Scout leader from the U.K. wants to inspire a group of Scouts to do more than just head out for a weekend camping trip. He is hoping to instead lead an adventurous troop to the North Pole and has begun working towards that goal for 2014.
33-year old Wez Swain has started the process of selecting a team to join him on his arctic adventure. This past weekend he took a group of scouts between the ages of 18-24 out on a tough 30km (18.6 mile) hike designed to test their physical strength and endurance, although Swain says that candidates for his expedition will need to be more than just physically fit. He know that a trip to the North Pole can be a mental challenge as well.
Following that hike, he now plans to reduce the size of the group from 12 down to 8. He'll then work with the remaining Scouts to see how viable it will be for them to raise funds for their journey. Those who remain committed to the adventure will then plan on traveling to Norway in March where they'll undertake training in extreme winter conditions. Following that excursion, the group will be further reduced in size to move forward with the expedition planning.
Right now Swain is eyeing 2014 for the expedition start. He's working with veteran polar explorer Antony Jinman and is looking for sponsors as well. It is estimated the trip will cost approximately £200,000 or roughly $320,000.
The article that I linked to above doesn't go into specifics of the journey, but I imagine this will be a last degree or perhaps a two-degree North Pole expedition that launches from the Russian side of the ice. I can't imagine a team of Scouts attempting a full-length North Pole expedition, which is becoming increasingly difficult in this day and age. Still, this will be a remarkable journey. Considering most of the scouts I know don't undertake anything more adventurous than an occasional campout, you have to applaud the efforts here.
Follow along with the group's efforts on the Scouts On The Pole Facebook page.