My daughter’s expedition experience with British Exploring Society
19 February 2018 14:45
By Helen Knight
Before Mae had the opportunity to go to Iceland with British Exploring Society, we knew very little about the charity and the incredible opportunities it has to offer. As a working class family we never imagined that this wonderful experience would be possible for our child at the age of fifteen and we were amazed and delighted when she was given the opportunity to explore with yourselves through her school (Caedmon College, Whitby).
Through British Exploring Society website we were able to learn more about the organisation and this helped to generate confidence in allowing Mae to go. Whenever I contacted the office the staff were always very approachable and helpful; I felt listened to and my questions were always answered efficiently with no question made to feel like a silly one.
Mae and her peers were enthusiastic when it came to fundraising. They met out of school hours on several occasions to discuss plans and worked well as a team delegating different tasks between themselves in order to make things happen. Listed below are the events which took place:
Sponsored Triathlon - Walk / Bike Ride / Paddle Board
Coffee Morning and Tombola
50:50 Raffle in the local family pub
Bake Sales at school
Not only did they show motivation and determination in their fundraising efforts, but they were also grateful to the people who sponsored and supported them. Their hard work paid off and not only did they achieve their goal but they exceeded it and chose to donate the excess to British Exploring Society. As parents we were very impressed by their ideas, organisational skills as well as their social skills.
We are a close family and I think the limited communication via the expedition blog was probably the most challenging for us. However, we also realise that this may have helped Mae to focus without distraction giving her the opportunity to develop independently as a young person.
On her return Mae allowed me to read her diary with her. We sat together and Mae shared her experience with me through her diary; I was overwhelmed with emotion and pride.
The biggest difference I have noticed in Mae since returning from the Iceland Expedition is her increased maturity. She demonstrates not only greater self-awareness but greater awareness of others. She is less self-conscious and more assertive when doing presentations and generally displays optimism alongside realistic self-confidence.
Mae has now decided that she would like to become a Physical Training Instructor in the Royal Air Force. She is aware that this is a difficult role to get into and has expressed that if she is unsuccessful she will consider other roles. I was impressed with her determined yet rational thinking.
I know that Mae would be delighted to be part of the Iceland Expedition this year but she is also mindful that her peers would love this opportunity too and has expressed to me that she will be happy whatever the outcome.
We would like to thank you for giving Mae such a fantastic opportunity. She absolutely loved the challenge, has got so much out of this life changing experience which she will take forward in her life and has been left with great memories. She is now also fortunate enough to be a lifelong member of British Exploring Society.
To end, I would like to say to future parents/guardians: have faith in British Exploring Society, put your own fears aside and allow your child to be the one to challenge and develop themselves as individuals. It is an amazing opportunity.