This November, we brought together Young Explorers from our Dangoor Next Generation Scotland 2021, Hartz Scottish Explorers 2021, and Landmark Scottish Highlands 2021 expeditions for the final stage of their programme: Next Steps. This day-long event is an important opportunity for Young Explorers to reunite with their Fires and expedition teams, reflect on their experiences, and to celebrate and progress following their expedition with us.
Taking place in the British Library’s Knowledge Centre, Young Explorers were welcomed with a game of ‘Human Bingo’, encouraging them to spend some time talking to those from other expeditions to find people they could mark off on their bingo sheet such as ‘woke up early on expedition to see the sunrise’; ‘had never been camping before’; ‘ate the chicken tikka masala ration pack’. Meeting new people has been difficult over the past couple of years, so the opportunity to meet other like-minded young people from all over the UK, who have all shared similar expedition experiences, filled the room with a buzz of eager excitement.
After a welcome from our CEO Honor, Young Explorers had a chance to catch-up and reflect with their Fires and to review and finalise My Compass – an introspective tool which measures the degree to which young people have developed attributes and skills during their programme with us. It is used as a tool for reflective conversation with Leaders, encouraging Young Explorers to think about what they hope to learn with us to and to set goals for themselves.
Young Explorers also had the chance to hear career and prospects advice from people in our community, including Member Kwesia (Peruvian Amazon 2018), also known as City Girl In Nature, and British polar explorer and speaker Dwayne Fields and writer, photographer, presenter and broadcaster Phoebe Smith, who discussed using media to communicate stories about the outdoors.
Biologist Susannah Cass, National Trust Ranger Matthew Scott, and sustainability expert Jay Ham, all expedition Leaders, shared the tips on becoming sustainability champions and championing change in the local community.
Another panel focused on what it’s like to work in the outdoors, with advice shared by our expedition Leaders – geographer and explorer Andy Browning, outdoor education practitioner James Dyer, and Eloise Chambers (Young Explorer on Himalaya 2011).
Expedition teams then got together to create five minute presentations discussing how what they learned on expedition. Young Explorers took on this challenge with confidence, creativity, and humour, sharing their presentations on stage in front of other expedition teams and guests they had invited to watch the certificate ceremony – where they were congratulated for completing their programmes and welcomed into our diverse, global network that spans generations.
It was great to see all of our Young Explorers and Leaders from our 2021 expeditions under one roof and we look forward to hearing from those that join our Find Your Path programme: monthly newsletters that offer more information about being a Member and what they could do next.