How volunteering at The Woodland Trust is helping me fund my expedition to the Himalayas
19 June 2017 14:31
We had an opportunity to chat with Euan Campbell, one of our Himalaya expedition members, about his volunteering at his local athletics club and The Woodland Trust and how the experience has been beneficial on a personal level, as well as helping to fund his expedition through our Explorer Miles initiative.
Euan’s first heard about British Exploring through his farther, who was a member of our Kashmir & Ladakh expedition in 1988. Mark Campbell also shared a few words with us about his experience and what it means to him to see Euan gearing up for his on expedition with British Exploring this summer.
What expedition you are going on?
I am going on the Indian Himalaya expedition this summer, the same expedition that my dad went on 29 years ago.
What you are most looking forward to during your expedition?
I am most looking forward to seeing the vast, open landscape that hasn't been touched by globalisation or affected by the western world.
Where have you been volunteering and how many hours have you done?
I have been volunteering at my local athletics club and with The Woodland Trust, I have currently completed 25 hours of volunteering and every hour has been worth it due to the benefits the explorer miles scheme provides.
How did you get in touch with the organisation?
I got in touch with my local athletics club very easily as I have been a member since I was 7 and have done assistant coaching in the past, I contacted The Woodland Trust through my dad who is a leader for the volunteering charity monthly.
What sort of responsibilities have you had with the organisation?
For my athletics club, the responsibility I had was to assist the main coach with setting up the equipment, giving advice to the youngsters and often giving demonstrations of the drills being completed. With regards to the Woodland Trust, I have been assigned tasks by a senior leader to take growth of certain species of plants and trees in the forest where I am volunteering on the Mendips.
Have you found volunteering beneficial?
I have found the volunteering very beneficial as I have directly seen improvements in young athletes because of some of the feedback I have given them which is very satisfying and rewarding.
Would you recommend volunteering to others?
I would undoubtedly recommend volunteering to others as it is a great way to get outside and work in the natural environment in some cases, it gives a break from our busy everyday lives and provides you will a great feel of enjoyment as well.
Do you think Explorer Miles is a helpful initiative?
The Explorer Miles scheme is a very useful initiative, whilst providing you with discount towards the cost of your expedition, it also provides incentive to go out and do the community a favour and give back to organisations that you have previously been linked to in the past.
When and where did you go on expedition with BE?
Kashmir & Ladakh 1988 as an Explorer in the Art fire and then British Columbia 1993 as a Geomorphology Fire Leader.
Do you look back on the expedition with fond memories?
Yes, absolutely. My first expedition to India was a tough experience but ultimately, also one of the most rewarding of my life. Seeing the sun rise through storm clouds from high on a snow ridge in Zanskar with views to Nanga Parbat and K2 was life changing - it never leaves you.
I made great friendships on my expedition and still regularly walk in the Brecon Beacons with Allan ‘Skanky’ Mackenzie. We mostly go out in the winter and for a short time on each walk, experience something of the wild environment a British Exploring expedition gives.
Has the experience had a lasting impact on your personal and professional life?
The highs and lows of an expedition will challenge you beyond your wildest imagination - and for those who immerse themselves in the experience, the strength and trust in others that teamwork gives will last a lifetime, whether at work or in your personal journey.
The world will be bigger… better… more fragile when you return. Perceptions of other cultures will be replaced by a deep respect and you will walk through life knowing you have experienced something incredible.
Did you encourage Euan to join a BE expedition?
Yes, from the day he first walked! To think he is going on the same expedition I did is amazing.
Visit our Explorer Miles webpage to find out more about the initiative.