The next generation of Shackletons, Hillarys and Scotts have had a taste of Antarctica, in what was the first Young Inspiring Explorers’ Summit.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust, in partnership with the William Pike Challenge, hosted the summit in Christchurch, New Zealand’s gateway to Antarctica, on the weekend of 21 and 22 September 2019.
The Year 7-9 students spent the weekend with the Trust and Kiwi explorer William Pike, who lost his leg in the 2007 Mt Ruapehu eruption.
Twenty young explorers from around the country stepped outside their comfort zone, camping out overnight, meeting huskies and penguins and learning about the inspiring stories of the great Antarctic explorers, including Scott and Shackleton and Hillary.
The Trust’s Executive Director Nigel Watson says the Trust aims to grow and empower the Shackletons and Hillarys of the future — young people who would draw on inspiration from the great Antarctic explorers of the past to drive positive change and instigate new perspectives to meet the challenges of our changing world.
“Underpinning our Inspiring Explorers programme is a commitment from participants to being open-minded and curious about the world we live in, being prepared to step out of their comfort zones, encouraging positive risk taking, and sharing their often life-changing experiences.”
William Pike says it was incredible to give Kiwi kids an opportunity to learn more about the history of Antarctica, its wildlife, science and importance to the world today.
He says all young people deserve a future where they succeed in life, no matter what unexpected challenges and obstacles come their way.
“To be prepared for what life throws at us, we need a bank of experiences under our belt, and that’s what the Summit is all about,” Pike says.
The young explorers documented their journey, and will share what they learnt with their communities when they return home.
Having completed the Summit, the students will become members of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Alumni Programme, which includes Inspiring Explorers like William Pike, Brando Yelavich and many others.
The Summit was supported by Christchurch NZ, The Antarctic Office and the International Antarctic Centre.