2024 – April Summit Applications

Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summit April 2024

Want to visit New Zealand’s Gateway to Antarctica and experience a weekend of exploration?

2024 Summit

Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April


Applications are now closed

Are you someone who:

  • has a positive attitude
  • has a natural curiosity about the world
  • has a desire to work alongside fellow explorers to learn about the remarkable world we live in
  • has a willingness to share their experience with their community
  • is willing to get out of their comfort zone

Special thanks to:

2024 Young Inspiring Explorers Summit primary sponsor

Inspiring Explorers programme partner

Hosted in Christchurch, Gateway City to Antarctica, this weekend Summit is for New Zealand students in Years 7-9.

There are up to 25 places available on the Summit, which will run Friday 12 April to Sunday 14 April.

Successful applicants will:

  • engage in a weekend of exploration and learning
  • meet huskies, ride in a Hägglund and experience a polar storm at the International Antarctic Centre
  • be challenged to step outside their comfort zone and build self confidence
  • spend two nights camping in a tent with new friends
  • find inspiration in the legacies of historic Antarctic explorers – including experiencing Hillary’s Hut – Antarctic Virtual Reality

The weekend will encourage and empower young, modern-day explorers to meet the challenges of life head-on by connecting them to the inspiring feats of early Antarctic exploration.

No previous knowledge of Antarctica or outdoor experience is required.

Students will receive a certificate of achievement at the successful completion of the programme. They will also become members of the Antarctic Heritage Trust Alumni Programme, which includes Inspiring Explorers™ like William Pike, Laura Andrews, Mike Dawson and Brando Yelavich. As part of the Alumni Programme students will receive all the latest updates and info about alumni events and future expeditions.

How to Apply

You will need:
  • Parent or caregiver permission.
  • Parents’ or caregivers’ email address and cell phone number.
  • A referee who is not related to you to agree to answer a few simple questions about you. This is done via email.
  • To be available to travel to Christchurch over the weekend of Friday 12 April to Sunday 14 April.
  • To complete a two-part application:
    • Part 1 – an online application form
    • Part 2 – a recorded video interview answering questions which we will provide upon completion of part 1.

Take your time with this application, you’re able to save your work and return at a later time.

Applications are now closed

Both parts of your application must be completed by this time in order to be eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

You will need to:
  • Be in years 7, 8 or 9 at a school in New Zealand
  • Be in good physical health with a reasonable standard of fitness.

Both the William Pike Challenge and Antarctic Heritage Trust are inclusive organisations so we’re taking applications from students of all abilities. We don’t see disabilities as a barrier to participation. If you have any questions, let’s chat about how we can make this work!

Obligations of Successful Applicants

You will:
  • Be committed to participate fully and have a go at all activities and experiences. This is an educational experience, not a holiday!
  • Participate in and complete any pre-programme activities. The pre-programme will include learning more about Antarctic Heritage Trust’s work and Antarctic exploration.
  • Following the Summit, share your experience with your community by the end of term 2, 2024 at the latest. You will only receive your certificate of completion at this point. This will include a presentation about your experiences to your classmates, sports team, or community members.
  • Complete a post-Summit survey to tell us about your experience.
  • Support Antarctic Heritage Trust and the William Pike Challenge by promoting both organisations in a positive light to friends, family and your wider community.
  • Document your journey through journaling to share what you learn with your friends, family and community when you return home.
  • Participate in media and profiling activities arranged by Antarctic Heritage Trust.
  • Consent to Antarctic Heritage Trust using relevant and associated text and images for promotions (including web and social media channels).
  • Act in a responsible manner as a representative of Antarctic Heritage Trust while participating in the Summit.
  • Respect and listen to the various adults running the Summit.
  • Respect your peers. Be open to different backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences that each person contributes to our group.
  • Be curious about the world we live in and be willing to learn about Antarctica.
  • Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and explore.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to take on some or all of the following: accept unfamiliar tasks with enthusiasm, have a go at being a leader, contribute to a team, give back to your community, make a difference, share your experience and encourage the spirit of exploration in others.

Programme Costs

The majority of the costs will be covered by Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Antarctic Heritage Trust will meet the costs for:
  • Domestic flights to and from Christchurch.
  • Transport to and from Christchurch Airport or other central transport hubs.
  • Delicious food for the weekend.
Successful students will need to:
  • Contribute $75 towards the weekend costs. If the cost of this experience is out of reach for you and your family – please talk to us, inspiring@nzaht.org.  We don’t want cost to be a barrier.
  • Supply all appropriate personal outdoor equipment and clothing for the trip. This includes wet-weather gear, warm layers, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and sturdy shoes for outdoor activities. If you don’t have some of this equipment, talk to us.
  • Cover costs for any excess bags. One checked bag of 23kg is included in your ticket. We highly recommend only bringing one bag as it will be travelling with you (on your back) during the weekend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the Young Inspiring ExplorersTM Summit?

Friday 12 – Sunday 14 April 2024

How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect the Summit going ahead?

There are no government restrictions that would prevent the Summit from going ahead. However we do ask that if you are feeling unwell before the weekend, that you test for Covid-19 before you come.

Will we go to Antarctica?

Not on this trip. As part of the Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT) Alumni Programme you’ll receive all the latest updates and information about taking part in future AHT expeditions that do go to Antarctica.

What if I am struggling to pay the $75 contribution after I’m accepted?

That is okay. Have a parent or caregiver send us an email and we can see what we can do. Don’t let it be a barrier to applying.

How does the application process work?

The application has two parts. First, you will complete a short written application accessed via our website. Once completed, you will receive an email with a link to SparkHire, an online interview platform, and will be asked to record yourself answering 5 questions. We will give you these questions ahead of you completing this part.

Your nominated referee will also receive an email with a link to complete a written reference on your behalf.

Applications close at midnight Sunday 3 March 2024. Please leave yourself enough time to complete both parts by this date.

Can I use my mobile device to record my video responses to the SparkHire interview questions?

The application website is mobile compatible, so you should be able to complete part two of your application on your phone, tablet, or computer with a camera. Should you have any issues, please contact us.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag and sleeping mat?

Yes. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping mat. A full gear list will be provided for selected students. We will supply the tent.

Do I need to bring snacks?

No. We will provide all the food you need for the weekend.

Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?

We sure can. If accepted, we will go over any special considerations with you.

Will we have cell phone service?

Yes, but this weekend will be tech-free so be sure to let loved ones know you’ll be out of contact for the weekend. If any emergencies crop up, they can contact us.

What gear do I need to bring?

Clothing for the weekend, sturdy shoes and a rain jacket are the most important things. If you do not have access to any gear, do let us know ASAP.

What happens if I get homesick?

We will do our best to welcome you into the AHT family. There are going to be lots of fun things planned so we don’t think you will get homesick. If you are feeling a little lonely come and talk to an adult and we can see what we can do to make you feel more comfortable. And remember, you are not alone. For some of the students on the Summit, it might be their first time away from home, on a plane or taking part in a programme like this. Make the most of the experience and you’ll be home soon.

Do I need to be a New Zealand citizen?

No, you do not but you must live in New Zealand.

What if I don’t know anything about Antarctica?

That’s okay! We are all here to learn and it doesn’t matter about your base knowledge of Antarctica.

Do I need to do the pre-programme work?

Yes you do. If you come in with a bit more knowledge it will make the short time we have together so much more valuable.

Can I have help planning to give a presentation when I return to my community?

Definitely! We are going to prepare a few slides with information about Antarctic Heritage Trust’s work, give you some photos from the weekend and a few tips on how to give a good presentation. No experience required, this is a time to learn.

Do I need to do the post-programme requirement of a community presentation?

We hope you will be bursting with excitement to share! If you want to earn your certificate and fully complete the programme, then you will need to share your experience. This can be to a single classroom, your whole school, a sports team, a religious group, a marae, or a public library. People will be so interested to hear what you have to say.

What if I’m afraid of dogs?

The husky dogs are used to working with people and are very friendly. If it is all too much for you, we can work with the handlers to make you comfortable. This is going to be a great time to challenge your fears and grow.

Do I need to have any special outdoor skills?

You do not need to have any special outdoor skills for the Summit. We will be camping but we can help you set up your tent. Any other activities we do will come with instructions as many of your peers will be learning alongside you.

What are the physical requirements for the Summit?

We will be moving and on our feet most of the time and will be doing quite a bit of walking. If you have any questions or reservations please let us know.

What are the dates of the Young Inspiring ExplorersTM Summit?

Friday 12 – Sunday 14 April 2024

How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect the Summit going ahead?

There are no government restrictions that would prevent the Summit from going ahead. However we do ask that if your child is feeling unwell before the weekend, that you test them for Covid-19 before they leave for the Summit.

Can you accommodate my child’s dietary restrictions?

We sure can. If accepted, we will go over any special considerations with you. Feel free to reach out and we can chat further about the specifics.

What if I want to get hold of my child during the Summit?

We are going to have a tech-free weekend. We can notify you of your child’s safe arrival in Christchurch, but their phones will be put away after that. If there is an emergency you can call the Programme Coordinator.

What if I can’t afford the application contribution?

We have some limited funding available if this is a barrier for you and your child. We do not want cost to be a barrier so please contact us to discuss options further.

Do I need to help my child with the pre or post programme work?

The work should be straightforward enough that they do not need your supervision. They may need to visit a library or access the internet. We do hope that it is a learning experience for the whole family, however, we do not want you to do the work for them.

Why do you need a parent’s or caregiver’s email?

We want to make sure you are kept well-informed. You will be sent a copy of your child’s application. We will send you information about the weekend and keep in touch if any plans change. We will also send you updates on future programmes from Antarctic Heritage Trust. If you’d like to be taken off those lists, you can unsubscribe.

Who is responsible for my child if they are sent home early?

If your child breaks any of the rules or is issued multiple warnings, they will be sent home early at your expense. We will contact you immediately and work with you to organise an earlier flight home or pick-up time. We don’t anticipate this happening, however, we want to be clear that students are here to learn and respect the community. Any decision to send a child home early is made solely by Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Thinking about applying? Great!

We are looking for students from a wide range of backgrounds to attend the Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summit.

Make sure you have your parent/caregiver consent before registering and applying.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require assistance with your application.


Mike Barber
Inspiring Explorers Programme Manager
Antarctic Heritage Trust

M: 021 268 4144
E: inspiring@nzaht.org
W: www.nzaht.org

Antarctic Heritage Trust
Private Bag 4745
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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Young Inspiring Explorer™ Profiles Summit 2020

The 2024 Young Inspiring Explorers Summit is run in partnership with:

Antarctica New Zealand