Announcing 2022’s Young Explorer of the Year

By British Exploring Society,

Our annual awards are a key part of how we celebrate the skills and wide ranging contributions of our community - including our Young Explorers.

This year we announced the winners for our 2022 expedition season at our annual President’s Address.

We have three awards, one of which is the Les Morgan Memorial Award. This particular award is presented annually to a Young Explorer who has shown exceptional initiative or leadership in adverse circumstances on expedition. Young Explorers are nominated for the award by their expedition’s Chief Leader.

Our programmes are designed to be challenging, and to give young people the opportunity to undertake a journey of personal development. This year’s nominees are an incredible group, all of whom rose to meet the challenges laid out before them and Found Their Fire.

While there can only be one winner, each of the nominees deserves recognition for embracing and demonstrating our core values whilst on expedition.

Read on to be inspired, and to find out which of them was 2022’s Young Explorer of the Year.


Introducing the nominees for 2022


Hartz Scottish Explorers Part 1

Nominated by Chief Leader Mark Downey

“Aimee had such a significant and positive impact on her Fire and on the Expedition as a whole.  

Quiet and reserved initially, it became clear that she was suited to expedition life.  Having a strong work ethic and diligent character, Aimee encouraged others and led by example.

Described by her Fire Leaders as a “Peacemaker” and ‘the glue that holds the Fire together’, Aimee’s quiet maturity and responsible outlook was absolutely essential in overcoming the challenges of expedition life.

It was a pleasure to see Aimee’s confidence and gentle influence grow throughout the expedition.  Aimee’s support of other members of the expedition was also greatly valued and again demonstrated her willingness and ability to care.”  


Dangoor Next Generation Iceland

Nominated by Chief Leader Dan Mazhindu

“Bella was a strong leader in her Fire, who worked incredibly hard to ensure that all the Young Explorers were involved and came together. 

If she saw someone on the edge or finding something difficult, she would focus her energy on making sure they were okay and involved as much as they wanted to be. 

Throughout the expedition Bella demonstrated the values of British Exploring Society perfectly.”



Nominated by Chief Leader Jennie Richardson

Catriona was without a doubt the most positive and team-oriented person during the whole expedition, even when she was unwell. She supported members of the team that were struggling both visibly during the day and away from Leaders in the evening with tent mates. Catriona never complained and maintained a positive attitude at all times, raising the morale of the group. 

As the expedition went on Catriona proved articulate during reflective times directing and facilitating discussions with other team members by sharing her own thoughts and feelings which in turn encouraged others to do the same. Catriona liked to push the team to think bigger and go for goals that others thought unattainable.”


Hartz Scottish Explorers Part 2

Nominated by Chief Leader Gaby Wood

I think Hakim was able to articulate the many things he learnt from his time on expedition, but was perhaps less aware of what he taught and brought to others. In his Fire, across all Young Explorers, and amongst the Leadership team.  

Hakim’s honesty, pragmatism, resourcefulness, passion for exploration of place and self and great kindness towards his peers and the leadership team were a motivating force for all. Hakim balanced a real maturity, especially in challenging circumstances and when helping others, alongside a youthful and cheeky humour which found laughter from the most tired Young Explorers and helped build an ethos of positivity.  

Hakim spoke honestly about the challenges he has faced and helped build a Fire culture of openness and belief in individuals’ ability to affect positive change in their lives, something I think will be carried forward amongst all those in his Fire. 

I would like to thank Hakim for his participation and contribution and hope that he takes with him a great sense of achievement and potential for succeeding in future challenges and supporting others to do so too. It would be wonderful for Hakim to continue his relationship with British Exploring Society, and one day use these skills as a Leader.


Canadian Yukon

Nominated by Chief Leader James Dyer

When I first met Kris I felt that they were incredibly quiet and reserved. I feared they would struggle on expedition, but throughout the three weeks they threw themselves into everything that was offered. 

it was a challenge, and no doubt it came with some lows and pain! But every time I met them out in the field, or when they returned to base camp, they were laughing and smiling, cheerful and engaged with their Leaders and team members.

When others were down Kris lifted them up and showed so much courage to push through and grip the opportunity.


UK Spring Explorers

Nominated by Chief Leader Claire Fitchett

Zara overcame a huge number of personal challenges during her time with British Exploring Society which were different to those faced by other Young Explorers in her Fire. 

Zara came to the expedition with a high level of preparedness and similarly high expectations of what she might be able to achieve while trekking in the Highlands of Scotland.

Despite facing a number of factors outside her control, and the extremely adverse weather conditions, Zara remained eternally positive and supportive of all members of her Fire. 

Reliable in a crisis, motivated to the end and interested in the people and the wider world around her – Zara is an absolute credit to her school, parents and ultimately, herself.”

And the winner is...