael Poliza photo
Seal River Heritage Lodge in 2017. Michael Poliza photo

Twenty-five years ago, Mike and Jeanne hosted their first guest at Seal River Heritage Lodge, and they haven’t stopped dreaming, planning, building, experimenting and learning since.

Seal River Heritage Lodge in 1993. Dennis Fast photo.
Seal River Heritage Lodge in 1993. Dennis Fast photo.

So, how does one go from having a dream to achieving unimaginable success doing something no one else has done before?

1. Have passion

Find a path that excites you and keeps you inspired. Then, surround yourselves with people who understand your vision and can help you make it a reality. Sharing your passion and passing it along to others is also important. We take great care to educate our family, friends and guests about the delicate Arctic ecosystems, and hope they leave inspired to educate others.

2. Think about how your actions will impact others

Dream big but also look at the big picture. How will your decisions affect your world and that of future generations? Churchill Wild has a foundation built on doing things sustainably and we’re always looking for ways to be more responsible at our lodges and in our everyday lives. We’re committed to doing our part to ensure that “our” wildlife and wilderness are preserved for generations to come.

3. Give back

The success you achieve comes with a certain level of responsibility to pay it forward. Gandhi said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Generosity keeps us grounded, teaches us compassion and helps build strong communities. We’ve been blessed with countless opportunities to do this and are proud to support a variety of organizations, locally and around the world.

As we prepare for our 25th season of taking guests walking with polar bears, swimming with beluga whales, and exploring the wild Hudson Bay coast, we’ve asked ourselves, how are we going to celebrate this remarkable milestone?

For starters, we’re going to recognize the community that’s been at the heart of our operation since the beginning–Churchill, Manitoba–and we’re especially excited to support the next generation of wilderness enthusiasts and conservationists, the Girl Guides and Scouts of Churchill.

The programs offered by the Girl Guides and Scouts enable children and youth to develop important life-skills such as leadership and teamwork, to build confidence, and to feed the innate sense of adventure that’s within all of us–all things that are especially important in a remote, frontier town like Churchill.

Because we recognize how valuable these skills are, we are going to make sure that every child who wants to register for one of these programs has the means to do so. We’ll also be partnering with these organizations to offer a week of day and overnight camps this summer with a focus on conservation education.

Of course, we can’t forget to recognize all the amazing supporters we have so we’ll be running a trip giveaway contest. Stay tuned for more details on that, as well as other exciting news in the coming weeks.

Thank you to all our friends, family members and guests who’ve helped us get to where we are today. We are so proud of what we do and love sharing our adventures. We look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary with you and making many more new memories in the months to come!

The World’s Next Great Safari

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